This is a very difficult question to deal with because it varies from person to person. So let’s start with what the textbooks say, “most MS Patients live a very long and fulfilling life”. Are there exceptions? Of course, there is an exception to every single rule out there so forget about that! Will life get tough? Probably! Will there be suffering? Maybe, maybe not. The disease may hit you hard or it may be in and out of your life. For the most part when it comes to the people I know, they have all lost a little of something and do have restrictions that they have to respect but almost all have them have gained something more to their life than before and the rest are in the process of gaining that same thing as we speak.
I hate MS, I hate it with a passion, but part of me is glad I have experienced it because it has changed me in so many positive ways! I would not be as good of a person today if it was not for Multiple Sclerosis, I would not have met all the awesome, wonderful people from all over the world and from all different walks of life, nor would I have had the opportunity to try to help them all! At first, it made me morbidly depressed and bitter towards life and even humanity itself but now I am finally starting to find a happiness that was absent even before my diagnosis!
When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I thought my life was over, I thought I would be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of my life and not be able to do any of the things I had once wanted to do in life. Ironically, Multiple Sclerosis did just the opposite for me! I have done so much more with my life since I was diagnosed with MS because once I got my health under control I realized that I needed to make the most of my time here on Earth and not just waste away in my bedroom! I am living a more active and healthy life now that I have MS than before I was diagnosed! Sure I have certain limitations but I make up for those limits by doing more where I am still strong!
Right after my diagnosis which left me in a wheelchair for a while, I worked hard to recover and within months I was out hiking again in the mountains! I have even gone motorcycle riding in the desert since I was diagnosed! I took a train from Southern California to San Francisco, I picked up photography (I have even shot a few weddings), and I started working on a novel! I started avidly building this blog and my online support group for MS Patients! I started going to school! I still hang out with friends and even drink here and there on special occasions! MS didn’t slow me down, it sped me up and at what cost? A little numbness and vision loss? I can deal with that.
Sure I can’t always function like this but I try to consider it like taking a break from life and as long as I make the most of my time when I am well then I don’t always feel that bad about it! I mean, I would like to go back to work and what not but when it comes to me personally, well, right now I am having a hard time with that as I relapse fairly often but recover fairly quickly so it’s constantly an on and off thing for me. I could probably blame this on the fact that I have not found the right treatment for me so once I do I’ll probably enjoy much longer periods of remission! Others might relapse once really bad for a long time every great once in a while and others might have other varied relapse and remission patterns if they have Relapsing Remitting MS of course. It all depends on the individual!
So yes, Multiple Sclerosis can be unbelievably difficult to deal with at times but once you can truly accept it and learn to control it, life doesn’t seem so bad. I have my ups and downs physically, mentally, and emotionally, but I just fight through it, stay strong, and work hard to stay healthy afterwards and be as positive as possible! I don’t mean to sugar coat any of this or belittle anyone’s suffering because some MS Patients definitely have it way worse than others but it’s true what they say, most MS Patients live a long and fulfilling life. I have done so much in the last year and a half and I have barely scratched the surface of what I now plan on making of myself and doing for the world. People will remember me, I can assure you, because thanks to MS I now understand life just a little bit better!