Every time May 1st comes around, I make another tick in my mind.
It's been three years since I sat in my neurologists office hoping for a different diagnosis than Multiple Sclerosis.
While I was no stranger to MS, my mother raised me and my brother, worked as a Director and somehow managed to be superwoman with the same diagnosis. It wasn't something either of us wanted.
So, what's happened in the last 3 years? I've learned a lot, I've cried a lot, fallen more times than a 27 year old should. So here's to 3 years, and to what I've learned.
I've learned how to explain what it feels like to be tired all of the time. Many people have felt tired. But fatigue is different. Imagine climbing or hiking 50 miles with weights on your ankles and a sack of 50 lbs lugged over your shoulders. That is the kind of tired I feel. It is painful.
I've learned to accept that no matter how much sleep I get, I'll always be tired. No promises on if I'm cranky or not, but I'll always be tired.
I've learned that it doesn't matter if you're gluten free...or maybe it does?
The first three months of my MS diagnosis, I relapsed twice, the second more severe than the first. So when my doctor mentioned changing my medication (Google PML) I did everything in my power to stay on the safest drug on the market. Needless to say, I was the biggest pain in the you know what to go out to eat with and I spent way too much money on gluten free food for an entire year.
I've learned to choose joy. Its really easy to get frustrated when you are telling a story, lose your train of thought or say a word completely off the wall - you just got to laugh and move on.
I've learned to roll with the punches. MS affects every person differently. My legs are numb nearly half of every day, so falling and tripping is a normal occurrence in my life, you just got to roll with it.
I've learned to say no. This one was hard. I love giving of my time and energy to the people that I love. My Sunday School teacher gave me some strong encouragement one night, "you know what Brittni, if you say no, someone else will do that task." He was so right. I can't do everything, and learning to say no is important.
When it comes to the past 3 years, life has been different, but there's hope and an opportunity I have been given with this life. I just can't let it pass me by.