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Reflecting on my MS diagnosis

I know I’ve said to several people that MS has helped me in a lot of ways, as crazy as that sounds. What has MS taken away from me? I could name a lot of things; when I was first diagnosed it took away my independence to walk around on my own, needing a hand to shower and maybe a bit of my dignity by trying to make it to the bathroom on time. But I’m a positive person and I like to think of it in a different light. I’ve always been a strong person and MS didn’t give that to me, that was already my own and I owned that, not MS. But I feel like I appreciate things more in life now than I ever did even down to the smallest things in life. I took my body and myself for granted.

Being diagnosed with MS has really shown me that life is a gift and we should be grateful for it and live it to the fullest potential as we can. My first visible symptom that came out in me were tonic spasms. Now little ole me was just going by my normal day until walking down the street, standing in a shop, holding anything became an issue and a noticeable issue at that. Imagine standing in your place of work or walking down the street and all of a sudden your body involuntary moves your arm and leg. On top of that your speech becomes slurred and you are numb and feel paralysed down one side of your entire body. I honestly thought I was having a stroke at 26. Now imagine that the day before you felt completely fine and hadn’t an incline of what was to come or what was in store for your body. It wasn’t just scary it was highly embarrassing, standing still in one position, not able to talk properly, feeling numb and not in control of your own body. Well that’s what happened to me and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Soon after I was sent to Beaumont and diagnosed with MS.

For months after I was still experiencing tonic spasms but at least I knew what they were then but they still scared me and embarrassed me every single time. This was a hard time for me but it really opened my eyes to the fact that life is a gift. MS along with tonic spasms has made me realise this more than ever! It was almost like in those films, were people see their lives flash before their eyes. Well I can only say it was a little like that, in those moments I realised, life is a gift and should be lived!! That I should appreciate all things in life, little things like being able to hold a fork, being able to walk, being able to talk and being able to do things for myself.  Life is short and it truly Is a gift, not to be taken for-granted. I’m not saying having MS is a good thing or easy because it certainly isn’t. I feel that we all have one chance at this thing called life and for me my MS diagnosis and symptoms have really opened my eyes to appreciate everything in life. For before I may have taken things for-granted but now I truly appreciate things as MS is so unpredictable and I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I am a positive person and I believe I can handle whatever comes my way.

Since my diagnosis I have taken part in two 10k runs both in aid of cystic fibrosis, a charity I hold close to my heart but this week I am taking part in my first 10k run for Multiple Sclerosis Ireland and I can’t wait. My aim is to write blogs to share awareness of MS and my journey.

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