So you’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now what?
Denial. My own lasted only a few brief moments. The odyssey to diagnosis was a difficult one, and I quickly embraced the sweet relief of finally having an answer. But then it hit me — I have MS. I have MS. I have MS. Me. MS! There was a surreal quality about the whole thing. Discombobulation sums it up rather nicely.
What do you do when everything you know about yourself changes just as you are hitting midlife? How do you plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before? How do you cope with a relapsing/remitting disease that shows itself on some days and plays hide and seek on others, never knowing which it will be? How do you pull yourself together?
One piece at a time.
Realizing that I have to live in this body, whatever state it is in, I decided that I’d better make my peace with it and get back to the business of living, even while fighting the war.
That’s not to say that my reaction is the “normal” one. We all come to this place differently, at various ages, with all manner of life experiences, other health problems, family conflicts, work situations, and financial status. Who is to say what is normal? The important thing is not to stay frozen in place too long, but to press ahead.
Then came the questions.