First let me start by wishing you all a HAPPY WORLD MS DAY!! MS is an invisible disease, the amount of times people say “you look fine, there’s nothing wrong with you” or “but you don’t look ill” to sufferers of MS, can make them feel lower than they already do. For me personally, only one person has ever said the latter to me and it’s just gone over my head like all ignorant comments should. I wake up everyday greeted by the constant pins and needles in my right hand and foot like a daily reminder “hey, good morning, remember you have MS!” Every so often the Optic Neuritis will hit me, and impair my vision, I find myself having to cup my hands over my eyes until it passes. Sometimes my right leg will give way and I’ll stumble, unless I’ve got my trusty “I have MS” sign on my head, I just look drunk, without the fun of swigging a pina colada or four. Then there’s the dizziness; sort of like the feeling you get when you stand up too quick but all the time. The fatigue; a feeling of having a good nights sleep and waking up like you’ve not slept in years. The constant worry of how you’re going to feel each morning or the fear that when you receive the results of the latest MRI scan (which, let me tell you, is the EXACT OPPOSITE of a nice lie down for some peace and quiet), you’ll find the words “new lesions”.
What I have come to realise, throughout the past 3 years since my symptoms joined me for the ride that we call life, is that the biggest part of living with MS is ACCEPTANCE. I can’t change my diagnosis; what I can change is my outlook on the diagnosis, I can adapt the way I do things and accept I may have to do things differently. I decided to be healthier through diet and fitter through exercise, so in that respect I am grateful to my MS and have accepted that it is part of me and will be until, if ever, a cure is found. I have accepted that it is, ultimately, out of my hands.
I’m classed as having a “disability” but I don’t look disabled; so what’s invisible is almost secondary. At the end of the day I can still smile, I can still laugh and I can still strive to be happiest version of the new me, with my new normal.
And that, in my mind, will always be visible.