Since that day of learning that I have MS my life has been a roller coaster of changes, challenges, and growing. It has been full of ups and downs, new appreciations as well as new fears and new challenges. But what is most important and what I want to focus on is that I am still here and I am still fighting, learning and growing and trying to be a better person in every area of my life
Joseph took me in for my MRI as he has done in the past as well as any major medical testing or event I have had to encounter. Having him there to support me was a really big deal and allows me to relax more. I am so claustrophobic as soon as I see the MRI machine I begin to shake, sweat and cry. Joseph stands outside of the MRI where my legs are laying out and will hold and caress my feet while the 45 minute procedure is being done. Feeling his touch allows me to focus on the fact that I am not alone and I am not in the machine totally. Even though I have my earplugs in I can still hill him telling me how much longer the current session is. As you lay there 3 minutes can feel like three hours and just hearing him do a countdown for me... "2.5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds" as well as giving me encouragement all along the way tuns a scary procedure into something more bearable. Having him there allows me to focus on his voice and takes my mind off the confined space I am in. I am not sure if I ever shared with him how powerful it is to have him there to support me, I am always thankful and tell him I appreciate him but I don't think he knows the true depths of his support for me and how it can change the outcome of something horrific into something that he tells me "I can do this." No matter what is going on between the two of us, he has always been my support, my back bone and the one behind the scenes telling me...... "If anyone can do this Michelle, it's you!"
If you have to have an MRI I highly suggest that you take someone as well who can be there with you (You have to insist to the MRI specialist and refuse to take no for an answer) so that you too can have that support, kindness and someone there for you.
The reality I have learned is that my MS is not as bad as others. Some can not walk, some are finding their motor skills deteriorating more and more each day and some are so lost in their own minds and the darkness it brings they have lost the will to try hard and stand up and fight. My MS is the best kind to have, yes there is a best kind, because I have had the disease for many years and was able to fight it when I did not know I even had it.
Knowing that my fate will not consist of a wheelchair is a blessing but it still can allow my mind to take me to a place where I feel pity for myself or fear of the unknown. The difference is I fight everyday to NOT allow that to happen.
Today my MRI is a big deal but in reality it will only be a picture of what has happened in the last 274 days to my brain if anything. The medication I take, Copaxone, is a daily injection that fills my body with a chemical creating a fake Mylar that the MS can attack rather than the one on my brain. This medication is to act as a shield for my brain to prevent further attacks and damage from the MS. The Copaxone takes six months to fully take an affect in my body. My next MRI should be between 6 months to a year and that will tell us if the Copaxone is doing it's job and show no more new lesions on the brain.
Today will give me a idea of what, if any, new damage to my brain and to be used as a benchmark for the next MRI.
As I reflect over the past 273 days in regards to my care, I can see plenty of opportunities where I need to continue to improve my well being. I NEED to cut back on my stress, I NEED to continue to explore new ways to relax and to free my mind. I NEED to get back with my energy worker and I NEED to get myself back on a healthy and consistent gym and food plan to better my results. There is so much "study" on the affects of working out and eating certain types of food that can assist in your aid to managing MS and that is going to have to be my focus now.
Just like when I lost all my weight 4 years ago. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I had to sacrifice many areas of my life and ended up having to sacrifice friendships too that were not supportive of my new and healthy lifestyle. I do not see that being the issue this time but today was a big eye opener and reminder, I have to get my bottoms in gear and make the changes I want to see to know that I am doing everything and anything to improve the outcome of my MS. No one is going to do it for me and life is too precious to take chances and just sit back and think it will take care of itself.
So as scary as today was, it was also a moment to reflect and regroup and know it's time to get my plan in place to do all I can do to take care of myself!
For more information on Multiple Sclerosis and how you can support finding a disease check out their website at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/