MS, A Defining Moment or Life Sentence?


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MS, A Defining Moment or Life Sentence?

We can all agree that the moment you heard the diagnosis  of Multiple Sclerosis escape the lips of your neurologist, your life forever changed in that split second. You might have felt like someone had punched you in the solar plexus and the pieces that had once been you, now lay in a splintered heap on the floor where you feet had once been. The person you were when you first entered that office was no longer the one that was now leaving. All the plans you had for your future in your mind were  now suddenly being erased as easily as chalk on a chalkboard.

I remember that rainy afternoon drive home after my diagnosis. It was almost like having an outer body experience. It was me who was driving the car but not really me at all. 

The diagnosis of MS although I then did not know what it was but that it was not good, soon became not just a defining moment, but a life sentence moment. 

I too, was a victim of this mindset.

But here I sit, almost twenty years later, at 6:04 a.m. on a wintry November day, suddenly awake from my MS shroud of fear.

I suddenly see clearly how I have been living each day with short term goals. Making deals with God to let me see long enough to see what my son looked like when he turned five. To be strong enough to stay healthy so my parents who were then still alive, did not have to worry about me. 

Why did I waste all those years limiting myself by thinking in such short term goals? Because I let fear rule my emotions and steal precious years when I could have been chasing my dreams.

I wish I had not wasted those last years with My Mother, too wrapped up in my MS to appreciate my time with her. I wish I realized then that life was so uncertain, that I would soon cruelly lose her before I really had time to love her as the strong woman I now am. She had to leave this earth still worrying about her daughter and wondering how she could make everything okay for me. 

Yes, live in the moment but do not envision your future through distorted lenses of fear. 

MS is a defining moment in your life along with other life altering experiences. It will change you, reshape how you see your life, strengthen you beyond your wildest imaginings. Take this newly formed being you have now become and face your future with courage, hope and wonder. 

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by not limiting yourself to only short term goals and accomplishments. If you have just been newly diagnosed and are facing all these new uncertainties, my advice is to continue living your life as you had once envisioned. You might have to make alterations along the way, but don’t give in to the “what if’s”.

I, for one, intend to finally, completely crawl out from beneath the MS shroud of fear and start living my life again without worrying about what tomorrow, next week or next year might bring. 

Think of life as a kaleidoscope. Every turn brings a new, magical image. 

What does yours look like?

cindy Lee Lothian 

November 25, 2013

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About Cindy Lee

I'm a writer, mother and lover of life who has learned that my twenty year dance with the disease MS, has given me Multiple Strengths. I write about love, laughter, healing and hope.
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