A dear aunt of mine passed away recently after being sick for many months. And just a short time later, another close family member passed after a long battle with cancer. Having to deal with the loss and pain felt by losing these family members in such quick succession has caused me to reflect on my own life and health struggles.
Of course, my biggest health struggle is multiple sclerosis. It is always the elephant in the room, the monkey on my back, persistently looming in the back of my mind. So, as I was sitting and pondering, I began to wonder...if I was given the choice, would I rather have a life without MS?
"I honestly believe my life is currently better because I have MS"
Honestly, I am sure to many of you this seems like a no-brainer. Why would you ever actually want to have multiple sclerosis? Life would be so much easier without it. But, ultimately, I have a hard time saying I wish I never had MS. Even though it is definitely not easy to live with, I honestly believe my life is currently better because I have MS.
I realize how corny and ridiculous this sounds, and I am positive there are people with MS who do not feel the same way I do. I also realize that I might only be able to say this at this point in my life because I feel that I am doing pretty well. This whole perspective might change down the road.
However, for me, MS is the reason I began looking at my lifestyle and truly started prioritizing fitness and healthy eating. It compelled me to dig deep, evaluate my lifestyle and assess if how I live each day is beneficial for my body.
Without MS, I would never have paid so much attention to my health and wellness. Without a pressing reason or concern to change our habits, why do people do it? It wasn’t that I led a super unhealthy lifestyle before MS, but looking back, I am sort of shocked about how unconcerned I was regarding the food I put into my body.
After all of this reflection, it is still difficult for me to answer the question would I rather have a life without MS with a simple yes or no. Either answer is hard for me to commit to. In the end, maybe this isn't the question I should be focusing on. Maybe my wish would be that we could all take the time to be healthy before we get sick and not wait until it’s too late.
The bottom line for me: without MS I would have never known what it actually means to be healthy. For that lesson, I am grateful."