31 Days of MS: MS is the least interesting thing about me
Day 24 of 31
This is Lindsey Holcomb’s story:
My daughters were both preschoolers when I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). It took well over a decade to find an answer to the myriad symptoms that had come and gone since high school, and as I reflect back on those chaotic days of double preschoolers and a full-time job, I think motherhood gave me the urgency I needed to truly advocate for my own health.
In those days, finding peace and balance and prioritizing my own gentle movement and diet were not at the top of priority list — far from it. No wonder I was exhausted; I was sleep training what seemed like eternally nocturnal little ones. No wonder my joints ached; I’ve never been good at remembering to drink water. No wonder I had occasional muscle weakness; nobody had ever accused me of being athletic. Clumsiness had been a personal brand since my elementary gym class days.
I dealt with fatigue, muscle weakness, spasticity, and cognitive fog throughout most of my young adulthood, and could almost always chalk it up to whatever phase of life I was in. College was a veritable stress soup, and achieving optimal health was not on my to-do list. After graduation, I moved abroad, and once again my diet and lifestyle completely shifted. Later came my first office job where being “the most stressed” was worn like a badge of honor, and caffeine became a singular food group.
There was wedding planning, a miscarriage, burnout — so many events in succession that doctors would say, “Well, let’s see how you’re doing in three months.” There were half-theories and tests that weren’t followed up on during that decade because life is busy, and the healthy don’t realize that advocating for your own health can be a full-time job.
The moment that finally pushed me to seek more testing was when I found myself unable to form the words to a bedtime story. I pride myself on being an articulate and well-read person, and I cherish story time with my girls. When my diagnosis day finally came, I felt relief.
Since that day, I’ve continued to cycle through grief, relief, and acceptance over living with MS. Frankly, MS is the least interesting thing about me, and every day is an opportunity to connect, start over, rest, and dream wildly. A diagnosis can never change that.
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.