Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that is increasingly appearing on people’s radars. The West Wing wrote a whole MS storyline into their plot with fictional President Josiah Bartlett suffering from the condition.
High profile actress and model Selma Blair has also lived out her diagnosis and battle against MS on her popular Instagram account. It is people like this who have brought the condition and the plight of the almost two and a half million people who suffer from it to the forefront.
So, if you have been diagnosed with the condition, what does it means for you and how should you envisage your life playing out from the time that you hear the diagnosis.
Here are a few actions to take that will hopefully help you to cope with and manage the situation.
Having MS is not a death sentence so don’t shut down if you hear that you have the condition. Reality TV star Jack Osbourne, who suffers from MS, stated that while he was in no way thankful for having MS, he nevertheless credited it for helping him to be a better person.
Experts suggest that if you are diagnosed with MS that you should stay active and focus on doing activities that will help you build strength and endurance. Good MS exercise is something that doesn’t tire you too much, but which will stretch muscles and nerves and help you build endurance. Running, swimming or anything that increases the heart rate is recommended.
There are plenty of people, many of them famous or high-profile who have battled with MS and who have shared their stories. Many of these people continue to do so on an ongoing basis.
Find people who have lived the battle that you are living and draw inspiration from them. There is something quite profound to be found in being part of a community or group. Use this to help you when times are tough.
Many people who suffer from MS have spoken about how their diagnosis changed the way that they lived their lives. It is a defining moment in life because of the serious nature of the condition and the many implications that it brings with it. Once you are switched on to the fact that you have MS, use it as an opportunity to decide who it is that you want to be. Live intentionally or consciously.
Decide what you want to do and who you want to be. There is nothing quite like an introduction to mortality to help you achieve focus and clarity of thought.
Knowledge is power
Once you have been diagnosed go out and read up about the Multiple Sclerosis condition. Read and research voraciously. The more you know the better you will understand both the condition and your reactions to it. You are not going to find a cure in the books but that is not what this is about.
Understanding brings with it a degree of peace. It will help to answer your questions and ensure that you are able to answer the many tricky or uncomfortable questions that you are sure to be asked by friends and family.