31 Days of MS: Finding joy while living with MS

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by BioNews Staff |

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An photo illustration for 31 Days of MS, where people share their stories of life with this disease.

Photo courtesy of Mia Suite

Day 8 of 31

This is Mia Suite’s story:

On the morning of March 10, 2020, I received one of the most gut-wrenching diagnoses of my life.

The day started off normal. I had a 9 a.m. appointment with a neurologist to go over the results of all the tests she’d run on me. I even got dressed for work because I was going into the office right after.

I honestly thought about canceling the appointment, because just the evening before, my orthopedic surgeon had called to tell me my hip MRI came back and I had a severely torn labrum. He was absolutely shocked I was even walking. He said, “You are tough. You have been walking around with the labrum completely away from the bone.”

I wasn’t elated that it would mean another surgery, but finally I had answers as to why physical therapy wasn’t improving my situation.

That morning, the neurologist escorted me back to her office. I sat down and she said, “I am sorry to inform you, Ms. Suite, but all your MRIs have come back. Unfortunately, you have multiple sclerosis.”

I felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck. The tears and sobs overwhelmed me. I mustered up enough air to ask, “Are you sure?”

She replied, “I am so sorry, but yes, we are sure.”

That was almost three years ago, and my life has been consumed by MS ever since. I wouldn’t wish this disease on my worst enemy. I struggle with many MS symptoms and had to medically retire in July 2021.

I have so many emotions as a result of this disease. On one hand, I feel like it’s robbed me of my life, and on the other hand, it’s brought me so much clarity. It’s made me appreciate genuine connections and left zero room for things that don’t bring me peace.

My advice for those newly diagnosed: Advocate for yourself. Ask your doctor for a differential diagnosis if you’re dealing with multiple orthopedic issues in a short period of time. Had I done so sooner, I’m convinced I wouldn’t be as disabled as I am now. Find things that bring you joy, and do them continually until you no longer can.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for MS Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.