A few years back, I remember hearing those words, "You have Multiple Sclerosis." I was actually relieved. I had been "ill" for many years and it took six years to finally get the proper diagnosis. I finally knew what I had and I could move on, right? Not! The first year was awful. I wallowed in my own misery.
I went to the support groups and all I saw was the wheelchairs and disability. I didn't see the wonderful people sitting in them. I constantly saw the "what if" in my life, the never knowing if my disability was going to cripple me.
My disease over the next few years was very active, it paralyzed my right side, it took my sight for brief periods of time, and ended up making me bedridden for 3 years. With MS, when you have an exacerbation (attack), they treat you with high dose (1000 mg) of IV steroids twice a day, for 7 - 10 days, to try to stop the attack. So to say I got huge, is an understatement....lol
The spasms got so severe that my hips were dislocating and I couldn't walk and I had just ordered my scooter. The pain and the burden I was putting my family under was too much for me to bare. The emotional pain of being ill had taken it's toll. With MS, it can effect you cognitively and I felt like my intelligence was slipping away, as well. Then the speech difficulties became obvious, and my children started to make fun of me, who sounded like James T Kirk from the Star...Ship...Enter...Prise!
I wanted to die. Literally! I was giving up! I kept thinking, "Is this existing?" "Is this living?" I sat down with my neurologist and had a long talk with him about my existence and how unhappy I was. My treatments were not working and we needed something more aggressive, more radical. He agreed! We devised a treatment plan that included Novantrone, a form of chemo therapy used for MS patients and botox injections along my spine to control the spasms. I finally had hope again, even though nothing else had worked.
By my second batch of chemo and my botox treatments from the neck to my tailbone, I was walking without my crutch canes. My neuro cried.... I just smiled from ear to ear! I had hope again. Real hope!
I had lost sight of hope in my loss and sorrow. But, I promise you that I don't now. I can no longer do the chemo, it has a lifetime limitation on it, but I know that I am a different person. I had the RNY to reduce the "load" so to speak on my body and to live a healthier lifestyle, so that I can stay out of a chair. I am determined! I live by my rules. I don't involve myself in stressful situations, if at all possible. But, most of all, I will never give up. I have MS, but it doesn't have me.
I realized that if I could live through all the things that have happened to me in my life, I could do anything I wanted. We are all strong women. We have done what is best for us, to lose the weight and live healthier lives. We have chosen the right paths and taken a proactive step into our futures. If we hold onto that knowledge, we can achieve our biggest accomplishments. No matter what we have come from or what disorder we have, we are a force to be reckoned with! Strong, vibrate, liberated women with hearts of gold, who know what it is like to be the underdog and push through our strife's to succeed! Please don't let anyone or anything ever take your hope away!