I saw a Neurologist speak the other night. He explained that after deciding on Neurology, he opted for MS since there was so much promise.

One of the newer neurologists in our clinic once introduced herself to our MS Club and remarked what an exciting time it was to be in the field of MS and how she looked forward to meeting each one of us.

I couldn’t help but feel unimportant as a person, but (as with the drug companies), so important as a specimen. Of course, on the ground, it’s not as exciting and it’s not practical to wait for a cure.

Certainly, we can be grateful that we know more about the disease, and have treatments that may help. But for the most part, it’s on us and so we take our health into our own able hands and give it our best shot. That’s what we do here.

What is exciting, is taking not only our health, but our lives into our own control. I can only speak for myself when I say that MS and OMS woke me out of my robotic and often painful existence.

I had always been gritting my teeth, slogging through work, relationships, marriage, kids, future career, family… and health. I only thought of diet, exercise and taking care of myself mentally  in service of my career and some vague idea of the future.

I was putting my life on hold until retirement. I believe that for the lucky amongst us, MS can be a wake up call and OMS the guide – it was for me. I always recommend people read Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis cover to cover and to try everything in it.

Don’t skip over the chapter on grief, do the meditation. Read the recommended book lists and read biographies of inspirational people.

I decided from the beginning that I was going to live my life differently, fuller and made the following three vows: 1) Not wait to tell or show someone I loved them. 2) Not wait to live my life and wait for “someday”. 3) Say “no” when I needed to. In practice, it means that while I’m still troubled by anxiety from time to time, I make my decisions and run with them.  

One of my first decisions was that I was going to make my previously difficult marriage work or move on – but only after I knew I had done everything I could and left nothing unsaid.  This past month has been the turning point. Committing and giving our best effort – it’s what we are doing with our health.

We don’t know for sure how it will work out, but we can know we’re giving ourselves the best shot possible. I suppose it may be an exciting time to have MS. At least it can be if, as George recommends, you do all you can.