The first thing I do every morning is pour myself a cup of coffee and sit in my favorite chair with my laptop to write my morning thoughts for you. If someone would have told me several years ago that my thoughts about my life with Multiple Sclerosis would be read by people all around the world, I would have probably looked at them crosseyed and lopsided.
Author Archive for: penelope
About Penelope Conway
It was November 21, 2011, that Penelope Conway was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She had no prior symptoms or signs and onset was quick. Within three weeks time, she was experiencing numbness to the right side of her face, right torso, and both legs; was having bladder and bowel dysfunction; and optic neuritis set in causing her to lose color in the left eye along with giving her blurred vision. The doctors didn’t take long to come to a diagnosis. After an MRI and a spinal tap, it was clear… this was Multiple Sclerosis.
She had a hard time coming to terms with being diagnosed with a chronic illness. After all, she had plans, and MS was not one of them. And what was MS anyway? She spent the next few months researching and digging for information. The information she found was scary, but deep inside, she knew that this was not the end to her life or to what she was capable of becoming. Many nights, she cried and was still in denial, but as the months passed, she began to see that even though she was in pain every day and her body limited her, there was still a life to be lived… and she was determined to live it.
Entries by Penelope Conway
I fell asleep last night in my recliner. I didn’t have the energy to make my way to the bedroom in order to climb into bed. I’m thankful that my recliner is comfortable. I didn’t wake up with any neck cramps or unusual body aches…at least none different than my normal MS aches and pains.
I want to talk about a topic that many people either avoid or choose to ignore. It’s something I see very little support for yet affects over half the population of people living with Multiple Sclerosis as well as those living with other chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s, ALS, Lupus, EDS, Asthma…too many illnesses to even list.
My right hand has grown increasingly weak. At first, it had just a slight tremor that was annoying but manageable. Now even when I’m holding it in a resting position, thankfully the tremors aren’t as prominent but it has a tendency to curl up making that hand a bit useless. I have trouble even pushing a key on my computer or holding onto a spoon…
There are all kinds of people in this world. Some will help you along the way while others will attempt to push boulders into your path. Living with a disability is not always easy. I have met the rude, uncaring types of people who watch as I struggle to open a heavy door instead of stepping in to help and I have come across the ones that choose to give me the death stare as I pull into the disabled parking spot at the grocery store only to turn away (hopefully in shame) as soon as they see me wheel my way inside from a wheelchair…
I have an MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Degree and didn’t even know I was studying for it. It’s not an honorary degree either. It’s a real life, up close and personal, in your face degree. One of those “I studied my butt off” degrees. My next step is to get my Doctorate…and that’s not too far off…
Multiple Sclerosis has given me numerous superpowers. I have been known to fly across the room from time to time even without my superhero cape on. I teleport things like my keys, the TV remote and my phone to strange places in order to keep them safe from thieves. Who would think to look for those things in the dishwasher, washing machine or the freezer?
I broke my mother’s favorite vase when I was 10 years old. I remember the moment it fell to the floor. It was as if everything was happening in slow motion. I tried desperately to catch it, but my hands just weren’t quick enough.
Life changed a lot after multiple sclerosis came to live with me. Many emotions surfaced that I didn’t even know existed. Fears, doubts, worries…MS forced them all out into the open. It was a time in my life when chaos and confusion became the norm and I didn’t like it at all….
I have noticed that people living with multiple sclerosis get hurt in some of the weirdest ways. I know for me, I’ve had my fair share of bruises, broken bones and crazy predicaments that I wouldn’t have experienced any other way…
- Simplify your life.
- Watch your thoughts. What goes in, comes out.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Take time for yourself, even if it means saying "no" to others.
- Be grateful, laugh and celebrate life.
- Think more about what you have as opposed to what you don't have.
- Help others.
About Positive Living with MS
Positive Living with MS was started by Penelope Conway who was diagnosed with MS in 2013. She found few resources for positive encouragement; to laugh, cry, share, and just feel normal in the midst of a life of chaos; so she decided to start something herself. Positive Living with MS was birthed out of Penelope’s desire to show others that regardless of the challenge, we can all enjoy life to the fullest and find a smile in the storm.