Entries by Penelope Conway

For the love of shoes…

I love shoes. I really do. Even though I’m tall—over 6 foot—I would wear 3 inch heels proudly. When multiple sclerosis came along, it messed up my shoe choices. I could no longer wear heels because my numb feet and legs were unable to manage even the slightest of wobbles or unsteadiness. I also had a tendency to walk out of a flip-flop without even realizing I had done so and slip-ons, well, let’s just say they wouldn’t stay on.

My multiple sclerosis body is in a constant state of emergency

I hate when a storm knocks the power out unexpectedly. I have a flashlight handy for those moments along with some matches and candles to help get me through at least a few days of the pending chaos. If it should stay out longer than that I also have a small bottle of propane that I can use to cook with. It’s left over from my camping days.

Living with multiple sclerosis is much like those power outage moments. Our Central Nervous System (CNS) is short circuiting on us due to downed and broken lines. ..

The multiple sclerosis phantom itch is real

I have this incessant itch on my upper left arm that will not go away. I try to scratch it, but oddly enough I can’t seem to find its exact location. Just when I think I’ve found it, nope…I’m wrong. I have to be careful not to scratch that area too much because my arm is completely numb, has been for a few years now, so I could easily rub it raw without even realizing the damage I’m causing.  

Changing with the unexpected

I’m sitting in my favorite chair this morning as I write my thoughts down to start the day. The air is cool. My favorite throw blanket is lying across my lap and I’m watching some deer in my back yard munching on dew soaked grass. I have a hot cup of coffee with me and my computer in my lap…

You can’t give up

Life is not always full of rainbows and sunshine. It’s not all puppy dogs and lollipops. I have found over the years that it can be cruel and downright painful. It can be filled with heartaches and headaches. It has this crazy ability to knock you off your feet and leave you in a puddle on the floor. You then have the task of picking up all the pieces and making sense of everything.

Do you want to know who your real friends are?

The world is full of selfish people. Society has become so consumed with the aspiration of becoming famous and important that they overlook and ignore the countless hurting people all around. People with disabilities are often overlooked and many times pushed aside as bothersome. Ears have been closed to their cries and eyes have been shut to their pain.

I would love nothing more than to punch multiple sclerosis in the face

When you see me, you may see my hair fixed up nicely, my makeup looking flawless, my clothes neatly pressed and my shoes coordinating with my purse. I may have everything in place from head to toe including the smile I put on and the positive attitude I carry. But underneath all the layers, below the wheelchair, urine bag and leg braces, the real me exists.