The random rants and meaningful musings of seven digital divas (who happen to have MS)
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Let me take you back
Let me take you back to the beginning of me and MS
I was never the calm collected person, I was the girl who had everyone worried because I would go out for a week of drinking and lose my mobile, so there was no contacting me. Realistically I would throw my mobile in a stream or in the middle of the road so no one could disturb my self destruction. I was the daughter of an ex policeman who worked in the drug squad, yet probably handled more drugs than my father did. I was the girlfriend, who couldn't be tamed, controlled yes for a period of time, but my old flame would come through.
In brief I was a wreck, I thought I was living life to the full. Realistically I was living life so close to the edge it was no surprise when I constantly fell over it, ending up in hospitals and police cells. Even when I was going through MRI scans and Lumber Punctures, I refused to sit back and pay attention. Nothing could hurt me was my attitude. I was warned by my GP and neuro that they were testing for MS, but I was in denial big time, my thoughts were "No way would they come back, telling me I had this MS thing".
I knew people with MS, in varies stages, I knew someone who was wheelchair bound with PPMS, I knew someone who was "normal" who didn't look sick, but had slowed down because she got tired easily. I knew someone who was up and down with MS, sometimes appearing as if nothing was wrong and other times could hardly stand. MS not a new concept for me, I knew what it was, I knew what it did. I was also sure I didn't have it.
Yes I had some tell-tell signs that I had MS, obviously otherwise I wouldn't have been tested. But I could argue with myself other reasons for them. The black dot in my eye, which was Optic Neuritis, was a slighted tarred area of my eye from smoking. The jumping foot, that was a trapped nerve, it would go. The lack of balance, that was because I drank to much or it was the drugs. Surely it wasn't all combined and the results wouldn't come back as me having MS.
I manage to convince myself that I did not have MS, so I went to stay with a mate for a week when I knew my doctor was going to ring me with my results. My mate lives a couple of hours drive away. On the 12th August 2004 I received the phone call that changed my life. My GP and neuro were on the phone and they informed me that I had RRMS and wanted me to make an appointment.
I put the phone down before making an appointment. And just sat there. I was trying to work out how to tell my boy friend, whom I promised to care for and look after, yet it maybe me who needed more looking after than him. How was I going to break it to my parents, who were out of the country at the time, that their daughter, who was already a "no hoper" had this thing called MS. How was I going to carry on with my life when I didn't know if next year I would be able to on my own.
I had accepted MS in other peoples lives. It was something that "Joe Bloggs" round the corner had. Not me. I didn't have time for it, I didn't want it.
Then I started blaming myself. If I hadn't lost so much control over my life to addictions, perhaps I wouldn't have had MS. I know now that this is a load of BS. If I had lived the angelic life I would still have MS.
Finally I got round to telling my boyfriend, I was worried he was going to walk out on me. But he was a gem. He was patient and talked through my worries with me. He went on the Internet and found a list of symptoms and told me to tick the ones I have had in the last five years, no matter how little I was effected by it. So I sat down and went through them, then I realised that I had MS. No matter how I argued the situation, I had MS, I had to deal with that.
I was lucky, I had people to talk to, people prepared to help me come to terms with it. Some knew more than others, but my friends during that time could not have been any better. They took the concept that I had MS like a duck to water. It was the dark hours, in the middle of the night, when everyone was asleep and I was lying there staring into the darkness, that I could not escape the truth, that I could not laugh it off or make a joke of it with my mates. When the only person I had to share my thoughts with was myself. It was these hours, night after night, that I rearranged my life, that I came to terms with my diagnoses, no longer could I maintain an inner denial. The only way forward, and to get a night sleep, was for me to accept it.
When I finally did fully accept it, I called my GP and made an appointment. He gave me some leaflets and numbers, talked through all the medications there were and the reasons why I couldn't take them. Main reason I couldn't take most of them was because I was allergic to one or more of the ingredients. I wouldn't say the appointment was a complete waste of time, it was a step, a step to help me fully accept I had MS.
Once I came to terms with the fact that I had MS, I realised it did not have to impinge on my life, nor life style. There was no reason for me to change who I was, nor stop what I do. If an MS symptom came up that hindered and activity, there was plenty of other activities I could do, or I adjust the one I was doing.
So by December that year I went back to being me. My foot was still twitching, but I would still go off for a few days, drinking, socialising etc, the only difference was, I stopped chucking my phone away.
Looking back I have noticed how much I have changed. I very rarely go off now. I don't drink either. I am much calmer. Gosh I think I may have finally grown up!
Did MS help me grow up? I doubt it, but I can't prove it. I am still me, I am still annoyingly hyper at times, and depressed other times. I have not grown up fully, I will stay young forever! That is my pledge to you. "Life is to long to grow up in."
Have a good weekend and great health