To Handle MS, Sometimes We Need a Little Attitude
The other day, a young woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) shared her worry in a Facebook group that her disease would prevent her from playing with her grandchildren someday. Her concern got me thinking about how I’ve handled my MS and my grandchildren.
My granddaughter is almost 5 and will start kindergarten in the fall. My grandson is 3. They’ve never known me as a person who walks normally, without two canes or my scooter. But I’ve tried to weave my MS into their lives as naturally as I can.
As a 2-year-old, my granddaughter was fascinated with my canes. “Cane” was an early word in her vocabulary. I helped my grandson learn to walk using my canes. Just take a look at the following home video:
Not long after that video was made, my grandson began walking on his own. He still loves to play with my canes, and so does his sister, who is 2 years older. They also love to ride on my lap when I’m on my scooter.
Learning to play a winning hand
Attitude has a lot to do with living well with MS. One of my little sayings is (stop me if you’ve heard this one): “Even a pair of deuces can be a winning hand if you play it well.” Kayla Montgomery is a young woman with MS who is determined to do that. However, it didn’t start out that way for her.
Kayla tells her story in the video below. Watching it is worth the 10 minutes it will take from your day. But if you’re in a rush, scroll past the video and I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.
Kayla Montgomery was 15 when she was diagnosed with MS. She says the disease filled her with “bitterness and fear.” She even thought about quitting one of her passions: running. “What’s the point,” she thought. “I used my diagnosis as an excuse to be afraid,” she said.
After a year of being miserable, however, Kayla said she had a turnaround. Rather than letting MS get the best of her, she decided that she would take control of it. She’d use her disease as a “motivation” to overcome her fatigue, migraine, and lack of feeling in her legs when she got too hot. Kayla returned to running. She used her MS motivation to push her toward winning state titles and to become a runner in college. “We can all turn something bad into something amazing,” Kayla said.
MS is what you make it
To the young lady who was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to play with her grandchildren someday, I say your life with MS is what you make it. You can sit and watch your grandson learn to walk or you and your canes can walk with him. You can choose to hide from the storm or, as Kayla Montgomery has done, you can learn to run through the rain. I firmly believe that even if you get a little wet putting on your track shoes, it is the best option.
You’re invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.
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