I wrote the following blurb last summer to let out my thoughts about my diagnosis. I decided for it to be the first thing I post here; as a beginning marker to my journey with MS…
A Walk In My Shoes – 08/07/2015
Shoes, now those are definitely a battle on their own to walk in. This was one of my early clues that something wasn’t right. I remember, even as a kid, I never liked shoes; running around in my bare feet on the gravel. But, about a year and a half ago (almost two years now!), as I took a long walk with my mom, I had this immense urge to take my shoes off…like I needed to cool down…and it helped for a brief moment, until I warmed up again and I had no shoes left to remove. Still stumbling in my bare feet, feeling dizzy, and my stomach so incredibly bloated to the point where it was impossible to hold my abs in and support my body; there was nothing I could do to get cool enough to feel “normal.” I wanted water to drink, or to jump into a cold lake, or as least soak my feet and hope to God I would feel better than how I was feeling.
I was exhausted when we got home, but my mom was fine…though parched from the long walk. Even my twin sister was ready to bounce around and clean the house with the energy she still had. What was wrong with me?
Seeing my twin sister be able to do the things I once could do was, and still is, heartbreaking. How could we be so similar, yet so different? How was she not feeling what I felt? We started going to the gym; and after several weeks, I STILL couldn’t run. I hated myself for getting THIS out of shape; since I used to dance professionally, this just wasn’t an acceptable physical state for me. I was NOT okay with this. Every time activity became challenging…which was pretty much every time I did anything…I suffered in silence and would not accept this for myself; though I was unwilling to seek help. I wanted to do better so badly, though my mindset was probably not healthy. I do miss my determination throughout my ignorance, especially since my situation has gotten MUCH worse.
Sometimes, I am so frustrated with myself and how able those around me are that I lash out and cry because I am so sad; wishing they knew just a little bit of how I felt every day. Don’t get me wrong, I would never wish this on anyone! But occasionally, I feel it would be nice if those around me understood what I have to battle every moment of every day. I fear it will never be over.
Right now my twin is in another province. And as much as it angers me to see her do things that I cannot, I miss her being here to help and joke with me when my legs stop working and I look like a fumbling drunken goof. She is definitely a blessing in my life. She pushed me to get my situation investigated and has supported me the whole way. I am so thankful! I am also thankful to all my family; my mom, my older sister, and my dad who have been my shoulders to cry on and ears to listen.
Although my diagnosis is young (at the beginning of June), I know this struggle began years ago. My eyes were always sensitive and would get blurry and red, and my balance…though I danced on cruise ships, ironically…was, well…let’s just say that I fell a lot; along with many other symptoms. Anyways, it all pointed to MS; something I never EVER would have considered would happen to me. I wish it was all a bad dream to be honest. I’m not even 24, haven’t been married, or had kids (which I am so unfathomably terrified about because of my situation and there is no good way to explain that to anyone). I haven’t even finished school yet and find it very hard to motivate myself to continue.
I know it’s going to be a long hard road; but I also know that the shoes I wear, my attitude, determination, perseverance, willingness to succeed, and effort to keep those who love me close will make all the difference. I believe that’s what life is about and that everyone walks their own road, with their own potholes; this just happens to be mine. Everyone has a difference purpose and I must accept mine, choose to be happy, see the good, and make the best out of my life. I know I will never be able to walk in someone else’s shoes and can’t expect anyone will walk in mine; it is what makes us all different and has given me a whole new perspective of finding happiness and fulfillment in any situation. I always used to say “it’s a beautiful day, I have air in my lungs; I’m alive” when someone asked me how my day was. So I’ve decided that I need to truly believe this when I say it and really walk in my shoes; with the air in my lungs, basking in each beautiful day I am given.