I’d like to start this story where I am today, here and now. Twelve years after I first heard those life changing words from an unfamiliar doctor, “I am 99% sure you have Multiple Sclerosis”.
Basically all of the fears and worries those words prompted came true in one way or another. I am no longer able to drive. Walking is much harder than it should be for a 36 year old. But what was most painful? The reality that I am no longer capable of working; in conventional terms that is! My routine visit to my occupational therapist knocks the wind right out of me! Now MS has ripped away certain aspects of my life and changed others completely! This I accept. But I refuse to let it dampen the essence of who I am! Before MS, I was a comical and studious young lady. Now I may not be as lively as I was, but at heart, I’m the same old Nicole. As many friends say after they conjure up the courage to stop by and see me in this new normal.
To be honest, I no longer recognized who I was! But after the shock of everything faded away and the tears dried up, I got reinforcements of family and supportive caregivers around me. In time, I started writing and teaching myself Spanish! I told you I liked to study! I believe I found myself once more! And yes, I was right here the entire time! But it’s important to know this was a slow process. This is especially true because for the first nine years, MS only amounted to a huge inconvenience. You only knew I had it if I told you.
Right now I sit at the computer struggling to remain upright, as my core strength is weaker. Today that is. So I’m hard pressed to sit up similar to a baby learning the same thing. This new symptom may be transient. It’s better for me to think it is, but I’m prepared if it’s not. So, my electric scooter is at attention, walker nearby and husband within ear shot. I feel safe. I still do the things that I enjoy, just maybe a little differently, a little slower, or maybe with an accommodation or two. For instance, soon I’ll probably need some sort of voice recognition software on my MAC. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!
My name is Nicole Lemelle. I am a writer, activist, married woman and a person living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I created My New Normals to educate those who do not understand MS, reassure people with similar plights and inspire everyone to seize command of their lives. You can find me on my blog; My New Normals, Twitter- @nclark140, Tumblr or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org