As is becoming usual for me, nothing is ever straightforward. I have been confronted by yet another birdshit on the path of life and I’m pretty sure this one was dropped by a bloody condor!!
A few months ago, I was a perfectly happy epileptic. Well, maybe not perfectly happy, but things weren’t too shabby in my little bubble. I’d started going to the gym and working out with Edinburgh Fitness Solutions (EFS). I had more energy, I had more patience and I had a great trainer who is a lot of fun to be around…(thanks, Daniel :o) ). I felt like everything was looking up for me, and even if it wasn’t, I felt more able to cope. The depressions were lifting. And then, my vision went AWOL. That was the beginning of a disastrous 10 weeks.
Disastrous is possibly a little over-dramatic, but it was frightening, overwhelming and all-consuming. The last two posts have pretty much documented what I was going through and how it made me feel, so no need to labour that point. Needless to say though, the last few months have not been the high point of my life and not knowing what was wrong with me, was probably the hardest part.
Last week my diagnosis was finally confirmed as Multiple Sclerosis. Yesterday, it was confirmed that I have Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS).
I was told when this is all kicked off that it was most likely MS, but there were complicating factors with the way my eyesight deteriorated and that led to the belief that there was a strong chance that it could also be Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). The reason it has taken so long to confirm the MS diagnosis is that NMO is a rare condition, there is relatively little known about it and the test for it is incredibly specialised and takes a long time to get a result. It’s been an incredibly tough couple of months not being able to start making plans or decisions because I simply didn’t know what I was dealing with.
I’ve gone from having no idea what was going on, to having an almost overwhelming amount of information! My control freak nature is happy with that…. :o) Odd as it may sound, I’m now getting to have a say in the management of my new condition and that makes me feel like I’ve regained an element of control over my life. Afterall, it is my life.
There are two ways to look at this. I can either withdraw and decide my life is over, or I can use it as a motivator to change my lifestyle, general outlook on life and use the MS and epilepsy as much as they use me. There is no cure for MS, there are only ways to try to manage the symptoms and lessen the chances of relapses in RRMS. For every person living with MS, there is a slightly different presentation of the condition. So, I’m focussing on me and what it means for me and what I can do to help me. Right now, the only things I can personally influence is how I let this make me feel and how healthy and strong I can make my body.
Among the handful of people outside my family who have known the story from the beginning of the journey has been EFS and Daniel in particular. He is completely committed to helping me get strong and healthy. I have a motivation that is so far beyond how I look but is all about how I feel in myself and how being healthy allows me to deal with life in a more positive way. Working out and becoming healthy will help with my stress levels and lowering my stress levels will hopefully lessen the chances of a relapse. Of course, nothing is certain. But being strong, fit and healthy can’t make anything worse.
So, I choose to use my new neurological issue as a kick in the ass to make changes in my life. I have decisions to make about the management of MS in conjunction with the management of my epilepsy. I also have an opportunity to rethink other aspects of my life and belief systems too. I can’t, in all honesty, say there will never be dark days again, there will. But I want to be in the best place I can be in order to come through them.
So there we have it. I have two neurological conditions to live with (I hope they can be friends with each other, keep each other company and then maybe they won’t feel the need to bother me!) and I have another chance at a fresh start.
I’m going to have to change my blog title again……