I love surprises. Well, the good kind of surprises. Things like an unexpected gift, a found 5 dollar bill in your jeans pocket that you didn’t know was there, a pay-it-forward drink at the coffee shop, or waking up to a clean kitchen that you left dirty before going to bed. I welcome those kinds of surprises any day of the week.
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 don’t have much to say today other than it’s raining outside and I refuse to let it rain inside too. I know that’s something easier said than done but regardless of how things may look, I’m determined to find the good around me.
I went to sleep early last night after taking a muscle relaxer due to spasms in my legs and hands, a pain pill because the pain was relentless and unsettling, and melatonin to hopefully help me sleep if those didn’t do the trick. I woke up this morning in a daze not remembering much of anything from last night…or from any night for that matter.
We live in a world filled with opinions. You can’t do or say anything today without someone giving you their opinion about the right and wrong way to do or be. (Keep in mind, this post is just my opinion.)
A life with Multiple Sclerosis can be a physically challenging, emotionally draining, around-the-clock exhausting and make for some extremely lonely times. Someone without MS may wonder why that is.
I was making a shopping list the other day and forgot how to spell the word pencils. In my mind it didn’t even have the letter c anywhere in it. I struggled for nearly five minutes thinking and thinking and then thinking some more about that silly little word. The more I thought about it, the weirder the word became.
I can’t seem to go through a week without someone voicing their opinion as to how I am to rid my body of this monster called multiple sclerosis. Some have suggested that I don’t even have MS at all; that it’s actually Lyme Disease or a deficiency of B12 or Vitamin D and that I just haven’t been properly diagnosed. All of those answers come from a place of a lack of information and too much Google.
Have you ever had one of those days when you woke up feeling so bad that you wished the day could just be canceled? That an announcement could be made over the radio…”Today has been canceled due to too many broken nerve signals. It looks like a bad one out there. Stay home and bundled up. We’ll keep you posted on any changes.”
When everything seems to be falling apart and the struggle to simply get out of bed becomes a monumental feat.
When the tears flow, the anger rises, and fears take hold of your day.
When the fatigue becomes overwhelming.
When you feel all alone because no one understands how hard even the simplest of things can be…
I’ve always heard that balance in life is essential. I have a feeling the person who originally penned that thought didn’t have multiple sclerosis. I can no more balance my body on a flat surface than balance my life on a daily basis. I can’t even balance my check book due to the financial strain of living with a chronic illness. A balanced life with MS sounds more like an oxymoron than a reality.
- 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 after she was diagnosed with MS. 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.