“You can’t say that!”
Screams erupted over our Zoom chat resulting in infectious laughter. Admittedly, it was rude, too rude to mention, especially considering the unexpectedness of who said it.
Fun and laughter are what’s keeping us all going right now. It’s funny that when things get taken away from us we appreciate them even more, and nights like this, when we’re all virtually together, make it all seem bearable. Togetherness means everything. And connecting virtually is an important part of it.
After my diagnosis, I found it hard to discuss MS with my family. Chronic illness can take away so much from us and give us so much more in return. I often say, “I gained a lot from losing my left side,” and it’s true.
Don’t get me wrong — it was hard being diagnosed with a chronic, degenerative illness like multiple sclerosis in my early 20s. But it’s brought me closer to my family in many ways, even if most of the time, they may not understand precisely how I’m feeling. Occasionally someone might say the wrong thing. But I realize how important it is to stay connected with family.
The difficulty comes when those family connections and routines suddenly disappear as they have lately, and finding new ways to keep in contact has become vital. Our families have been communicating a lot over Zoom, and we’ve even started hosting virtual family game nights.
I realize now that multiple sclerosis is such a complex illness that affects all areas of a patient’s (or as I like to say, a warrior’s) health. It quite often affects the lives of everyone in the family, too. When that family isn’t together, worry may set in.
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