MS or Just Me?

*side note – I have not updated my blog in a long time for two reasons. #1 – I no longer have a job that leaves me stagnant for 8 hours a day with nothing better to do than check Facebook and write a blog. #2 – My previous laptop was so virus ridden, it took too long to actually start up and by then, I’d forget why I turned it on in the first place. Anyhoover, I am back and going to try to keep these thoughts organized and a little more current. If this is the first time you’ve read my blog, start with my first post from December 2013.

There are a few key symptoms of MS that I can be 100% sure are because I have this illness. Emphasis on the word few. The left side of my body is always a little off. My foot has been swollen for a year and my stubbornness and inability to accept that some thing just are led me to a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon (thanks for the 8 weeks in a boot of shame for NO REASON), an accupuncturist, another orthopedic, a PT, a chiropractor and my neurologist.  My hand usually feels like it is coming out of being asleep, not pins and needles but that weird feeling right after. If I trip, it’s usually because my left foot will drop.  Sometimes I wake up and cannot feel that hand at all. It’s scary but it always comes back to my normal.  Sometimes I have fatigue so bad, I feel like I could fall asleep driving home from work. Fatigue is the WORST and it’s by far the hardest thing to explain to anyone. Oh, you’re tired? Need a nap? NO. I’m not tired, I don’t need a nap. I will actually feel worse if I take one. When it’s really bad, I feel like I have narcolepsy. One time, I jerked awake at my desk. No idea how long I was out.

Most of the time, though, I feel fine. I think I feel fine, anyway. I find myself wondering if these “hiccups” are MS or just normal glitches. And and times, I over think it and panic. Maybe I don’t have MS? Maybe I’m lucky enough to have experienced Clinically Isolated Syndrome. OR maybe I’m just a total bad ass and they things are feel are the same that others with MS feel but I’m so tough that I forge on anyway…

I do forge on anyway, though. I’ve read a lot of MS blogs. A lot of them make me sad, scared, and angry. But every now and again, I read ones with a reoccurring theme. The theme is that MS has been a blessing. And for me, it really has. It sounds nuts, and I know that patients with a more progressive form of the disease probably feel rage when they read it. But it’s true. I have a completely different view on life now and I have never been this happy.  I’ve made some big changes in my attitude and in my life. I take risks, I find humor in my foibles, I no longer waste my time worrying about what everyone else will think. I count my blessings every day, I appreciate things like the beauty of nature, the wonderful people in my life, the fact that my legs continue to carry me.  I have a theme song by Young the Giant “My body tells me no, but I won’t quit, cause I want more.”

I also digress. A lot. I’m like the dog on Up. Squirrel!!! This post was suppose to be about the things I experience on a day to day basis that I honestly don’t know if are MS related or just Heather being clumsy Heather.  Is Heather clumsy because of MS or was she clumsy before and now has MS? It’s the ol Chicken or the Egg theory. Fortunately, a lot of it is really funny, charming really. (Right, friends??).

I went back home a couple of weeks ago and was making a salad for dinner. An old friend was talking to me while I was peeling the cucumber. She said “Heather, are you doing that on purpose?” I looked down and was peeling the cumber into the bowl of salad. I laughed, picked the peels out of the bowl and continued on. Five seconds later, she says “You’re doing it again….” OOPS.  Earlier that same day, I went dove hunting for the first time and shot my first ever game bird with a shotgun. I would have never shot a shotgun before because it might kick. Might hurt. I was a real wimp before.

The week before the cucumber incident, I went to Corky Canvas and messed up on my painting not once, but twice. That one kind of frustrated me. Once I couldn’t remember how to start the washing machine. I cried. Now I know that sometimes I just have to stop, take a deep breath and try again.  I’ll never forget the look on Sampson’s face when I went to feed him and threw his food in the trash can instead of his bowl. I’ve actually done that twice.  Or three times.

I’ve passed some big tests recently though, tests that encourage me to take care of myself and keep on with what I’m doing.  I started a new job that is challenging and rewarding, I sat in a hot tub. I drove all the way to North Platte on I-80. I switched to a 3 time per week injection. I made it all summer in the heat and humidity without an exacerbation. I’ve been to concerts AND the mall without a panic attack. I stopped taking Zoloft. I made Chicken Schwarma without getting pissed off.  And, I’ve kept my sense of humor. Actually, I might be more funny now than I was before. That might sound small but it was my second biggest fear when I was first diagnosed. The first was that I would have to go on disability and would lose our house and live at People’s City Mission (seriously).

*I just reread this post and it’s so scattered. I would re-write it but it’s taken me an hour and I’m still in my PJ’s watching ESPN College Game Day. I need to get some cleaning done so we can go tailgate before the Husker game. I also need to keep in mind that the game starts at 8 so we won’t get home until 1am. I probably should reserve some energy. I’ll write more soon, it will be better organized.

And then the Universe Responded…

In addition to Facebook, Twitter, this blog, and tons of other social media outlets that I have long forgotten the password two, I’ve been a LinkedIn “user” for several years.  I say “user” because I think that putting it in quotes means that I’m using the word loosely…  Anyway, I have had the account for a while.  Last Fall, a friend of mine was job hunting and convinced me to updated my picture and content. I did, and within a short amount of time, I received an email from a recruiter.

I didn’t realize people truly use LinkedIn for it’s intended purpose and I was leery that the recruiter email was spam. But I called it anyway. And it wasn’t SPAM.  I wasn’t actively looking for the job yet, I was still in that kind of afraid to leave my comfort zone phase.  But the more I talked to this lady the better it sounded.  More responsibility, more free thinking, more accountability, better benefits, employee morale, and of course, more money.

So, I started on this very lengthy recruitment process. And I loved the place and the job and immediately hit it off with whom I’d report to and the rest of the department. I had it. I lost sleep trying to plan how I was going to give my notice. I knew this job was mine. And then I found out that I didn’t get it. And I was crushed. “We’re so sorry, you were among the top two candidates, blah, blah, blah.”.  You see, at the age of 35, I had received an offer after every interview I’d ever had. Seriously.  So, this was a reality check. And a HUGE blow to my ego.

Anyway, time went on and I kept on at my regular job thinking that when our 3 year contract was up for renewal, they would definitely keep me on and since I’d likely be the only admin staff and a lot of changes would be coming, this was actually a really good opportunity for me. There’s some irritating things here, sure, but my boss and I do get along and I don’t have to work hard. However, I do have to have someone cover the phones for me everytime I have to pee. For us MS’ers, that’s pretty much annoying.

Eventually, the new contact started to roll-out and rumors swirled that there would be layoffs.  I’m still safe in this scenario, right, because who else is going to do all the shitty little things no one else  has time for? I mean, surely staff can’t submit their own expenses or do mail merges, right?  Anyway, I was good and prepared on how to comfort my coworkers after the proverbial pink slips were given.

Fast forward to the all-staff meeting day where we would get further contract info. Prior to the meeting, I was called into my bosses office and blindsided. I was so blindsided, in fact, that I actually laughed before I started rage crying. Along with 2 other staff (1 being my very good friend), I was terminated.  And then  was told not to let anyone know until after a meeting, “Here’s a cigarette and feel free to take some time to let it sink in and clean up.”.  For real? I’m a ginger and an ugly crier. If I cry, especially a rage cry, it’s clear that I’ve been bawling several hours later.  Shoot, it’s clear the next morning.  My eyes look like I’ve been on a 4 day bender, my nose is red, my makeup is GONE. Yeah, don’t let anyone know you’ve been shit canned. Uh, okay.

So, at the meeting I sit in the very front row. I glance at my boss and make sure he knows that I am hurt. Screw it.  I doodle pictures of lightening the entire time trying and don’t cry until he announces to the group that I’m a goner.  I think I hear gasps. I make some ugly choke back noise and suddenly wish I would have chosen to sit in the back row so I could walk out, unnoticed.  Oh, and then I’m mad. Mad about being blind sided. Mad that I didn’t see this coming. Mad that I am mad.  Mad that this is happening to me AGAIN. 

I call my husband and of course he’s okay. He’s clam and reminds me that we can get through anything.  I text my sister and say that I need a beer at 5:30 sharp because this just seriously happened. Again.  And then I somehow don’t leave for the day but suck it up and do whatever project I was doing before (aggregating evaluation survey results I believe, a job I will actually sort of miss).   

I’m driving home and I’m feeling like crap. I’m pissed, my eyes are swollen and I just want a Summer Shandy or six and my phone rings. You see, my phone never rings unless it’s my mom or brother. Seriously, no one calls anymore. It’s all texts. All the time. So I just answer it because I’m driving and I don’t give a rats ass about traffic safety this day. And low and freaking behold, it is none other than the HR department from the job that had turned me down just last fall.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in coming in to visit about the position.  The gal they had hired instead of me, decided to move to be closer to her family and this was leaving the position open again.  I got this call on the SAME DAY I WAS TOLD I WAS BEING LAID OFF. No one on earth can convince me that’s not divine intervention.

I visited with the CIO again, received a heartfelt apology for him not choosing me the first time around, met with 3 of his VPs a couple of days later, went back home for a wedding and the last day of my mini vacation, was woken up in the morning by the CIO calling with a job offer. Just like that.  My last day at CIMRO is Friday, the 11th and I start my new gig on Tuesday the 15th.  Just like me to not have a second of downtime, either.

Every cliche about one door closing and another opening, and patience being a virtue, and the universe  listening, and stars aligning….it’s all true.  Thank you, GOD!!!!!

Satan is my MotorCar

He’s actually not. I don’t even know what “Satan is my MotorCar” means. I just like that song and thought I’d rip it off for a blog post regarding musical therapy.

I do a lot of things to help ease the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Cardio and strength exercise to combat fatigue, muscle weakness and the Copaxone weight gain. Yoga to combat the balance issues, muscle spasms and calm the mind. Supplements to help strengthen my brain. I eat a lot of Brussels Sprouts, Kale, berries, spinach and drink a lot of green and herbal tea. These things are all great. And while I have no idea if they really work or not, I do know that I am now 17 months since my last major exacerbation, so there’s that. Oh, and I do take Zoloft and Ativan for the anxiety and the overwhelming sense of sadness that creeps up every now and again. Side note: I like to believe that I truly am not overly sad. This is a wonderful life and I am so blessed. It’s just that MS can hijack your emotions. MS can make you feel so happy that you’re smiling to yourself like an idiot while standing in line at the grocery store. It can also make you laugh while watching someones wedding. Or cry because someone won on Wheel of Fortune.)

Regardless of how my body and mind feel, there is always one more element to me that could use a little help. A little more healing. That element is my soul. And as corny as it may sound, music is definitely the panacea. There’s people who love music and then there’s people who LOVE music. I LOVE it in a way where I can’t help but like the songs that I do. I can’t pick a genre that is my favorite. I can’t even pick an overall favorite song. I have favorite songs. Plural. And if I were to start naming them, this blog post would never be finished.

Saturday night, I was at the Blue October concert outside at Pinewood Bowl with Jeremy. The weather was overcast and 75 degrees, otherwise known as ideal weather for an MS’er. That venue is so beautiful. The acoustics are great. The people watching is priceless. At one point during the set, Jeremy looked over and said “this really is your favorite thing, isn’t it”. All I had to do to respond was smile. When I’m listening to music, especially live music, I am so happy that it almost hurts. I feel like my chest could explode because it’s so hard to hold all of that wonderful feeling in. And kind of like a really good vacation, that feeling of happiness sticks with me for a while. And when it wears off, I need to start looking for my next fix.

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Love and Other Drugs

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see a new Orthopedist for my fat foot. My left foot has been swollen since last October, with no apparent injury and only intermittent pain. I’ve had a few different diagnosis, ranging from stress-fracture to severe sprain. Tried wearing the boot of shame, acupuncture, physical therapy, heat, ice, you name it. Pretty sure this is just another fun benefit of MS. Random shit that doesn’t make any sense at all. I digress. This new doctor, likely younger than me, was from Alliance, did some of his internship in Chadron, we knew some of the same people. We talked about the meds I’m on. He said “I’m going to assume with your pale skin, red hair, freckles, green eyes and MS, you already are on a vitamin D supplement?”.

Oh, yes. Vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, B+ Complex (only when I’m feeling shitty), multi-vitamin. These supplements are in addition to the Copaxone, Synthroid, Fluticasone, Allegra, and Zoloft. I’m 36 years old and have not one, but two, day of the week pill holders. I also have my injection kit. I’m 36 going on 80.

But, it seems to be working, all of this. Granted, it’s not all for my MS. The Fluticasone and Allegra are for my allergies, but when I’m talking allergy medicine, I feel like my MS symptoms subside a little too. The Synthroid is for my Hypothyroid, which I kind of put on the back burner with this new disease diagnosis. I had a blood draw two weeks ago and my levels were way off so I had to have my meds adjusted. I guess I need to remember to keep on top of the thyroid situation, in addition to my MS. Both conditions can cause cognitive impairment. Cog Fog, as those of us with MS like to call it. So, having to try to remember all of this is difficult. I survive on post-it notes and phone reminders. Again, 36 going on 80. The Cog Fog is really the only symptom I’m having right now though, and it’s not really that bad. Dealing with me is sort of like dealing with someone who is ADD. Squirrel!

In fact, I can’t even remember why I titled this post “Love and Other Drugs”. Obviously I had a direction planned and have been interrupted so many times while typing this, that I honestly can’t remember. This happens, I’m getting used to it. I should have written it down on a post-it note or something, but I can’t find my pen.

MS Awareness Month and Me

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March is MS Awareness month. Actually, last week was MS awareness week and if you know me, you’re not a bit surprised that I didn’t bring it up. I don’t wear orange (duh, I’m a redhead), I don’t mention my symptoms on a daily basis and I sure as shit do not say things like “This is not the life I ordered”. 

With it being MS Awareness month, the MS related people and organizations I follow on Twitter and Pinterest have really been having a heyday.  I’ve discovered some really amazing people out there with great attitudes and a lot of really good information regarding managing symptoms, coping, new therapies, etc.  I’ve also encountered a LOT of the above sentiment. “This is not the life I ordered” or similar quotes. I hate it.  Where was I when the big guy came around to take “orders?”. Does this imply that people who are not diagnosed with a chronic illness are all doing exactly what they wanted to be doing? That their lives have been flawless? That if you don’t have a chronic illness, you don’t know what it is like to struggle, to be frustrated with the way things are going, to wish for a different life?  I admit,  I am much less tolerant of negative thoughts/people thank I used to be (does that statement make me a hypocrite? maybe…).  It’s just that I really think the moment you subscribe to the idea that you’re not living the life you asked for, you’re A) thinking you have WAY more control over life than you do and B) setting yourself up for all kinds of disappointment.

Good or bad, no one is living the life they expected. LIFE throws curve balls.  Not just MS. Not just other chronic illness. And, it’s not all bad. There are some positives that have come out of the last year.  Things that might not have happened had I not been diagnosed.  Maybe I wouldn’t have held on to my friends so tightly. I might not have been so open with telling someone I love and need them. I might not have let go of those negative relationships that were only dragging me down.  I might not have realized how precious every day is or how I was letting minor things keep me from achieving more.  I might not have made new friends. I might not have reconnected with old ones.   The list goes on and on.

Positive thinking won’t cure my disease. It won’t slow down the progression. But, this is the life that was ORDERED FOR ME and it’s up to me to deal with it the best I can.  

*Um, also, it really is MS Awareness month so I should encourage you to read other blogs or look at MS Association of America’s website or National MS Society’s Webpage to see how you can stay informed and get involved, if you want. It’s not up to me to push it on you!

What it Means to Me

Multiple Sclerosis is a tricky disease to try to describe to someone who is unfamiliar. Partially because it is so complex, partially because it’s often described as a snowflake disease, meaning that no two cases are alike. Every person who lives with MS has a different experience, so not even fellow “MS’ers” can truly say “oh, I know EXACTLY how you feel.” They don’t.

Since I’ve decided to pull you all into my world, I feel like I should probably address some of the immediate questions. The questions that you may have but don’t know how to ask or the answers I find myself repeating time and time again. (*btw, I don’t mind your asking. Honestly. If I minded, I shouldn’t have told you in the first place).

Right now, I am doing pretty darn good. My MS is kind of like exaggerated version of the annoying things that everyone experiences from time to time. You know how when you sit or sleep in a weird position and your hand or foot falls asleep? It happens to me daily. And when it happens I have a quick moment of panic, like I am afraid that the feeling won’t return to normal. It does. Ever walk into another room and think “what am I doing in here?”. Yeah, I have to consciously think about why I am where I am several times a day. Loss for words? I find myself changing the sentence I was about to say because I cannot think of a word or rewriting something because I cannot remember how to spell something really simple. Sometimes I say the complete wrong word, which can be really funny OR embarrassing. (More on that later, in a future post, possibly titled “Fun with MS”). My muscles tense up when it’s really cold out and extreme humidity makes me feel like I’m walking in quick sand. Crowded spaces make me feel like I can’t breathe and I have to know where the exits and bathrooms are wherever I go. When I over-do it, my legs feel like my feet are cast in concrete and I feel like I need a massage EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I’m trying to force myself to stay awake, I get double vision and the cognitive fog makes me feel like I’m sleepwalking. I have bouts of insomnia that last a couple of weeks. I lay awake at night unable to turn off my obsessive thoughts about trivial things. I have to plan ahead to make sure I have the energy and supplies necessary for every journey. I’m more anxious than ever before. If you’re thinking that this all sounds awful, it’s really not THAT bad. I live every day knowing how lucky I am and I am very, very aware of how much worse it could be.

They call MS an incurable disease. I say there is not a cure – yet. There is a lot of money being spent in research and development and every year they get closer to finding something that maybe will not be a cure but can stop MS in its tracks. Some therapies in trial are even thought to reverse the effects and heal the damage. I currently take Copaxone. A daily injection that has no side effects nor drug interactions. There are oral medications and infusions available for those who cannot tolerate the injections or who have their MS worsen over time. My neurologist and I are on the same page and until something comes up that has less serious side effects than what’s currently on the market, I am going to keep giving myself a shot. Even though it’s a huge pain in the ass, or arm, thigh or stomach, I keep doing it. My arms and legs are bruised but my stomach and butt are underwraps always anyway, so, who cares! I’ve had a lot of people say to me “oh, I could NEVER give myself a shot!!!!”. Yes, you could. You could if you thought it would keep your mobility and life intact!

I also try to take care of myself in other avenues. I take supplements, eat as much fresh veggies and fruit as possible and have all but cut out artificial food and keep processed junk to a minimum. I’d be lying if I said I don’t eat Pizza Hut or a good bar burger every now and again but I try to keep it healthy. I took my neurologist’s opinion on red wine to heart and make sure to get my quota. I exercise and do yoga. I read, listen to music, spend time with people who make me laugh and snuggle with my husband and dog a lot. I am totally convinced that these things help. I treasure the positive people and moments in my life. I have very little tolerance to negativity. I try to have an open mind, be kind to others and to cherish every day. I meditate and pray. I thank God every night for blessing me with the day I have had and pray that when I wake up in the morning, my legs will carry me through another day. The one thing I don’t do is complain. I hardly ever talk about my MS unless someone asks. I just keep on keeping on. This is my new normal, this is what it’s like for me.

Where I was a year ago today….

December 18, 2012….I can still remember the phone call from the nurse at my neurologists office. It was by far the most surreal moment of my life, which is saying a lot considering the hell I had been through for the 6 weeks prior. “The results came in, and as we expected, your official diagnosis is Multiple Sclerosis. We need to set an appointment for you to come in and meet with Dr. Birkman to discuss treatment options…” (At this point, she started to sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown). I knew this was my diagnosis already. I had been pretty sure for the past 6 weeks, and honestly, had feared this diagnosis most of my adult life. I don’t know why, but I always had this feeling, this hunch that I would be diagnosed with MS. Still, hearing those words, hearing the nurse confirm one of my biggest fears, was heartbreaking and I had no choice but to absolutely melt down. I thought I had cried all I could over those six weeks. I was SO wrong. I could cry a lot more.

When I think back, there were earlier signs. But it all really began on November 7, 2012. I was at work noticed that my vision was getting really weird. I could see my computer screen fine, but when I looked off into the distance I was seeing double. I’d concentrate and focus and it would be fine. I thought maybe I was tired. Maybe I’d had too much caffeine. I had taken Benadryl, maybe that was a side effect. I walked to the bank across the street, talked to my friend Jan, acted like I was fine. When I tried to come back across the street, I could hardly walk because I was seeing two of everything. Identical twins walking side by side. Matching cars at the stop light. Four entry doors.

After a call to Jeremy for a ride and trip to my optometrist, who dilated my eyes and told me that everything looked fine, and yes, I was probably tired and stressed, he sent me on my way and set a follow-up visit for the following week. Jeremy drove me home and I decided I’d just go to bed.

I woke up the next morning with my double vision so bad that I could not walk or do anything with both eyes open. I looked in the mirror and while my right eye was looking back at me, my left was looking to the far left. Now, we panic. Now, we freak out. Now, is when I experience the first legit panic attack of my life (certainly not the last).

Off to the ER we went. I had a piece of paper covering my eye because the double vision was giving me vertigo so bad that I was feeling really ill. I remember the lady in the triage of the ER asking why I was there; I uncovered my eye and said “well, I don’t typically look like this.”

I went into survival mode immediately. Tried to use humor as a buffer between me and what was actually going on. I’d watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to assume that what I had was probably a brain tumor. The ER doctors feared the same and after drawing what must have been 20 vials of blood and giving me a shot of valium, they sent me for an MRI.

The MRI showed lesions in my brain, typical of MS. I’m not going to throw a bunch of medical lingo in here because I can’t remember it AND it’s really not necessary. Plus, I was on valium and all Jeremy and I were able to hear that day was “probable MS”. They told me there’s a lot of good information on the internet and started me on IV steroids immediately. I remember saying “at least it’s not cancer.” I later regretted that statement because some cancers can be removed…

I went home and I cried. How do you tell your mom, you best friends, your coworkers where you are? How do you even explain what is going on with you, trying not to fall apart out all the while convincing them to remain calm? How do you ever prepare yourself for this type of situation? I’ll tell you now, you don’t prepare for it. You have NO idea how you will handle something like this. I promise you, you are either much weaker or much stronger than you think you are. You meet the real you for the first time ever. And it’s shocking.

I laid in bed for a week waiting for my vision to come back. I took my Ativan, cried, prayed and slept. In that order. No one knew if my vision would return to normal. My neurologist gave me about a 75% chance. 75% is not enough when it comes to your vision. I shopped online for eye patches because there was a 25% chance that I’d always have to wear one. I didn’t know if I was ever going back to work. I didn’t know if I was strong enough to deal with this.

Ten days after that initial ER visit, I woke up in the morning to Sampson licking my face. I looked at the clock and could read it without covering an eye. I looked at Sampson’s face and there was only ONE. I could see the ceiling fan; I could walk without running into the wall. I could see. I spend the majority of that day with the windows wide open, sunshine pouring in, thanking GOD.

There’s a shocking lack of advocacy for newly diagnosed patients. And by that, I mean no advocacy. They tell you to look online, there’s a lot of good information about MS online. What they SHOULD tell you is do not look online. When you are scared, freaking out and diagnosed with a chronic illness that you know nothing about, the LAST thing you should do is start Googling. Seriously. This was just before Thanksgiving last year and I was left feeling scared, doomed and alone. If it weren’t for Jeremy, I would not have made it throught this. I was only able to tell my close family and immidate circle of friends. I didn’t know how to tell anyone else. I had people checking on me all day every day. I still felt more alone than I had in my whole life.

The next couple of weeks were spent in and out of the neurology clinic and Hospital. I had vision exams, so much blood work, more MRI’s, and my least favorite, the spinal tap. (I’ll talk about that in a whole ‘nother post that will be titled “How I met Pete Glassbrenner”). The stress of all of this brought on my second exacerbation, which started with my legs feeling weird to losing all sensation on the left side of my body. From the top of my head to my toes, I felt numb. Like your cheek does after the dentist. I also felt like my entire left side was connected by one tight rubber band. Waiting to snap at any minute. I went to work every day feeling like this. Trying to pretend it wasn’t happening. I floated through the holidays, not enjoying any of it. I don’t remember any of those days in November or December except for December 18th. December 18th, the day of my diagnisis, otherwise known as the day I knew my life had changed forever. The day I will never forget.

Eventually the second round of steroids took effect and I regained the feeling in the left side of my body. I slowly begain to feel closer to my normal and I started treatment, which I’ll talk about later. And today, one year later, I am feeling really well. No one would know that I have MS unless I told them. I’m working, active and have a newfound respect for life. I have a lot of stories to tell you about the last year. A lot I’ve wanted to mention but couldn’t because I hadn’t shared the first part of the story.

One of the toughest things about this diagnosis is knowing how and when to disclose. I didn’t keep this from anyone for any other reason than I just didn’t know how to say it. Now I do, the elephant in the room has been exposed.

Peace and love,

The Original Heta