Tagged with: awareness diagnosis disability exercise multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a difficult disease to be diagnosed with at a young age. You don’t know when it will take its full toll on you, if ever. I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago at the age of 22. Even till this day, not a lot of people know I have the disease. I have relapsing remitting, so I rarely show signs of the condition, and when I do have symptoms I try to keep them to myself and hide them the best that I can. It isn’t that I’m insecure of having the condition; it’s that I don’t want anyone to have pity on me or treat me any different than before.
Similar to myself, I have seen people that are newly diagnosed with a condition that go about dealing with it in so many different ways. Some people get angry, sad, depressed, live in denial, or occasionally use it for something positive. They use it as a motivation to fight against something they can now relate to first hand.
I for one was literally heartbroken. My initial reaction to my diagnosis was, “Well, now what am I supposed to do? I love to run, bike, kayak, camp, climb, play sports, and not to mention I’m half way through obtaining a master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology.” The entire plan for my life involved MOVING; not becoming disabled!
After I went through the initial shock and pain, I got over it pretty fast. I thought to myself, “Hey! Wait a minute! I can still move! No one knew I had this condition before it had a name! Why should I change my lifestyle now?”
So, I changed my attitude immediately. I started fundraising for the MS Society through rides and races, & I’ve participated in all of them. I am now inspired to push my body to its limits while I still can.
FolIowing my diagnosis in 2008, I participated in my 1st 5K race, 1st sprint triathlon, and I completed 175 miles for my 1st MS bike ride. In 2009, I completed another 5K race, graduated with my master’s degree, and I completed 162.5 miles in my 2nd MS bike ride. In 2010, I got first place in my age group in two separate 5K races, completed a 10K MS Mud Run, and completed my first marathon in San Antonio with a finishing time of 3:57:50.
As the MS Society says, “Move to create a world free of MS.” I will continue to move to prove that MS has not beaten me yet. It may overcome me someday, but that someday is not here yet & just because of a diagnosis I won’t let it overtake me now. I’m going to continue to move & fight in this battle not only for myself, but for those that MS has already consumed.