I’m always grateful when I meet new people that want to know about this MS I live with every second of every day. A friend once told me “You don’t get it until you get it” which is very true, but that should never stop someone from sharing the challenges, struggles, pains and even joys faced by thousands of people around the world living with MS today.
First of all, you should know that 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 I would be sure to have an uzi, a battle axe and a few hand grenades with me just in case.
From the outside my invisible struggle doesn’t seem so bad to people. It actually looks quite easy to manage, but if you could look inside my body and truly see the chaos and damage I am dealing with every day…oh, my, what a different story you would have to tell.
The nerves in my brain and spine are much like the wires in someone’s house. Imagine that a hungry, never before seen monster, finds those wires nicely tucked away in the walls and decides to have a midnight snack. These monsters starts chewing on the wires for no reason in particular other than the fact that they are there…and apparently really tasty.
As the wires become exposed, frayed and broken, the lights in the living room begin to flicker, the refrigerator stops working altogether and a small fire starts in the laundry room. Then, if that wasn’t enough, the monster invites all his friends over and now there’s an entire herd of crazy wire eating monsters munching away.
Sometimes you find ways, some pretty creative ways at that, of keeping them rounded up and contained. That doesn’t mean they won’t find a way out of your makeshift blockade, but it does give you a chance to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the daily battle. To this day there has yet to be found a trap or poison that will stop their frenzied appetite.
Over time you come to the realization that you are stuck living in a broken-wired home along with the damage those wires cause. And since you only get one house to live in, the damage can easily become overwhelming, not to mention expensive and nearly impossible to duct tape back together. Yet no matter how inconvenient, uncomfortable or faulty your house becomes, you do the best you can with what you have. You learn to adapt. You have no other choice.
It’s not your fault, or anyone’s else’s for that matter, that these monsters found a way into your life. They could find a way into Fort Knox if they wanted to. They are the problem, not you. And until a way is found to rid the world of those terrible, menacing, wire-eating fiends, anyone’s house has the possibility of being attacked.
That’s why I check under my bed and in the closets each night before I go to bed. Last time I found one of those buggers hiding behind the shower curtain.