This is MY journey with MS! I give you my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and prayers. My wish that one day this disease will come to an end. That one day there will be a cure. For now, I hold on to possibility. I HOPE this will help and inspire not only myself but others.
 
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I am not sure what it is about MS but for some reason I have not responded as well to this illness as I have in the past with other illnesses. Maybe it has to do with the way it effects our brains...I am just not sure. I have an appointment on Monday with my neurologist and after having a follow-up MRI (which I will get the results of at this appointment) I think I will see if I can get her to explain to me where my lesions are and how that impacts my MS symptoms. Maybe this will help me understand all of this a little more.

I find it interesting that when I was sick before (going through chemo, etc) I was so full of life. For some reason I have not been able to do that with my MS and that is not okay...that is NOT who I am. I think one of the constant struggles that we have (at least I do) with MS is that because of the unpredictability of the illness and the depression that comes with having such a loss, not to mention the inability to be able to control our environments (which is a huge thing for me) it can be difficult to stay positive and that is in part why it is more important now than ever to do everything in our power to stay positive. Does that make sense? It does to me....but I am not sure if I explained it well, hopefully that does make sense to all of you!

I had an appointment with my counselor yesterday and of course with how I was feeling, I just broke down. It was great that I just happened to have an appointment with her because I think I really needed it. She knows me so well and it really does help to have someone who can just look at the whole situation (knowing my history too) and give some suggestions. She helped me to make more sense of things and it is going to take a long time for me to get to where I was before and where I want to be....a new me with this illness!

For a long time....as long as I can think of I have been the one who took care of everything, fixed everything, did everything. I am a very passionate person and when I do things I give 1001%. It is difficult for me to have to accept help from others because I am the one who has always helped others out, I am the one who has always found the solution......gotten us through the storm (if you will). This is just how I have lived my life whether it was for a project, work (staying late, taking calls and walking people through things from home, going that extra mile to make sure a patient got what they needed, etc) to my life outside of work....at home with taking care of my sister, having mommy & Nathan days or just within family ties, which are so strong and come first before all other things (I am so thankful I have the family I do). This is just how things are for me and how they have been. With my sister being disabled it was my responsibility to make sure she would be taken care of after my parents are gone, it is my responsibility to take care of my parents when they are older.....this is how things should be.....this is how a family should function! I am having a difficult time with the idea that some of these things are being challenged by this illness that I have. I am having to change how I think and that IS the hardest part of all.

I have always had a strong connection to my spirituality. There are certain things that I just know....I just believe and there is no one who could convince me of any other way. It is something that you just feel. I honestly believe that we are not given any trial during this life that we can't handle....the trick is figuring out a way to handle it. That is where I am at in my life. I have been given a trial that has been the most difficult trial of my life.....and I am at a loss. I do the best I can (which is really all anyone can do). When talking with my counselor yesterday she pointed something out that really made a lot of sense to me. She said "Have you ever thought that maybe the reason you are going through this because God is trying to teach you that it IS okay to focus on you for once and take care of you rather than everyone else?" That was a very difficult question for me to answer! Of course I don't think that God does things to anyone out of spite or to be mean but that He allows certain things to occur so that we can learn these life lessons.....become better people!

I have spent so much time taking care of everyone around me and trying to be everything they needed that often times I have neglected myself....I know that. This was a big reason for my move, so that I could have the support system that I needed, only it has not happened that way exactly. My parents are a great support and are always there when I need them (that is NOT what I mean) but there have been so many other things "come up" this year that although I have done better about taking care of me, I don't think I am where I need to be yet. I am still somewhere in limbo because I still can't seem to say NO! I still put others before me.....maybe I always will. This is a hard lesson to learn and one that I need to take day by day. Of course I will never stop putting others before me....I just think I need to find a balance so that I can fit myself into that equation a little more.

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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my story...my life with MS (among other things).

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