Blessing in Disguise (MS)

Hellooo world! :)

I wanted to share some insight on what I am currently experiencing with my MS. I recently met with a clinical Social Worker recommended by my Multiple Sclerosis Neurologist, because being diagnosed with MS or anything health related in general is a lot to take in.. 

I made it to my Neuro clinic and was brought back to a small room with no windows and just 2 chairs with a small coffee table, accompanied by magazines. Not going to lie, I was nervous? & somewhat uncomfortable? First thing I was asked was..

“WHAT DOES MS MEAN TO YOU?” 

Ugh, what? Completely took me by surprise...I thought, "Ok— there is no right or wrong answer to this question" so I kept it brief but I never really thought about it until that moment. When I left the clinic, the question was weighing heavy on my mind.. That with being diagnosed with something that is incurable brings so many emotions. I kept thinking "What does it mean to me??" I then discovered that I accumulated a more positive list than negative. As a patient with MS I am proud that I really looked deep into my reasons and saw more good than a bad attitude towards this 'monster of a disease'. When I was diagnosed I also counted on God and that I needed to TRUST the journey he has for me.. I knew that he had bigger plans of me becoming a more better person than I already thought I was. My journey is a lesson, my MS in general is a life-long lesson i'm continuing to learn something new about everyday & to be completely honest... I needed it. Thank you God and MS for showing me the strength I never knew I had.. 

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*The following are only a few short list of reasons.. 

Faith

I've grown so much closer to God on a spiritual level— I will admit, I used to never praise God as much as a I do now. All the times I wonder to myself, praying and speaking to God on a spiritual level had brought me so much grace. Before being diagnosed, I felt so lost and naive but that I gratefully found faith and belief in God.. I then came to realize, he was all I needed & that I needed to carry my cross for God. This is my journey & I have to always remind myself to trust God's plan for me because everything starts & ends with him. He continues to give me more than I feel I deserve. 

Health 

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Do not take my health for granted, EVER.— Not just physically but mentally as well.. trying to become more mindful and to learn to listen to my body & what it is going through. To be kind to my body & practice self-love has taught me the importance of being healthy. 

Allow your body to heal— Focusing on what’s currently important & that is my health. Working to do everything as right as possible with my diet & exercise. Getting the news of a clear & stable brain MRI has got to be the BEST NEWS I’VE RECEIVED ALL YEAR!! The same thing that gave me the worse news has also brought me tears of joy & relief. This feeling is indescribable.. it is my dream to receive that kind of news.. very emotional time for me but so grateful for it. Don’t give up on your body. 

You don’t understand unless you’ve gone through it yourself— I’ve become more sensitive & understanding to things (non) health-related because I am now going through a health condition, it can be a scary thing but I understand you can’t live in fear or let MS limit your ability to live. I’ve gotten knit-picky with my lifestyle but for my own good.. only some may understand (stay tuned for girl behind the mask

 

 

 

 

 

 Lifestyle

My MS has taught me to live a better life overall— Mentally and physically. To consider every aspect of well-being and alter my lifestyle. I was told to incorporate a good healthy diet and exercise regularly. I always thought to myself that.. "I'm healthy" no, I actually "look healthy" but deep down I wasn't the healthiest person.. I didn't eat right, I rarely exercised. These were all things I needed to put into consideration. I believe this is another reason why God chose me to have MS, so that I can take better care of myself & how I live.

Trust & believe in my journey— In all honesty, I am doing quite well.. I am so fortunate that I am and when I think of everything I have experienced since being diagnosed i’ve spoken to so many great people that tell me their stories & i’ve learned from this new community, which reminds me that I am so blessed with my MS that I have no reason to ever complain! Because there are other’s who have it waaay worse.. my heart goes out to them, which is why i am so inspired to raise awareness not just for me but for these people & these stories that have shown me perseverance & strength.. it gives me faith & hope that one day, there will be a cure for MS.

Strength

Not only is my support system strong from my parents & boyfriend but one in particular— Jenson. He is my 2 year old nephew who was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy and physical development delay. During my episode the ophthalmologist ordered me a brain MRI. The day before my 8:30am appointment I was talking to Jenson, telling him that I had to do a brain MRI too just like he has done for his CP and his health conditions. Jenson has endured so much at such a young age, he has undergone surgeries and an incurable but treatable health condition. When I was first diagnosed, I was so scared and doubtful but then I was reminded of how strong Jenson is.. this little boy has no idea what's going on but he is a fighter and he may not fully comprehend it just yet. His strength has inspired me to "be strong like Jenson" that was the motto. It's so ironic how Jenson first gets diagnosed with CP at 7 months old and the following year and a half I get diagnosed with MS. I believe it is not a coincidence, but there was a hidden reason.. As I dug deep to find the reason and good behind my MS, I've come to the conclusion that my MS has brought me and Jenson closer in a way that no one can relate.. because both of our conditions are neurological. I'm glad to be there for Jenson as a positive person he can turn to in difficult times, in regards to his CP. Just because we don't have the same health condition, I can somewhat understand what he may go through.. I'm blessed that I can be that for him. 

Mindset

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MS is teaching me something NEW everyday— It is teaching me to be strong and positive. To not let my MS define who I am, to take whatever I may experience with my MS and use it in an inspirational and motivational way. Believe me, I have my days.. it's only normal but it's teaching me to better handle situations. I used to always sweat the small stuff & although I can't perfect certain things.. I am trying my best to be considerate of things that would bring me stress. I continue to be more compassionate, sensitive and kind but overall, I saw that I don't have time to put my energy towards things that bring negativity. 

Always seeing the good in MS— There's days where I am actually thankful for my MS. Some may think that is crazy & some days I do.. but my MS has opened a whole new perspective for me. Some good & some bad. It's teaching me first-hand a message that I know & hear but it hasn't hit me emotionally. I’ve noticed that I have grown to be more aware of other health conditions asides my own, mindful & sensitive to a variety of situations but it is all apart of looking at the “bigger picture.” 

God's in control— 6 months since being diagnosed I got into a rear-end accident. I can only talk briefly about this because there is an on-going case but i'm blessed that everything was ok because it could have been worse.. thank the Lord it wasn't. I was in a rut where I felt like the universe was out to get me *over-dramatic* this is the worse year everrrr & I started to think.. why me?! First my MS & now a car accident. With everything going on all at once.. I stumbled upon a quote that really spoke to me (as shown in photo) but it is so true & I almost lost sight of that.. yes, the accident was unfortunate but I am so thankful that it wasn't as worse as it could have been & I am so blessed that God was with me. I needed a sign to remind me that God is and will always be in control, to place all my trust in him.

 

Sacrifice 

I've realized that with my MS every "good" comes a compensation— The first medication I was currently placed on and was so nervous to start was Tysabri and now that I have 4 infusions and have come to LOVE Tysabri.. I unfortunately can not stay on this medication for long because of the positive anti-body I carry for PML (a rare brain infection).  The fact that something has been so effective for me can also cause me harm.. 

Tomatoes is a great anti-inflammatory food. Inflammation is a major precursor of MS. I hate tomatoes but guess who eats tomatoes now.. Me. My MS is teaching me to listen and take control of my life. 

Not every day will be easy— Yes, I have my fair share of good & bad days.. I'm not where I want to be in life & this diagnosis was a bump in a road of a year full of determination & plans that I've had for myself but it also plays a major role in the comeback. 

Courage

Suck it up!— I absolutely hate needles!! I never gave blood because of it, that's selfish on my part. Now that I have been diagnosed it is endless pokes and blood draws. Along with the fact that my medication is through an IV. It has now become a routine for me. All of the lab work, needles, MRI's needed to be done. MS has taught me to face my fears of anything that comes my way.. including needles. 


My MS is a blessing in disguise. 

Xo, Risha