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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
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Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

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I May Appear Well-Adjusted to MS, But I’m Not!

I dragged myself out of my warm bed and into a dark, cold morning today to make my way to Dublin for a meeting with Ireland’s best MS bloggers. Last night I made sure all of my preparations for the trip were complete so I could sleep for as long as possible.

These things take more time than they used to for me, and far longer than they might for a person not living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

As I hauled my suitcase through town to catch the bus, I was greeted by many sights and sounds that the writer in me thought could be turned into metaphors for living with MS:

  • Construction equipment sat idle in a car park, awaiting dawn for a full day of work with able-bodied men.
  • Navigation lights in the harbor flashed at differing frequencies, marking unseen shoals and safe channels.
  • The dark sky was sprinkled with bright points of light, and though the moon was mostly obscured by the shadow of our planet, I could see its shaded part as well as its shining sliver, like some cosmic, blackened eye in the predawn sky.

None of these things stood for all of MS in my mind, or even my MS, in particular. But in a general way, they all reminded me of the journey with the disease for which we’ve all been handed an unwanted ticket.

I Don’t Dwell on It — But I Can’t Escape It, Either
I don’t dwell on my illness — as much as someone who writes about living with MS as much as I do can NOT dwell. That said, I can’t escape what the disease has done to my body and mind. I am unable to simply forget that it’s there, and I’m still not comfortable with all of the aspects of living my life with an incurable disease.

Certainly living with an incurable disease is better than the alternative. I know that fact clearly, and I do get on with my life at least as well as most. Sometimes even people who share a diagnosis with me will admire how well-adjusted to MS I seem to be.

But I’m not!

It’s not an act, this trying to get on with living the best life I can. But it may be an occasional case of “fake it until you make it” that makes people outside the bounds of my tired, aching, uncooperative body think that I’m coping better than I really am.

I’m Learning — But I Wish I Didn’t Have to Study So Hard
I’m learning my way through every day, every setback, and every “progression.” But sometimes I wish I didn’t have to study so hard and could skip the homework from time to time. Perhaps we all feel this way sometimes.

Perhaps the combination of feeling this way and finding others in this community who feel the same way is why we’ve been at this blog for nearly 10 years now.

Every now and then, we all seem to find something in these pages that clicks — something that makes us almost shout aloud, “I have that, too!”

But today (and other days, too), I wish I didn’t have to think about MS. You know what I mean?

That said, I think those navigation lights are going to make for a good blog topic one of these days.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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