My vision is truly awful and has only continued to decline. There isn’t really a word to accurately describe my eyesight woes. Just when everything seems to be getting better, MS sneaks in with a double whammy. Bam kapow!
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
A life with Multiple Sclerosis is filled with some crazy moments. It’s not a disease for wimps, that’s for sure. Take some time to learn more about the things those of us living with MS face.
Have you ever gone to the beach and taken time to truly examine the seashells that wash onto the beach? Some people are avid shell hunters and spend countless hours searching for the perfect ones. They are looking for beautiful coloration and formation. They don’t even contemplate collecting the broken ones, after all who wants a broken shell sitting on their coffee table?
You don’t realize how many mornings I wake up and find myself unable to motivate, encourage and uplift others. Sometimes I am so down that I don’t even think I have anything left to actually give. Today is that struggle for me. I have often asked myself, “Who encourages the encourager because I could us some of that about now?”
Dear Multiple Sclerosis,
I want you to know that you are not the boss of me. Sure, you have made my life a living hell. You may have caused me countless tears. You may be the reason I had to quit my job, have lost seemingly great friendships, and am facing unprecedented financial difficulties. You may make my body weak, my thoughts a jumbled mess, my body tremble and my vision blurry, but you will never, and I mean NEVER, have the satisfaction of stealing my hope.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the non-stop flight to a life with Multiple Sclerosis. On behalf of the Captain and the entire crew, welcome aboard. In preparation for takeoff, please ensure all negative attitudes are properly stowed in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt.
One day Multiple Sclerosis will be no more. It will not be able to cause pain, fatigue, weakness, and those crazy frozen brain moments. It will no longer have the opportunity to harass or hurt another person in the world. Its attempts to cause any kind of harm will be foiled.
Some mornings I wake up and simply don’t have the strength to get out of bed. I truly wish everything we go through each day was all just in our heads like some people believe. Those are people without MS who don’t understand the kinds of limitations we live with.
One of the most difficult days in my life was the day I handed my boss the resignation letter that ended my career. I had been raised to take pride in my work and to work hard to make something of myself. Quitting just didn’t fit that mindset. It went against everything I knew.
I remember getting my first pair of glasses when I was 12 years old. I left the store the day I picked them up and was shocked at how clear I could see everything. I was able to see every leaf on the trees outside. They were green blurs before, but with glasses I was able to see every vein and ridge. It was amazing to me how beautiful the world was when everything was in focus.
- 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.