Friday, 19 July 2013

Candid disclosure

This is less post-like and more collective-rambling-of-thoughts.

Today I am thankful for MRI cancellation lists.  My repeat spinal cord MRI appointment has been bumped up to this Monday!  I am especially thankful that my Neurologist's hand written request on the referral seems to have worked.

I can feel that my spinal cord symptoms are the ones acting up lately, so getting this report will ease my scrutinizing personality.

I also want to acknowledge that I've been a cynical bitch lately.  Unless you too have MS, or a variant of it, you can't truly understand this.  I now know I don't like comparisons between people and situations.  It does not help.  If you've been a victim of this cynicism - sorry, it's nothing personal.

My facial symptoms are gone for now, and what I can physically feel is my usual numbness and weakness in my extremities.  I notice I drop things; am more clumsy than before; need to be weary of which foot or which hand does what.  It's the little things I never would have thought about - like buying flats to wear to a wedding because I can no longer do heels - safely or gracefully.

And although not great, I am thankful for these little things.  Because, despite them, I can walk, I can speak, and unlike this time last year, I can see. 

And, more so than ever, I am amazed at what the human spirit can do.  Cliché aside, It feels like all the work - and this has been hard work - to get to the mental space I am in right now has finally been worth it.

Lots of this 'work' I haven't spoken much about before.  Partially because dealing with the stigma of having MS can be enough in itself, but also because, as a society, the subject of mental health doesn't usually garnish a second's attention.

But it should. 

I credit my growing acceptance of MS to re-working my thoughts and my reactions; to learning more about the biology and physiology of what is happening to me. 

To weekly therapy. 

To monthly MS support group meetings.

To the use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. 

Because really - when you already have issues with anxiety and stress, how could this diagnosis not make it worse?  Diet, meditation, medication and relaxation have become important parts of my daily life - as best I can.  MS and non-MS.

I can't just sit here, snap my fingers, pop some pills, and hope to feel happy.  I need to create that for myself.

Finally, I don't feel consumed by every new twitch, tingle or misguided sensation.

At least for now.  And that's all I can ask for.

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