Entries by Penelope Conway

You can’t go through a life with MS alone

In a job interview I was once asked, “If you could be a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be and why?” It was one of those questions used to evaluate a persons personality and quick thinking. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity as I mentally browsed the produce isle of the grocery store, and the thought that tumbled out was, “I would be a peanut.”

Living with multiple sclerosis…shift happens

Multiple Sclerosis has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me how to adapt to change and shift, many times on a daily basis, to the unexpected. No one likes to have their life disrupted by the unexpected. It makes our daily life hard to manage and plan out, but with MS you learn that it’s okay to change plans; that it’s okay to call up a friend to let them know you have to cancel today because your legs aren’t working or the fatigue has gotten too intense to handle; that it’s okay to acknowledge the struggle.

My wonky, mixed-up, multiple sclerosis brain

Brain Fog: That moment when you confuse people, places and things with apples, oranges and grapes. It could be something as simple as starting the coffee pot without the coffee in it or as crazy as forgetting what you are saying while you are saying it, not remembering why you went into a room with apparent purpose and gusto, or forgetting to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. Yes, I have done all of those things.

You didn’t cause Multiple Sclerosis

It can be hard living with a chronic illness that people can’t see and choose to not understand. Just trying to explain why you aren’t a quadriplegic or a paraplegic even though you have lost much of the feeling in your feet, legs, hands or arms is difficult. It seems in their minds that if you have no feeling in them, then you shouldn’t be able to use them.

Broken by multiple sclerosis but still standing

I know how difficult things can get. It’s not easy making it through the day when my body is fighting against me. I didn’t ask to be the strong one. At times when people tell me to stay strong, I actually feel so weak that I have no idea how those words are supposed to be comforting. To me, they feel more like a punch in the gut than the gentle hug they were meant to be.

What does it mean to be a positive person

There are people that misunderstand what it means to be a positive person. Some seem to think it means that you say nothing negative, think nothing negative and basically live in denial of all difficult circumstances in life. They believe that as long as you don’t acknowledge that there’s a problem, then the problem doesn’t really exist, or at least it doesn’t have control over you.

Tomorrow…life will change

No one likes to think about where Multiple Sclerosis may lead…not even me, but I can tell you from my own experience, to ignore all possibilities of progression is to live in denial. I lived there my first year after diagnosis. I refused to believe that my life was changing or would keep changing and that I needed to make adjustments.