What It Feels Like to be Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

Sometimes it seems that the hardest battles you will ever have to fight will be the battles with yourself. You strive to get through the day, but as years go by and the wiser you become, you simply cannot learn a permanent lesson of how not to be your worst enemy.

Being diagnosed is for some people the best thing that could have happened, while others will want to curl up and mope. It’s never easy, even for those who think, “Finally I know what is wrong with me!”

Getting a diagnosis of an illness that cannot be cured may seem like a personal doomsday. It’s not the end of the world for all humanity, but it’s the end of the world as you’ve lived it so far. In come neurologists, out goes your sense of being super strong.

The best way to deal with it is to let people help you. However, ask for a time-out when you feel they’re overcrowding your personal space. They only want what’s best for you (as they see it), but you must be your own MS-police and scream “Stop!” if you feel you cannot breathe anymore. You are the owner of your body, so you decide what happens to it.

Don’t be like me, don’t be all gung-ho in everything you do. As soon as I was diagnosed I decided to be Super Woman during the day, a bit like “I’ll show them what I can and what I will do! They haven’t seen anything yet!” However, at night, after coming home from work I literally couldn’t climb up the staircase anymore because of fatigue. So much for being Wonder Woman.

Sure… I’m still happy I received a certificate of recognition and an achievement award at work. Overtime? Of course, I’ll do some brainstorming! “No” was not a word I understood and breaking down was simply not something I did easily.

Severe fatigue was a continuous battle and neuropathic pains would keep me up at night. Worrying about my future started to set in when my brother passed away. It was as if I had lost part of myself. I could feel my body breaking down bit by bit. I had become a liability to others as well as to myself.

Giving up was and still is something I do not do easily. My fatigue eventually led me to quit my job, and while I now have a sea of time to rest and relax, I’m still my worst enemy.

Thankfully, time showed it was a great healer even though it will never heal my MS. My belief system changed for the better, my sense of reality also. If anything good came from being diagnosed, it is my love, my passion and my desire to live, to do, to breathe, to enjoy and to love has increased tenfold.

So be kind to yourself. We owe it to ourselves to look after number one, to listen to our healthcare professionals. Because if you won’t, who will do it for you?

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