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)


Victories: Describing multiple sclerosis from A to Z

People often say they are sorry when they hear I have multiple sclerosis. I get it. I’m sorry too. I wish I didn’t have it. But MS doesn’t make me a sympathy case, either.

Like other MSers, I want to focus on the triumphs, whether they be titanic or tiny.

Battling a chronic (and so far, uncurable) medical condition sometimes raises the rebel in spunky people. Although we definitely have down-days, we also mark those red-letter occasions when we can get up and be the best we are currently able to be. And we are grateful for it.

Here are a few victories I’ve celebrated (since my MS diagnosis), when the MS MonSter has cried “Uncle,” because he’s been kicked to the curb (at least for the moment):

  • biking around the block
  • clearing garden beds on a hot sunny day
  • climbing out of bed on a difficult day
  • completing multiple half marathons
  • coping with minor (but stressful) surgery
  • doing barn chores
  • driving two hours in heavy construction traffic
  • getting back on the horse after a terrible fall
  • joining a tour of a foreign country
  • preparing a turkey dinner with all the fixings
  • publishing 20+ columns each month (and multiplying that by about tenfold each April)
  • riding on a camel
  • riding on a motorcycle
  • running several laundry loads
  • showing up for holiday gatherings
  • singing karaoke for the first time
  • taking a trip across the country
  • walking the dog
  • working a trade fair
  • writing a handful of published books

I don’t list this stuff to boast. And I’d bet many MSers could make much longer lists with considerably more impressive achievements.

That’s actually not the point. The idea is to mark milestones that make us realize we are not simply victims to MS.

Faith plays a huge role in finding victories in the MS battle. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. I want to exercise ongoing gratitude for every step I am able to take, for every day I am upright, for every occasion when I am actually able to show up for appointments, and for every time I have the wherewithal to complete plans without canceling.

Before MS, I took all that for granted. Now I am beginning to recognize the blessings of each day that actually works.

MS is a series of victories, both mammoth and miniature.

But we count them all, because they really do count. Especially when those down-days try to make our spirits tumble. We’re still fighting.

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

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  1. Congrats on your victories!!! Just found your blog on the A to Z and I will definitely come back to read more posts. My brother-in-law had MS (he passed a few years ago) but we watched him win his battles for over 30 years! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Inspiring post. I wish I could kick pain to the curb too. Thanks for stopping by on my block.


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