The Unexpected Gift of Having MS
After 7 years of living with MS, I no longer view my diagnosis as a hardship or deterrent in my life. In fact, over the last year I have truly realized the unexpected gift that MS has given me – the skills to advocate for myself and others.
My diagnosis forced me to learn the ins and outs of the complex insurance and health system, taught me to dig through physicians and medical institutions to find qualified resources, to think through the long-term consequences of my actions and how to ask the right questions throughout my journey. I’ve learned to learn use my voice to push for answers, get difficult appointments and to contest wrongdoings.
What I didn’t realize throughout this process was that this training wasn’t for myself. My training was for my children.
I find myself now raising humans that have started developing their own sets of challenges that need to be managed, much in the same way as my MS… researching specialists, making appointments, monitoring progress and new developments, managing schedules and tapping into resources – just to name a few.
As parents, it’s our job to not only be there emotionally for all the big (and small) parts of their journey, but to help them navigate through their challenges as their advocate.
So in light of this season of gratitude, I want to focus on the positive of having MS… shift the narrative of any diagnosis… and narrow in on the gift that’s behind it all:
MS taught me not only how to become an advocate for myself but for my children and for this, I am incredibly thankful.
What unexpected gift has MS given you?