Each day I wake up to a fight with multiple sclerosis. Some days I have the strength I need to come up swinging but some days I don’t. MS has definitely thrown me some curve balls and sucker punches over the years. Sometimes it seems as if MS gets the upper hand as it blindsides me with a blow I wasn’t expecting. Today is one of those days.
Author Archive for: penelope
You are here: Home1 / Penelope Conway
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 am encouraged by the stories online of people with multiple sclerosis who advance in their careers, run marathons, and are seen on TV giving a face to MS. I applaud them and am cheering them on. What bothers me are the numbers of people that think MS isn’t that bad, after all just look […]
Cold weather is not my friend. My muscles and joints choose to stop working the colder it gets thus making moving any body part especially difficult. If you were to ever see a snowman walking (or is it snowperson? I never get those things right.), I think I would be what that looks like. I can totally understand why bears choose to hibernate in the winter. I need to take a long vacation to the Caribbean right about now…or find a way to sleep until summer gets here. I’m open to options.
I sat across from a lady at Olive Garden that thought multiple sclerosis was a contagious disease and she needed to get away from me so she wouldn’t catch it. Far, far away. She even complained to a worker saying that they need to make me leave. How do you respond to people like that? At first I was stunned at the sheer lunacy of the thought that someone believed they could contract a chronic illness that destroys the nerves in a person’s body.
If you can’t adapt to change, you will find your days hard to get through. For some, it’s not easy learning to go with the flow…to ride down the river of life rather than fighting with it. It’s okay to end your day differently than you expected, leaving things still to be done.
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!
There truly is strength in you, a strength so amazing that even you didn’t know it was there.
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.
I woke up today stuck inside a pinball machine. From the moment I got out of bed I found myself bouncing off the walls that lead down my hallway, running into the tables and chairs, and then I tried to slide through the space between my refrigerator and the cabinets. I think my body is stuck on permanent tilt.
I long for the day multiple sclerosis can’t ruin another persons day, life, relationships, or career. Where invisible pain, unwarranted fatigue, brain freeze moments, dropped cups of coffee, and embarrassing bathroom mishaps no longer happen on a daily basis.
- 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.