As My Disease Progresses, I Choose to Grow
I watch my multiple sclerosis progress. I see it progress in moments of defeat. I think of it when I fall. I curse it when I break or can’t open things. I grieve over it when my body fails me. I watch as my independence slips away like sand through my fingers.
I long to stop the inevitable. I can fool myself into believing I can. My heart believes that I can overcome. My brain knows I am in for the fight of my life. Symptomatology battles my senses. The pendulum swings back and forth. Like MS, it travels from one extreme to another.
I cannot exist in extremes. Therefore, I work hard to find balance. It’s possible on a pendulum. Balance is merely a state of being. Stability is a state of mind. However, it’s not my natural state. It takes effort to rein in my extremes. It requires daily exercise. I meditate and practice yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness.
While this helps to offset my fears, I am human. When the neurologist said I had multiple sclerosis, my first thought was of a wheelchair. I was terrified. My neurologist quickly assured me that I had relapsing-remitting MS. He said I might never progress to secondary progressive MS (SPMS). If I did, it would be years from now.
It has been 12 years since my diagnosis. It took three years for me to progress to SPMS. There are definitive changes in my physical abilities. However, in the last 18 months, they have been exponential. Is this typical of progression? I want to find out. It is my reality.
Multiple sclerosis humbles me daily. But so does the human spirit. As I lose an ability, I learn to adapt. As my disability grows, so too does my compassion for myself and others. Innumerable blessings have come alongside the pain. I have grown by proxy.
Growing pains are unpleasant, but the lessons bring a sense of pride and become secondary to the victory felt within. Put together, the pain and growth offer hope that we can overcome.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.