What I've learned from Mulitple Sclerosis (or whatever my illness really is)

When I first got sick last August, I thought it would eventually go away. But then it didn't...and the range of symptoms grew and got more intense. At first I was really sad. How was I going to cope with this. What if I died? What if I became severely disabled.

It's been a year now and I've been able to manage my new level of normal. I've learned to ignore it when my limbs or face goes numb (or at least not get freaked out). I've improved my diet and physical fitness tremendously. I've even lowered my cholesterol. Yay!

But the changes I've made internally have had the biggest impact on my life. Here are some of the highlights of what I've learned from having a chronic disease:

Be grateful and appreciate what you do have: Whether you are fat or thin, rich or poor, be content with what you have. It could always be worse. Appreciate your body for what it can do, and how it looks today. Nothing lasts forever, even good health, so take advantage of it while you have it.

Health is more important than money: I've lived on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to money, and I can tell you that having money can not make you happy. Sure, life in general, is easier when you have enough money, but excess does not bring you exponential benefit in terms of happiness or ease of lifestyle. If you have good health, you are wealthy. Use and protect that wealth wisely.

I will Fight for what I want: I've been reminded of my innate desire to fight for what I want. I want to be healthy and I'm willing to fight for that health. I'm willing to change my entire diet. I'm willing to run to the ends of the Earth if it would heal me.

Life is worth living: I've learned that I postponed too much in order to live for tomorrow. I'm a saver my nature, always saving money for tomorrow instead of spending it today. There's a fine line between living for tomorrow and living for today when money is involved. It's responsible to save for tomorrow, but not at the expense of living today. You may not have tomorrow. I'm taking more risks. I've updated my bucket list and firmly intend to complete it..all of it! No excuses!

I am stronger than I thought: I'm amazed that I'm still able to do most things considering the level of mental blur I'm dealing with. I'm also amazed at my ability to stay in the game. I'm going to keep doing all the things I'd like to do for as long as I can...and I'm fighting to make that for the rest of my life. I'm amazed at what my body can do. I can run for miles. I had 2 babies. My body is constantly healing itself. It's an amazing machine.

My family matters and so do I: I've spent more time with my family lately, and purposefully. I want them to have good memories of me, and I want to be a positive influence in their lives. But I also learned a lesson that I think is hard for mom's to accept. We matter too! It's important for me to take care of myself and reach my potential, just as important as it is for my children to reach theirs.

God has a plan for you and it may not be what you expect: I'm sure there is a reason (cosmically speaking) why this has happened to me. Maybe it had to happen to get me to stop and think about what really is important. Maybe the reason hasn't happened yet. But I can trust that there is a reason, and be at peace with it. I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that I can't control everything...not even my own body.

For a good perspective on life, check out this book, One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life


Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Peripheral Neuropathy and BFS Benign Faciculation Syndrome? Or possibly even a Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Angela said...

I've been checked for peripheral neuropathy and vitamin b12, but never heard of BFS. I'm going to go google it now. Thanks for the advice. :)

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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