When people ask me how I do it, how I get through my day living with multiple sclerosis? I’m not really sure how to respond. The best answer I have been able to come up with is, “I just do it.” I know that’s not a deeply profound response and Nike already has rights to the saying, but the question is not really something that can be answered.
MS invaded my life without my permission. It simply moved in and took over. It’s not something I can simply choose to no longer have around. If only it were that simple. To just say to MS, “Get lost.” Wouldn’t that be incredible? Only I would use some rather different words that might offend some people and would be sure to have an uzi, a battle axe and a few hand grenades along with me too.
Since I can’t force MS out of my life, I have to learn to live with it. There’s no other choice. I can try ignoring it, but ignoring something screaming in my ear and chiseling away at my insides isn’t possible.
From the outside my invisible struggle doesn’t seem so bad to people. It actually looks quite easy. But if you could look inside my body and truly see what I am dealing with every day…Oh, my, what a different story you would have to tell.
If there was a picture window into my life, people would see that my Central Nervous System (CNS) looks much like the chaos after a storm has blown through town tearing up everything in sight. Some areas in my CNS have been damaged, others completely destroyed. The foundation is still there, but the pipes have burst and the electricity is out.
After a storm people work tirelessly to patch things up as best they can to try and get their house back working, but it will never be the same. There will always be remnants of the storm that came through and never a guarantee that another one won’t blow through again.
Today, I live in a pieced together body with duct taped wires, glued together pipes and heavily caulked walls. Things still leak, wires still get crossed and new storms still show up, but I “just do it.”
Elizabeth Taylor, who struggled daily due to lifelong chronic back pain, said it oh so well…“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and [gosh darn it], you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.”