Monday, July 11, 2011

M.S. Education Monday: Sharing my Thoughts

In June, the Nancy Davis Foundation;, sponsored an essay contest entitled "I have M.S. but M.S. does not have me."  Patients from across the globe shared their stories hoping not only to inspire but help educate others on the trials and triumphs people with this disease face.  Although I did not enter the contest, I thought I would share what I would have submitted with my friends and followers.

I Have M.S. but M.S. does not have ME!
By: Sarah Brooke Nida, June 2011 (diagnosed August 2010)

I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a teacher. I have M.S. However, M.S. does not have me!!  I have believed since day one of this journey that I would not allow this disease to define who I am or who I will become.  I have chose to view this as a bump in the road on my "journey of life".  Although Multiple Sclerosis could be the scariest adventure for me yet, I am prepared to accept the challenge and hopefully conquer in the end. 

I have made the decision to not live in fear and to accept the reality of this new journey.  Losing my sight was by far the last thing I thought I would ever endure.  When I would think about possible bad things to happen to me, going blind was never one of them.  I took my health, my vision and my freedom for granted.  I watched the world pass by me without taking a moment to enjoy the view and truly take it all in.  Now that I have been blessed with the return of my sight, I will never take these simple moments for granted. 

I will spend my days not only educating myself, but others on the disease, the effects on the patient and their family.  I will become an activist for those fighting that are unable to do so.  I will walk and run and throw my hands in the air with excitement.... BECAUSE I CAN!!  I will spin my children around in the front yard and carry them in my arms knowing that I am one of the lucky ones.  I am lucky to walk on my own two feet and feel everything around me. M.S. may have taken some of my sight, but it sure has not taken me.  

I will continue to find the humor in the times I forget something or have to ask what the t.v. screen says.  I will take my shot and pray that it continues to work for me.  I will spend hours in the waiting room at every doctors appointment and continue to remind myself... I am lucky to be alive.  My diagnosis was an awakening of sorts for me.  I see the world and those around me in a completely different light.  I am more confident, grateful and most importantly content with who I am and who I will become.  I am not a label or a statistic.  I am Sarah Brooke and I have M.S., but M.S. most certainly does not have me. 

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