Multiple Sclerosis and Giving Thanks; Living with the Disease

  • Thanksgiving comes around once each year, but I like to remain thankful for my many blessings and fortunes throughout the year.

    This year I am thankful for many things.  Here are just a few... 


    1.  Loved ones:  I may not have a spouse, but I do have my Sweetie who has stayed by my side during the crap which is a MS diagnosis and the roller coaster which is living with multiple sclerosis.  He even takes over the driving and lets me nap when my brain gets foggy like it did this morning while returning from vacation.


    2.  Supportive family:  My mother, who has become my best friend, serves as my caregiver at times.  She gives me room to be myself, whether I am crabby, depressed, fatigued, weak, confused, and even when I am strong and cheerful.

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    3.  A roof over my head:  I may not own a house, but I have a home which keeps me warm, safe, and dry.  This is also a home from which I never risk being evicted.


    4.  Employment:  I may not be rich in money, but I am rich in blessings and opportunities.  Each music student presents a unique opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life and to influence his/her future.  Each time a student demonstrates understanding, problem-solving skills, and joy, it provides me a little bonus and increases my professional satisfaction.


    5.  Health:  Although I am living with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression, I am basically a healthy person.  My heart, lungs, and other organs work well, so I am fortunate indeed.


    6.  Good doctors:  I am thankful for knowledgeable doctors whom I trust.  Unlike some patients I’ve read recently (not here of course) discuss displeasure with doctors who are not quick to diagnose MS, I do not buy into the theory that doctors have a God-complex and are intimidated by informed and empowered patients.


    7.  Pharmaceuticals:  Although often expensive and possessing side-effects, I am thankful for the medications which help me to function as well as I do.  If it weren’t for the drugs used to treat my rheumatoid arthritis, I might still be waking up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain while my hands felt ablaze and attached to an electrical outlet.


    8.  Health insurance:  Even with some complaints and serious exclusions, I am fortunate to have the insurance coverage I do have.  Without coverage, I would not have easy access to the benefits above.


    9.  Friends:  I have friends who care about what happens with me and who truly wish the best for my health and well-being.  Who could ask for more than that?


    10.  Internet:  This one sounds silly, perhaps.  But without the internet, I would not have easy access to such great medical and scientific information nor such a wonderful support system which I’ve found at The Health Central Network and the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

      Thank you.


      Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

    Published On: November 28, 2008