Taking Control of Your MS leads to Taking Control of Your Life
Posted Oct 13 2009 10:04pm
I have been talking to many people with Multiple Sclerosis and I was inspired to write a little about it.
As you all know I am pretty public and open about my MS. That is my choice and the best way I can think of to help others dealing and coping along with understanding Multiple Sclerosis.
The last 10 months have been a major roller coaster ride for me and to be honest I think I am getting a little motion sick from it. It was my choice not to do the steroids for the flare up and I chose this option for a few reasons. One, I have horrible side effects from them and two, I hate the weight gain. However, I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and no... It didn't break...Thank God... But I noticed that I have put on probably about the same amount of weight over the 10 months that I would have put on in 5 days and probably been able to avoid all these months of being in bed.
With that said, I still try to keep a positive outlook on life. It is very hard at times to continue doing that. I have been talking to "Newbie MS'ers along with others that have had it for years" and it seems like there is a lot of depression and frustration going on. I myself am going through that pretty hard along with anger, sadness, denial,and at times... Giving Up and seclusion. No, these are not the right approach to handling this disease but it is a fact... Most of us with MS will go through these emotions. For me, I need to go through these bad times and emotions to finally get me angry enough to start fighting this disease again.
Multiple Sclerosis can be an extremely exhausting and emotional disease. I don't know too many people that can keep up a consistent positive attitude throughout the course of this disease. However, I think it is so important for all of us to find "something" whatever that "something" is to bring back some of our happiness or strength to fight. For me it is helping others understand that they are not alone in this battle along with spending time with my family and doing some of my crafts that I love to do. I have let myself let go of some of those things and the MS has had a hold on me for some time now. It's funny how I can let that happen to myself but I refuse to let that happen to others. I will be the first person to tell you to fight like hell and to never give in to this disease. We all have heard the saying... "I have MS but MS does not have me"...Or maybe that is one of those quirky sayings I come up with in my own head but it is true. If you are finding yourself getting down and frustrated and giving up or maybe not doing the things you are supposed to be doing (that make you happy), then that should be the first indication to start getting angry at the disease and finding whatever strength you have to slowly gain control of what you can.
Which of course leads me to explaining for those that don't understand MS so well or are new to MS. There is not a course that MS follows. MS affects everyone differently and at different speeds. So, for some people that have MS..They may not have frequent relapses or not many symptoms on a daily basis. And if they are lucky they may not progress like others and the medications they take will keep it under control. For the majority of people with MS life seems to be completely different. It is not a disease that you will ever understand completely. Heck, if the doctors can't figure it all out then we surely can't either. There are no guidelines to this disease. One day We may be fine and doing things normally and in 24 hours or even an hour later something major can really change the course of this disease. We can not control it like we can control other aspects of life. This disease controls us to a degree. It can come on whenever it wants and affect whatever part(s) of the body it wants for however long it wants. It is our responsibility not to give up and let it continue to control us. If you are used to running 3 miles a day and all of a sudden you can barely walk without your legs collapsing. Then in time you slowly work your way back up to doing things. It might be walking with assistance down the driveway, or even just to the kitchen. I refer to this as taking "baby steps". Every "baby step" you take is gaining you control. And then everyday you do a little more and continue this until you are doing the most your body will let you do. That is how you take control of your MS. If it was up to the MS it would have us all bedridden waiting for the end. Be proud of the things you do, to take control.
It is so important to find things to be proud of and to be happy about. By doing this, you are "TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR MS" which leads to "TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE"