SO…March 2010, the time I was hit with my diagnosis harder than a Transport Truck running a red light… 🚦🛑🚛
but THEN WHAT???
I was only told by my family doctor that there were treatments available, but I was never told what they were… and to be honest, I didn’t really want to know at that time.
Learning about my diagnosis alone was totally overwhelming. I didn’t even know what MS was..but I knew I had a LOT of research to do.
It hadn’t sunk in yet…in my mind I was still fine.
I felt fine, I looked fine, I was going on with life, working full-time feeling perfectly FINE…
But I couldn’t run away from the fact that deep down I knew I wasn’t fine at all.
I had just found out there was an invisible MONSTER that had ‘weaseled’ its way into my body… an UNWANTED house guest who had arrived totally unexpectedly and one who was here to STAY.😡😥
The day after finding out about my diagnosis, I just continued on with life as if nothing had happened. I got up, went to work, never said anything to anyone and that was that. I continued doing this day after day, month after month, until the time came when the inevitable could no longer be avoided. The ‘Unwanted House Guest’ was starting to reek MAJOR havoc in my life.
Although my approach was to continue living life as I was pre-diagnosis, I didn’t just completely ignore it…I did do some research, even though I was TERRIFIED about what I would find.
I’m positive I’m not alone here… I’m sure many of you at some point have felt completely overwhelmed by an obstacle in your path, or a full out war called upon you. A war you KNOW you need to win, one battle at a time.
Often it feels so overwhelming that we don’t even know where to begin…But more often than not, the first place we start is ‘Google’.
I’m not going to say this is a good thing or a bad thing, because it all depends on your personal situation. Google has some great information BUT it also has information that can be somewhat unreliable. And when we are trying to find answers to whatever it is we are facing, it may just be the perfect gateway to CONFUSION.
We also hear ideas from friends, family, quite possibly people we don’t even know…
Then we have our Family Doctors, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Psychologists…a whole team of support available to us. But sometimes we don’t even know what we need.
I know it can be confusing, and I know it can be overwhelming… Trust me I get it. I have been there. I’m STILL there…
I have been the one staring at the Google screen thinking ‘this is only making me feel worse about myself, reading about the possible prognosis of ending up in a wheelchair or yet worse, on a feeding tube… Reading about what seems like 5 million choices for disease-modifying drugs all of which slowly harm your organs and can possibly even kill you one way or another…
But somehow we are supposed to choose the avenue that’s the best for our health and our situation. How can that be so simple???
Well the answer is it’s NOT…And often this leads us to indecisiveness, something we feel when faced with too much information or when the road ahead seems FAR too tough…
BUT that right there… That feeling of indecisiveness…is very VERY dangerous. Allowing ourselves to feel DEFEATED before we even begin, is a BIG No-No!!
Throughout my own journey, fighting my own daily battles… I have learned that regardless of how heavy everything weighs on us, we MUST fight our way through the sense of burdening suffocation. And once we find our way to the top, we MUST take a big deep breath! We need to pause for a moment, give ourselves a little pep talk, pump up our tires, and say to ourselves OUT LOUD… “I can do this!”
We CANNOT decide to just keep truckin along merely EXISTING, hoping and praying that MIRACULOUSLY our state of being will change.
Yes I do believe to a certain degree that miracles are POSSIBLE, but my FAR more unwavering belief is that 99.9% of the time… CHANGE requires an IMMENSE amount of determination, persistence, optimism, self advocacy, and A LOT of Hard Work!!
It wasn’t just by chance that I ended up in this Stem Cell Trial in Ottawa. I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity, but at the same time I feel accomplished and proud of myself because I know how much effort went into sending emails, phone calls, researching about the trial, calling again and again and again and then more emails, more follow-ups, networking with other doctors … A LOT of Hard work as an active participant in my own journey.
The ‘ball starts rolling’ when we take that first step towards change. We CANNOT expect everybody else to find the answers for us, it simply won’t happen. We MUST become self advocates, because it is far too risky to rely on miraculous recoveries.
When I was first diagnosed with MS I had no idea where to begin. I was told I could go on a disease-modifying drug, the ones that are around $40,000 and extremely toxic to the body…. I was told they COULD slow the progression of the disease, but that the decision was totally up to me.
My decision was to NOT go on any of those drugs, because at the time of diagnosis, my Neurologist suggested I may want to stay off of them because of how toxic they are, AND because of how well I was doing. Fast forward 5 years… and I can’t help but think about whether or not I made the wrong decision. If I would have just gone on one of those drugs, would I still be walking?…would I still be working?? Would we have a 2nd child? A sibling for Landon???…. POSSIBLY!…but hindsight’s 20/20 right?
I decided to take a more natural approach through diet and supplements. No one made that decision for me. With the support of my family, and the guidance received from my Naturopathic Doctor, I made a decision. Was it the best one I could have made? I have no idea…
What matters most is that I made one! I didn’t just shut down, telling myself how much my luck sucked, deciding not to do anything about it. I made a decision…I took the first step, and I took THAT step because I honestly and truly believed it was the best thing for me and my health at that time.
Since the years have passed, my illness has CLEARLY progressed. If I knew the answer as to WHY this is STILL happening, and most importantly how to stop it, I’d be rich!! but I don’t know…
What I Do know is that I certainly have NOT done everything perfectly. I started that diet out with a bang! but trust me I slacked at times…I ‘cheated’… and there were definitely times I missed doses of my supplements. I still didn’t have any symptoms of the disease other than some mere tingling in my arms.. SO when my friends all wanted to have chicken wings, pizza and beer…so did I! I didn’t want to be the one who was any different. It was hard to imagine what was happening inside my body because it was all 99% asymptotic and 100% invisible.
However, it was that 1 percent that acted as a constant reminder that I was battling something larger than I even knew.
As my symptoms worsened, I buckled down on my diet, but it didn’t help. Maybe because it needed some ‘tweaking’? OR maybe because it was a ‘little too late?’
I unfortunately don’t know the answer to that question either. But what I do NOW believe, is that whatever I DO or DON’T put into my body, HAS to make a huge impact in terms of the way it performs and reacts. It simply just MUST be that way… There’s NO WAY you can load yourself up with unhealthy foods and expect to become a healthier person. 👎
As my journey has continued, facing and enduring many battles, my plan of attack has taken many different turns. BUT the one thing that has remained constant, is my commitment to a disciplined health regime (99.9 percent of the time)
As we all know, nothing or no one can be perfect, but with mindful and positive intentions at the core of everything we do…we set ourselves up with unlimited potential for success.
SO, Getting back to the beginning of this post…
Whatever it is you are battling or enduring, just make sure you take the step… the FIRST step. No matter what it is or what it entails, it is a step towards self advocacy. Things can always be tweaked or changed but nothing can happen until you take that step. And as I said earlier, don’t just take it for the sake of taking it, take that step with purposeful intent and the belief that it will lead you to success…
And if you don’t get there right away, take the second, third, fourth and fifth steps all the while knowing that with each additional step you are forced to take, your level of resilience is developing rapidly…
Whether you are facing something now, or whether you will be confronted with something soon…Don’t wait for that miracle…don’t sit back and hope that life will lead you through a desired path…
Instead, become an ACTIVE participant in your own journey towards success. Continue to take all the steps needed, perhaps more steps than you even think possible…but take them.
Take each and every one of them in order to build the strength, determination and perseverance needed to stop WAITING, and to start BECOMING the Miracle you’ve been wishing for 👏💗👊
#selfadvocacy #takethestep #mindfulness #beyourownmiracle #MSawareness #motivate #inspire #burnfireburn