One year ago today I received my "official" diagnosis of MS from a neurologist. What a year it's been! When I reminded GH about it today, he said, "Un-gratulations!" What a thoughtful GH!
In retrospect, it really hasn't been a bad year. I have been extremely fortunate, in that I have not had any exacerbations. Some minorly annoying symptoms, yes, but nothing too troublesome.
What have I learned from my first year of living with MS? A lot. I slow down and listen to my body when it speaks (at least most of the time). I have tried to make some lifestyle changes (made my Copaxone injection a part of my daily routine, tried to quit smoking, but have fallen off that wagon) and will hopefully make more, one babystep at a time. I have learned to be proactive and be my own advocate when dealing with my medical professionals and how to yell at insurance companies without cursing at them. I have learned to become part of the political process in a more active role than I have ever played before.
I have learned where to get reliable information about MS symptom management and support. The MS blogosphere is a fantastically informative and encouraging space. I have become active with my chapter of the National MS Society, having attended workshops and fundraising events and I fully intend to do more in the future.
I have learned that there are comfortable, stable and cute shoes for low prices. I am constantly reminded of how many people in my life care about me and want to help. I have also developed a deeper personal faith in God, who continues to smile upon me.
The main thing I have learned is just how incredibly blessed I am. Thank you all for helping me along this road less traveled. I could have curled up in the fetal position and stayed there for the last year, but with everyone's help and encouragement, I came out to play.
6 days ago