The 10 Years Since My Diagnosis Has Brought Many Blessings

The 10 Years Since My Diagnosis Has Brought Many Blessings
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Life is never how you expect or predict it to be. Things happen today that we couldn’t have anticipated. We have no easy or predefined path to fulfillment, joy, or nirvana. Forget about your navigation as your direction can — and will — change at any moment.

My compass spun exactly 10 years ago. After months with Epstein-Barr virus, I awoke one November morning unable to speak or move. One week earlier, I had fallen backward in my tub. My inexplicable loss of balance inspired me to make an appointment with a neurologist. I couldn’t have predicted the diagnosis that I received.

Multiple sclerosis was an unexpected detour. I was lost. Yet, in the absence of road signs, signals, and mile markers, I began to make my own way. Lack of external assurances served to strengthen faith in both myself and my God.

Now, 10 years later, I am proud of whom I have become. My abundance comes as a direct result of my diagnosis. I choose to thrive alongside MS. Thriving is not the absence of pain, sadness, and progression. It is merely the decision to shine regardless of what accompanies you.

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Ten years later, and I am proud to be a partner in change. I have raised over $10,000 for Walk MS. When I could no longer walk the course, I increased my goal — and met it.

Ten years later, and I am employed because of my MS. I work with kind, intelligent, and compassionate individuals. I love what I do, whom I work for, and those I work with. I am blessed.

Ten years later, and my faith humbles me. God is good and continues to guide my existence.

Ten years later, and I still volunteer. Giving back is integral to my success as a human being. Finding dogs forever homes through our rescue is a gift.

Ten years later, and I am kinder and more compassionate. By slowing down, I have witnessed beauty that I would have otherwise missed. I have learned to receive with grace. I love my family and friends and never miss an opportunity to let them know.

Life is short, and each moment is gifted to us. For these moments, I am most thankful. They are patchwork pieces in a beautiful quilt. Moments turn into hours, days, weeks, months, and years — then suddenly, it is 10 years later. And my quilt is exquisite.

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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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jennifer Powell is a health writer and weekly columnist on Multiple Sclerosis. She is also an active advocate in the MS community. Jennifer imparts her hopeful optimism into real-life challenges facing the MS community. Prior to writing her column, Jennifer freelanced for several online periodicals including WebMD. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys volunteering with animal rescue, traveling and spending time with her Golden Retriever.
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Jennifer Powell is a health writer and weekly columnist on Multiple Sclerosis. She is also an active advocate in the MS community. Jennifer imparts her hopeful optimism into real-life challenges facing the MS community. Prior to writing her column, Jennifer freelanced for several online periodicals including WebMD. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys volunteering with animal rescue, traveling and spending time with her Golden Retriever.
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3 comments

  1. Daniel says:

    Inspirational, I find myself five years after diagnosis (and decay ) also trying to find strength and my purpose. Thank you
    Life is never how you expect or predict it to be …

  2. Cindy Cunningham says:

    Thank you Jennifer, for articulating the positives so well! I, like you, have found incredible blessings and treasures I would never have experienced without MS.
    There are inevitably times when I find myself mired in the more bleak side of this disease (and all that comes with it), but fortunately those moments are few and far between.
    Most often I am in a state of awe at the miracle of the human body and its ability to adapt and overcome, as well as a state of deepest gratitude for each additional day of life, each faltering step I take, each breath I draw, each person I meet, each loved one I cherish, and each challenge I am able to overcome.
    Living with MS can be a trial, but it can also be an opportunity to live more fully.

  3. cyn says:

    thank you , Jennifer….my MS has given me an empathy and understanding that I would not have had in different circumstances. My husband is in a nursing home , and has dementia. I used to wonder why God would bring us together , because I felt that someone healthy [without MS ] would have been better able to look after him and help him. But , as usual , God knows best. Having such a challenge has made me more understanding of what my husband has to face.
    Maybe not the journey we would have chosen…but an ”adventure ”none the less. God is good.

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