Some of the memories we keep and the stories we tell about ourselves have to do with scars. You may have a teeny tiny scar on your finger from giving your best friend a haircut or a really big ugly one on your leg from a terrible bicycle accident, and every time you look down at that scar you are reminded of what happened and how you felt in the moment even if that event wasn’t very dramatic.
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
There are times when your dreams appear to be unreachable. When you look back at what you used to do and who you used to be, and catch yourself wondering why life had to change and where that person went. It’s actually quite easy to get sucked into the thoughts of yesterday feeling miserable and questioning everything about life.
I think I’ve turned into Linus of Charlie Brown. Well, maybe not really, but I have noticed that I have a favorite blanket and I rest better when I have it with me. We have a special bond…my blanket and I.
I heard time tick by this morning: 1 AM, 2 AM, 3 AM, 4 AM. I tried so hard to sleep. All attempts to get Mr. Sandman to pay me a visit failed even though I was exhausted. If there were any sheep to count I would have tried counting them, but all the sheep must have been out to pasture.
I have been known to have some fairly outlandish random wild thoughts. For some reason my thoughts have a tendency to go bonkers from time to time. I think they just get bored and have nothing better to do.
I seriously think my stubbornness is the only thing that keeps me going amid all the craziness that happens in my life. I’m almost sure if that wasn’t a part of my personality I would have given up a long time ago.
Some days I really think my brain needs oiling, or maybe it needs repairing. Oh, who am I kidding…I just need a new one! You want to know why I forget appointments, people’s names, a movie I have already watch…twice, and what was said a few minutes ago? I think it’s due to the fact that my brain looks like a block of Swiss cheese on my MRI scans with holes scattered all over the place.
You never realize how strong you are until you are faced with a challenge that tests your strength. Many people see being strong as hiding your emotions, censoring how you feel and keeping it together at all times…basically to lie to yourself and to others that you even feel or have any problems in your life.
Everything you do in life begins with a choice. Even a choice of not choosing is a choice. That’s not an easy thing to grasp. Do you realize you will choose how to live today? You will choose everything down to if you end the day in tears or with a smile. You will choose how you live tomorrow too, and the next day and the next. That can be a sobering thought.
Lately I’ve become more home bound than any other time in my multiple sclerosis journey. Sometimes I welcome the solitude and enjoy my alone time, but more and more it seems to come accompanied with depression, feelings of worthlessness, and tears.
- 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.