Me, myself and MS.
Life can be so funny…
There I was sitting there revamping my vision board for the year. You have all these things planned out and your idea of what your year will look like, then BOOM, God says “Hold up girl, slow down.” Prior to this pandemic, I began experiencing neurological symptoms in January. My right forearm had gone numb with tingling and burning. Me, thinking of a previous neck injury, thought this was just a result of that. As the issue worsened, I became very anxious then testing positive for covid-19 sent me right on over the edge. The numbness had progressed up my arm all the way to my right breast. While recovering from covid-19, the issue began to improve on its own, but returning to work added on a new symptom—blurry vision in the left eye. At this point, I had been sent for 2 MRI’s previously, one of the brain and one of the c-spine. In the pit of my stomach, I had a strong feeling of what the cause of my problems were, but remained in denial. The answer became clearer and clearer as research and testing went on, but I needed a more accurate diagnosis to accept it. Following my spinal tap, that is exactly what I got.
May 15, 2020 my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I can’t even begin to describe how I felt. MS is not new to me; I’ve witnessed by mother’s journey with MS firsthand. I’ve seen her at her very best and I’ve seen her at her worst, which is what terrified me the most. Just thinking about some of her toughest times just makes me smile when I look at her today. Her strength is beyond admirable. When you all call me “Wanda’s twin”, I guess I truly am on the outside, as well as, the inside. (LOL) Although my journey has just begun, these past few months have reminded me of the kind of person I am. I am persistent, resilient and I never give up or back down. From the beginning, I was determined to get to the root of the problem I was facing. A doctor told me “This is in no way MS, maybe tendonitis or nerve damage, but not MS.” I insisted upon getting a second opinion and thank God I did. This will not be an easy challenge for me, but I am up for the battle. MS affects every individual differently and it is the unknown that scares me. There is so much uncertainty with MS, but my mom has done a great job of helping me make light of the situation. We laugh about so many moments from the past and we’ve found humor during this process as well. You’d cry if you didn’t laugh and everyone who knows me well, knows laughing isn’t a hard task for me.
The stigma behind MS is what made me apprehensive about sharing everything with the world. MS can’t always be seen. It’s possible to look amazing and still feel very bad on the inside. Lately, I’ve been experiencing different symptoms each day, but looking at me you’d never know unless you asked how I was feeling. I still recall ugly notes from strangers left on our car as a child, if we parked in a handicap space just because my mother didn’t “look” handicap. People can be so hurtful and judgmental for no reason at all. For this reason, I have chosen to go public with my story. I want to continue raising awareness to MS and the challenges we face. Every day people living with MS do whatever it takes to move their lives forward despite the challenges. I have dreamed of them finding a cure for MS since I was a child and I hope to see that happen during my lifetime.
I truly believe God never gives us more than we can handle. It brings me comfort knowing how blessed I am to have the support of my family and many friends. Many struggles occur behind closed doors when I am alone. There have been many days of frustration and sadness already, but I will do my best to not let this disease define me. My mother is a constant reminder that I can handle this. Out of everyone in the world, there’s no one I’d rather go through this journey with than her. Just the two of us—forever and always.
Today, May 30, 2020, is World MS day. "A day to celebrate global solidarity and hope for the future." To learn more about MS, please visit www.worldmsday.org and www.nationalmssociety.org. "World MS Day unites individuals and organizations from around the world to raise awareness and move us closer to a world free of MS."
The Fabuleux Nurse
"God's still writing your story. Quit trying to steal the pen. Trust the author."