Both my feet have become numb. The tingling sensations are drving me crazy. The doctors say it is a pinched nerve. I am so exhausted, wife to a farmer who is working full time off-farm and raising three children.
We are fortunate to arrive at Mayo Clinic for answers. This is 1981, before MRI’s but the doctor gives me a diagnosis of Possible-Probably MS. He opens the door to the waiting room and points to people who have spent their life savings on bee stings, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and diets. The doctor gives me some very good advice. “Go home and live as happy a life as you can, there is no known cure and don’t spend a fortune looking for it!” I already had $200 of vitamin/ naturopathy pills that I couldn’t swallow. So I came home, have been hospitalized twice, an out patient numerous times and my MRI confirmed I have relapsing-remitting MS. Today, I am still mobile.
I surrounded myself with “happy”. When I awake every morning my gaze is on the above rock picture, made for me by a company called “Sister Rocks” in Nova Scotia by my sister Dawn. It represents me with both feet off the ground jumping, 38 years after my diagnosis. My other sister, Dixie, took my facebook profile picture and it is the one used in my first blog. At sunrise, over the Atlantic Ocean, with me jumping on the beach, the sun coming up over the waves. She and I didn’t didn’t give up till we had itperfect. Both sisters have become my “rocks”.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
You would think after this many years of coping with MS I would be at the stage of acceptance. Apparently not?
Doctor: You’re having difficulty walking.
Me: No this is normal
Doctor: There is a change since I last saw you.
All of my MS attacks have happened in the fall. Is my denial a coping strategy? It’s better than anger, bargaining and depression. I postpone the sadness for another day. Anger takes a lot of energy. I just don’t have any to give it today. Maybe the weakness will be better tomorrow. There it is again – denial. But maybe it will be better tomorrow. I’ve always tried to be a positive person.