I had this bright idea to scrub the floor yesterday and since I’m a bit OCD, I chose to get down on the floor and lug my body along with a bucket of vinegar water across the room to ensure that every nook and cranny was cleaned.
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
Multiple Sclerosis is weird. You can wake up one morning feeling okay and the next wishing you didn’t wake up at all. It messes with your body, your emotions, your relationships, and your job. It has this way of touching every part your life.
Have you ever expressed a concern or talked with someone about a new multiple sclerosis symptom you are experiencing and their response was “get over it”? I’ve always thought that to be a strange response. Get over what? Get over the pain? Get over the fear? Get over a chronic disease? What exactly am I to be getting over?
It’s hard to believe, but a new year is here. We have all come through some crazy moments last year and made it through stumbling into another year. Maybe things didn’t go as you wanted, but you made it. Now, that’s something to celebrate along with all the fireworks, champaign bottles and shouts of Happy New Year.
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.
It’s Christmas morning. I woke up and my first thought was of you. It wasn’t about multiple sclerosis and all the crazy things going on in my life because of it, it wasn’t about family that will be coming over later in the day, it wasn’t about the news and that’s happening around the world right now, it wasn’t even about the fact that I really need some creamer from the store to get me through the rest of the week.
Do you ever feel like a failure? I know I sure do and did even more so when my career ended because of multiple sclerosis, but I’m here to tell you that you are not a failure and that those thoughts are simply not true. Most people who experience their career being stripped away unexpectedly due to a chronic illness start to feel as if they are less of a person. It’s bad enough having to deal with a new life of unexpected struggles, but add to that no longer being able to do the thing we love and have been doing for years…well, it feels like a sock in the gut.
Just when I think multiple sclerosis can’t get any weirder, I’m proven wrong. The past few days my ability to taste has diminished considerably. My morning coffee has become more of a habit drink than a savory experience. It tastes like warm something…I just don’t know what that something is.
I know life gets hard. Sometimes it seems downright horrible with multiple sclerosis tagging along. The unknown of each new day can truly be daunting, but you are going to make it. Today is a brand new day ready for a brand new YOU. Take a deep breath, shake yourself off and be prepared for an amazing day. You are the one that get to make it amazing. You and only you.
Time seems to be passing by so fast. The days and years are flying by. I mean, it was only yesterday I was traveling and taking in the sights and sounds of life around the world…now I do all my traveling from my bed to the couch. It’s still an adventure though. One filled with its own mystery and wonderment.
- 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.