Opening Up...

by Sean
(Woodland Hills, CA)

... the Process of Coping with a Recent MS Diagnosis



Well, there are myriad stories here about not giving up, and not letting the disease get the better of you. I am not there yet, because I have not accepted this emotionally. I want to be brutally honest. I am still angry. I am still in despair.

I was just diagnosed in August, after two years of futzing around doing everything BUT a spinal tap. All of my nerve conductions kept coming back normal, and the doctors began to think it was all psychosomatic. A brain MRI was returned as normal, but after another doctor reviewed it, he pointed out shadows to me. I just feel like my symptoms have got worse in the past two years, and that there are so many things that I can't do with my kids any more.

Self pitying? Sure. But the overwhelming emotion right now is anger, and I would be lying to all of you wonderful people to say it was otherwise. I haven't revealed any of this to my clients, professional colleagues, or other than my close friends and immediate family.

I hope this will change over time, and hope that in the next entry there is better news. But this is a reality that I am sure many, if not all of you, have faced. It's where I am now, but hopefully, not where I will stay.

Thanks for the opportunity to share this.



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Feb 24, 2012
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Opening up
by: April

I totally understand how you feel. My emotions are a roller coaster ride daily. I have accepted the diagnosis finally & for me that's a big step.

To help myself face reality I had an orange ribbon tattoo placed on my forearm. This helps me with acceptance & raises awareness because everyone wants to know what it stands for. I have the word Hope on the ribbon because no matter what happens...you ALWAYS need to remember "there is Hope!"

For some strange reason seeing the ribbon gives me strength as well & motivation to exercise & keep moving. "Never give up!"

Good luck & take care!

Sincerely,
April

Feb 23, 2012
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Thanks for Being Honest
by: Akrista


Sean, this is one of the best things you can do for yourself emotionally - being honest. So no need to apologize to anyone. You also said it yourself, no doubt, many MSers have been in the same place at one time.

And believe it or not, it's not a bad place to be. It may be disheartening to those closest to you, seeing the anger and frustration you are going through. They may have their own feelings of anger to deal with.

When you are through with this phase of dealing with your diagnosis, you'll move on to another. And unfortunately it may not be a very positive one either. But working through the different phases is something everyone has to do.

Some say it is similar to the stages of grief - almost like you are mourning the loss of the way your life was and moving on to the way it is now. Just realize that this is the healthiest way to do it - feel the emotions, don't suppress them.

Work through them and when you come out on the other side you'll be able to face MS head on and do what you need to do.

Also, there's no need to tell anyone that you're not comfortable telling. That's your business. When and if you are ready to tell them is your decision. Think of revealing your MS diagnosis as on a "need-to-know" basis.

Feel free to vent your anger here. Most MSers have been there. Sometimes the road is a long, hard one to come to terms with. It may take months or years to get to the the point where you can accept MS as a part of your life.

And even then, you may still have your moments of anger and frustration. Hopefully the people in your life will be there to support you through the ups and downs that go along with having multiple sclerosis.

Take care and again thanks for being honest. If you feel free enough to do that, then we've done our job correctly.





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