This week it is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. Not many people understand MS, and I certainly didn't when I was diagnosed 5 years ago. But I am one of millions who is living with Multiple Sclerosis.
I was diagnosed with MS after suffering an episode of optic neuritis - a partial loss of vision in one eye. It had nothing to do with my eye, that was perfectly healthy. The vision loss was coming from the optic nerve in my brain which THOUGHT there was something wrong with my eye. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis. Five days of steroid IV treatment later and my vision had improved, though it wasn't until my eye checkup this past summer that I was told that I had regained 100% of my vision in the affected eye.
The thing about MS is all the unknowns. I don't know if it is a symptom when I can't remember a word, or if I trip, or when I'm just exhausted. Most people don't know that I have it when they look at me because I look like everyone else, and I'm lucky enough to not need a cane or be in a wheelchair. Through it all I do my best to do as my first doctor told me: "Keep your life free from illness and stress," but let's face it I teach 6 and 7 year olds. That's a breeding ground for both!
I live with MS everyday. It is a part of me. But I do what I can to find a cure, like participating in WalkMS to raise money for research and programs helping those affected by MS, offered by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
For the second year I have formed a team for WalkMS in my city. I don't have as many walkers as I would like, and fundraising is tough in these times, but right now my team is on top...I like winning, especially when it is for a cause near and dear to my heart! If you want to check it out, head HERE.
So that is what MS= for me. Does it = anything for you?