Most days I wake up able to find some bit of humor in the things happening in my life. I can laugh about my weak legs, muscle spasms, inability to remember things, lack of coordination, and bathroom mishaps. Granted, some are those things can be embarrassing and bring me to tears, but I choose to laugh anyway. Laughter has this wonderful ability of helping to lessen the pain.
I can handle the limitations MS throws my way, but what I have a difficult time with is people’s lack of understanding when it comes to how hard things actually are for me. I think people see those of us with MS as the same person we were prior to a diagnosis because, after all, we appear to have nothing wrong with us from the outside. If there were some way to turn our bodies inside out so people could see the amount of destruction we are living with, it might change their view about our struggle.
Some of the hardest things for me are facing an unlimited lack of energy, realizing my inability to do all the thing I used to do, and canceling plans. Most people just don’t seem to get it either. It’s not like I spend my entire day trying to come up with an excuse to skip out on dinner plans or working out a way to choose my PJs over dressing up for an afternoon out. I hate missing all the fun happening in the world around me.
Last minute changes to plans are not something I enjoy doing, but they happen…often! The people who value me understand, all the others…well, I consider them my fair-weather friends.
My circle of friends have become really small, but at least I know who my real friends are. They are the few that are still standing with me even when I’m at my worst and weakest. They are the ones that choose to look past my limitations, unexpected symptom changes and intense fatigue. They love me regardless and always…whether I’m the life of the party or the party pooper.
And you know, through it all, I do my best to keep a smile. It is the only thing that gets me through those unbearable moments and unexpected changes.