Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


eXperience: Describing multiple sclerosis from A to Z

Multiple sclerosis brings a host of strange and soul-stretching experiences, from the initial diagnosis through every symptomatic episode. Sometimes we struggle to accept and cope and manage whatever the MS MonSter throws at us. Occasionally we even learn from such circumstances.

MS is eXperience.

Note: I understand that “experience” doesn’t exactly start with an “X.” But we’re getting to the end of the April A to Z Challenge, and my brain is a little exhausted. Hey, I have a doctor’s excuse for that – just like any MSer.

Every MS first can feel like a whopper, especially when we don’t recognize or understand what is happening to us. A crippling fatigue, dizziness, inability to walk, sudden blindness, and other MS manifestations can throw us for a loop. If these symptoms subside, we might chalk them up to experience. Next time, we can sort of guess what’s going on. Power over the MS MonSter can take practice.

Each MS exacerbation becomes an exhausting experience in and of itself. That’s no exaggeration. No exam can tell us how long the relapse or flare-up will last. It’s exceedingly exasperating. And when it ends, we can be exceptionally excited or even exuberant. It’s uncanny, but it’s real.

When the cloud lifts, we might think, “Gee, is this how the rest of the world feels all the time?”

Not the rest of the world. Just people who don’t live with chronic illnesses. Not the exceptions like us, who are all gaining experience.

“People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously,” said American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962). “This is how character is built.”

Brick by brick, flare-up by flare-up, and symptom by symptom. And yes, we are most certainly characters. And, as Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

April A to Z Challenge 2016 logo – fair use
 Adapted from public domain artwork

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