Entries by Penelope Conway

I dare you to live

Even though I have my moments of weakness and difficulties, I never want to throw the towel in and give up because of my limitations. I want to keep going until I no long can. Yes, I’m that stubborn. But to me that kind of stubborn can be a good thing. As long as I’m not harming myself or others, my stubbornness is the push I need to keep going. Believe me, if I wanted I would have given up months ago…years ago…but that’s just not in me to do.

What is MS?

I have had people ask me, “What is MS?” If I say it stands for multiple sclerosis. It’s a chronic progressive disease where the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, and the optic nerves in the eyes become damaged as the outer coating on the nerves called myelin gets eaten away by the immune system causing numbness, speech impairment, muscle coordination difficulties, blurred vision and severe fatigue (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we go through)…I tend to get a blank stare and “huh” comes tumbling out of their mouth. Either that or they proceed to give me their cure for this incurable disease or tell me about a relative of theirs with MS that died.

You are strong enough

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 keyboard or holding onto a spoon. Mealtime for me can get quite comical.

A life with multiple sclerosis is like moving day

Packing up your house and moving hundreds of miles away can be a daunting task for a healthy body. Add multiple sclerosis into the mix and it can become terrifying. That’s not an over exaggeration either. Anyone that has moved can testify to it. The energy it takes to box up you entire life, load it into a moving truck and then unload everything a few days later, it wears a body out. A few years ago, I did just that. I had to make sense of the mess and the boxes that surrounded me as I worked to put my life back in order. To this day it’s still not in order.