Manifesting Change with SPMS

Manifesting Change with SPMS
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The state of our world lies heavy on my shoulders. I worry about and miss my family. Our geographical distance, although unchanged, seems to have grown exponentially. Is everyone so far, or am I so very confined? I understand how a prisoner in solitary confinement finds his own perception unreliable.

Isolation can do funny things. It can turn the sane man mad. It can make the most confident of men question themselves. It can create doubt where there once was certitude. My confidence has taken a hit. In the throes of change, it has been hard to hold onto my identity.

But I do. And as my knuckles turn white, I hang on.

As if on cue, my secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is on parade. The absence of Rituxan (rituximab) and the presence of stress create chaos. I can almost feel my nerves fray. I visualize power lines after a storm. The sparks fly as they twist and turn without direction. Profound and painful numbness, deep musculoskeletal pain, pins and needles throughout my extremities, the drag of my foot drop, and the quicksand of fatigue.

I tighten my grasp.

With the planet on pause, I reflect on all I hold sacred. I envision my dream board. It is not the dream board of three months or even three weeks ago. My canvas of aspirations is drawn by the hand of humility.

I recall one of my favorite quotations by Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see.” I close my eyes. Always a lover of words, I draw strength in this simple wisdom. I feel quiet hope in my ability to manifest change. I feel useful. Something which has been lost. Within moments I feel a sense of renewal.

Life will always command more from us. In the face of adversity, we are called to be extraordinary. Multiple sclerosis will not sit idly by while we sort out our troubles. If anything, our bodies will react in the face of such a stressor. When that which we commonly rely on fails, we are left with ourselves. The beauty lies in the discovery of what lies within. Our abilities are infinite.

I challenge you to be the change you want to see. Be that change in your life or the life of another. Live each day with this intention. Soon you will find that together we can make a change in our world.

***

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.
Total Posts: 4
Grace Frank has worked as an editor and reporter for leading American newspapers, including The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and the Tampa Tribune. She has won numerous journalism awards, including recognition as the best education reporter in Florida (an annual honor given by the statewide teachers’ union) and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for an investigative series into eye surgeries wrongly conducted outside a clinical trial. Grace holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago (attending on a full-tuition fellowship), and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rutgers University–Newark campus.
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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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