Have you ever had a time when you had full intentions of getting something done before the day was over, but it didn’t happen? It seems I’m a pro at it. I can have something at the top of my to-do list and even have an alert on my phone to keep me reminded to get it done, but then I become so exhausted lacking any energy to lift my arms and sometimes even my head that whatever I had on my list just isn’t going to get done.
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
We use words every day to communicate our opinions, frustrations, anger, appreciation and love. Many times we don’t even pay attention to the things we say or how we say them as the words tumble out of our mouths quicker than we can actually think. Those words have the ability to bring hope, tenderness and support, but they can also be used to condemn, attack and ridicule.
I told someone once that multiple sclerosis is a lot like a mosquito. Think about it…like the mosquito, MS is crazy annoying. You don’t see it as it buzzes about and it won’t go away no matter how much you swat at it. You don’t see its bite as myelin starts to get chewed away, but you sure feel the effects later. Oh, and in a room full of people, you happen to be the lucky one it was attracted to. What a glorious day…NOT!
I know you have been through a lot of pain and frustration over the years. Much of it because of MS but some simply because of life itself piling crap on top of everything you are having to deal with. Each day seems to have its own set of obstacles and struggles different from the day before, yet you keep pushing forward refusing to give up.
There is no cure at this time for multiple sclerosis but there is a cure for a broken heart. I know some people will disagree with me about the “MS cure” statement, but it’s true. There is no 100% proven way to fix MS. We can manage our symptoms, and for that I’m extremely thankful, but there is nothing yet that will literally eradicate MS from the planet aside from a miracle.
This is for the weary ones, the tired ones, and the “I can’t go on” ones. This is for the ones who cry behind closed doors yet muster up a smile to face the day. This is for the ones who dream of the day multiple sclerosis is cured so they no longer have to deal with doctor appointments, meds, needles, pain and all the crazy MS symptoms that just randomly show up without warning.
Do you ever feel weird? Like you are not normal…if there is such a thing? I know I sure do. I tend to think differently than most people. I find humor in just about everything. If you hung out with me, you would find me laughing at dropping my plate full of food on the floor, joking about stumbling on invisible cracks in the sidewalk, and giggling because I lost my keys for the hundred-millionth time.
Sometimes I laugh at myself, like yesterday when I accidentally dropped a cup of flour all over myself and the kitchen floor. Laughing about it was much better than crying. Besides, tears mixed with flour would have created a sticky mess. I have accidents all the time. I trip, fall, misplace things, forget appointments, and have lots and lots of mishaps. Accidents seem to be synonymous with Multiple Sclerosis. Some of us have more than others, but they seem to just be a part our life now.
Some days it feels like I’m stuck in a forever looming storm but the more I think about it, the more I realize that every storm has an end. Think about it. There is not one hurricane, tornado, tsunami or flood that is still threatening destruction. They have all come to an end. Some brought great fear and loss along with them, but they all ended.
If you enter a start and an end destination into a GPS system, you will be presented with a suggested route for your journey. That suggestion is not permanent. It is merely one option out of hundreds, if not thousands of routes you can take to get to your final destination.
- 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.