My New Life – Then and Now

Looking back at my last few posts I (and
probably you) can see that I have been living pretty stressed lately. It’s just
been more than I am used to and I am still in the “adjusting” period since it
has been about 5 years since I had an hourly job… Even if I do not feel mentally
stressed I am sure it’s a lot more physical stress than I am used to
which might explain my weight loss and trouble putting it back on. So I have
been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days (especially because of my
recent job issues) and today I was really starting to wonder if I bit off more
than I can chew by moving to Colorado
started raining, the rumbling of thunder called me outside, with me I brought a
pad of paper and a pen and I sat down. In literature (well mostly in movies)
rain resembles change in a character’s life (or in the plot of the story) so I
felt the timing of this random bit of rain was too perfect to not sit
down and really contemplate my thoughts. Writing helps me organize my thoughts
so I sat and listened to the rain, the thunder, the sound of cars driving
across the wet asphalt; it set my mind at ease and so I began to create a list.
Where was I then and where am I now?
By “then” I am referring to the relapse that sent be to physical rehab
in 2012; the memories were fresh in my mind as I had just read over all my post
about that experience last night for motivation. At the time I was learning how
to do everything again; how to sit up, move my limbs, brush my teeth,
put on my socks, get dressed, transfer from a bed to a wheelchair, push myself
around in that wheelchair, lift a 1 pound (half a kg) weight, speak properly,
swallow without choking, stand on my 2 legs, use a walker with assistance, and so
more. After I left the rehabilitation center I was relapsing and going
to the hospital almost every month and a half. 
When I asked my neurologist (at the time)
“how do I get out of this wheelchair” she told me I just needed to get used to
it because it was the coarse of the disease. “However you are in 6 months is
the best you will ever be”. That made me mad. I asked about Tysabri and she
told me that she didn’t really follow the literature on that medication. So I
said “the hell with you” and left her office to find my way on my own because I
believed I could improve.
With much struggle and experimenting I
finally found a great Neurologist, I started Tysabri, I started physical
therapy, and wow; I went from a wheelchair, to using a walker around the house,
to a cane, to a cane around the block, to a cane around town and on trips, to
walking on my own, to traveling around the world and the states! I have
personally met people with Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland, Slovakia, New Jersey,
and Georgia.  Let me point out really
quick, it took me a lot longer than 6 months to achieve all this; I continued
to improve long after that mark.
Those are hardly the highlights of
my progress but just enough to make my point; Look where I was in 2012 and
where I am now. In 2012 one of my goals was to be able to shower on my own with
the door shut and locked; now one of my goals is to have my own place in a few
months. I have a job, a car, and I am no longer depending on benefits to live.
Yes, I have been stressed, but when I look back at everything I had to fight my
way through? It makes everything that has been stressing me out look like a joke!
So again, did I bite off more than I can
chew? Not at all! It’s just taking me a lot more adjusting than I
thought but I am on a great path towards achieving the independence MS stole
from me! The job may feel stressful but it’s only because I have not learned to
pace myself; I can’t do what I could do 5 years ago. Financial stress? Who doesn’t
have that? Plus it’s finally settling down! In a few weeks I will finally be
able to start saving while financially supporting myself, something I have not
been able to do in years! A few weeks is nothing when you look back at how
patients I have had to be over the years especially that now I am making
much more progress in a lot shorter amount of time. I have a car of my own and
the weather is so much better here so I am not stuck in my room.
“Hot” here is not HOT like in
SoCal. 90f (32c) is a lot easier to handle than 110f (43c) plus, it doesn’t
even feel like it’s that hot since there is usually cloud cover or thunder
storms! Ironically, I did not get my “farmer’s tan” back until I left
California! Life is more relaxing here; Instead of the sounds of cars racing
around the block when I have my window open I now can hear the wind, rain,
thunder, birds, etc. I can sit on the porch and watch the rain or the lightning
and not worry that some passerby is going to shank (stab) me!
I am so close to my next goal in
life I can almost taste it! Just a few more months and I should be financially
stable and on my way to getting my own place in a city surrounded by nature and
actual weather! Life will be good and then after a while, when I am ready, I
will move on to the next goal (such as a career). It may feel a bit
stressful now but nothing worth fighting for comes easy. This is the fighting
part and it is almost over. I am glad I moved in life because water is only
safe to drink if it is flowing; if it is sitting it will grow stagnant.
My life is flowing forward.

10 thoughts on “My New Life – Then and Now

  • August 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

    One of the best articles I've read in awhile. You've come so far and I'm happy you are doing so well!

  • August 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you all! That is what I am trying to remind myself; how far I have come.

  • September 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Life moving forward is so much more fun isn't it? I've done two 100 mile hikes in Scotland in the last 16 months with my MS…with…sounds odd but so appropriate. It's with me but isn't stopping me. Keep moving! Glorious feeling.

  • September 1, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    That's all I can do, keep moving forward, no matter what obstacle pops up; much like water, it always finds the path of least resistance to it's destination, it always flows around what ever is in it's way.

  • October 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I come to read you posts, whenever I have a relapse. right now i have an optic neuritis relapse and I haven't told anyone because noone can help, doctors just tell me to go home and rest. but reading how you have changed makes me think that i can too. I cannot keep up crying everyday and cussing MS, I have to live. Thankx Matt. 🙂

  • October 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    They don't recommend steroids?? And no, you can't maintain that way… :/ What medication are you on??


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