When I was first diagnosed with MS my first thoughts were of me. I was too busy to deal with this nonsense, I had work to do. Eventually of course I realized that I really didn’t have any choice in the matter. Then I was concerned about how my family and friends would deal with this disease. That was an eye opener. Fortunately my family was and is extremely supportive. My friends at that time were not. I got new friends. Over the years my focus changed from me to my family and then to work. Would I be shunned by my co-workers? Well I could never have wished for a more supportive group of people from every level. Yes there were individuals who didn’t want to have anything to do with me but that was rare.
Now I am on disability leave and I still have responsibilities. Yes I am responsible to the world at large to try and live an accountable life but more important is what I contribute to that world. When I became disabled I joined an elite group of individuals who are forced to look at the world slightly differently than the average person. We are in a position to identify problems with accessibility that benefit more than one specific group of people.
When a ramp is in place it is usually used by more than just wheelchairs. It is the responsibility of every intelligent individual to try and correct the problems that exist. If you are approached by someone who can make a difference you must help. As a very visible group we must do our part to get the message to those who have eyes and cannot see, those who have ears and cannot hear and those who have but who do not know how to share.
And now for the downside. You will have those days when the entire world isn’t worth it, when life is not worth living and all you want is the ultimate peace. Sound familiar? Well, it is part of living. The trick to surviving those days is support. I am not talking about the medical professionals, I am talking about family and friends. Do you have people around you that will listen when you rant and cry and basically be a needy victim? You MUST have that kind of support. Everyone has to be able to be weak at times. Strength helps when dealing with adversity but we all need some down time. A true friend will let you blubber all over her silk blouse and still want to help. I have a friend like that. I have a family like that. I am incredibly lucky. I guess that is why I have lasted as long as I have. That and the fact that I am a feisty wee bitch.
If using Aunt Maisie’s peach preserves on your morning bagel makes you feel better, then kiss Aunt Maisie and load up on peach preserves.
I believe one way to fight any disadvantage, any disease, is to embrace it and work with it. Don’t ignore what is happening to you, accept it and try and to adapt your circumstances. Don’t spend your time worrying about what you cannot do, relish the things that you can. So you are unable to walk, does that mean you never go out? NO! I don’t walk, I scoot or I roll. I get from place to place I just don’t put one foot in front of the other. (And yes I still refer to it as going for a walk!!) Simplistic? Yes. But isn’t that what living is all about?