I’ve been living with Multiple Sclerosis since 2016. But the only person who knows my whole story, the raw, unedited reality I’ve been living, is my husband. Shame, guilt, and denial continue to prevent me from sharing my truth. Until now.
I’m sharing my MS story to express events and emotions fundamental to who I am now. Writing about my health is part of my healing process and sharing it with the world demonstrates that I’ve accepted my disease. The second reason is to connect with and help my readers who have MS or other chronic illnesses. You are not alone.
In 2016, my husband and I were “living our best lives,” as the kids like to say these days. We were two healthy young adults living a fast-paced, active lifestyle. My cybersecurity career was quickly developing, and I had just been promoted to a leadership role. A-year into my doctorate, I didn’t see any obstacle in my future that would prevent us from any goal we set out after.
Life was stressful, but it was easy.
Then, all of a sudden, my legs went numb and tingly. Shortly after my twenty-seventh birthday, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system attacks the fatty tissues (Myelin) around your nerve fibers. Myelin helps your central nerve system transmit signals via Neurons from your brain to your body to perform functions. When the Myelin is damage, it slows or blocks these signals, which causes a wide variety of symptoms.
No two people with MS will have the same menu of symptoms because its effect depends on your lesions’ location and size. As a result, your neurologist can’t give you an exact prognosis or definitely tell you what you can expect when living with MS. The uncertainty of our disease is exhausting. It breeds anxiety and burdens you with unanswered questions.
I won’t sugarcoat it. MS sucks. It convinces your body to betray you and steals your self-confidence and identity in the process. But it also teaches you empathy, perseverance, and gratitude.
This story is raw. It’s the honest recollection of my diagnosis, how I grieved the life and planned future I lost, and how I eventually recovered joy.
Read My MS Story
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