Me and my three-wheel bike!
Summer time is tough for those of us who are living with MS. It's not just that for many of us, our unique soundtrack of symptoms is amplified. For us, leaving the house can be a scary decision-making process filled with all sorts of “if... then” speculation. Those feelings are turned up a notch as we are following our friends who are enjoying every ray of the summer sun and posting in our news feed. (Not that there is anything wrong with that… just saying). And while many of us have an established coping strategy to help manage the envy that goes hand-in-hand with living with this variable disease, it's really tough (for me) to look at the posts made by people who DO have MS. You know, those pics of long walks down (what we call in New Jersey) the shore, or hikes that find an amazing view at the summit, or a bike-a-thon for a favorite nonprofit-dot-org.
Being envious of people who have basic abilities is a reality that many of us endure. And though this ability ebbs and flows over time, it’s much harder for me to talk myself out of the jealousy that creeps in. And I know, I know—everyone has a different version of MS, many deal with some very challenging symptoms that are invisible to most. I still have a bunch of those too. In fact, if you met me while I’m sitting down, you might say “but you look so good!" (That is, unless you have MS and know better.)
But… Maaaaa!Why can’t I have that other kind of MS?? All the other kids at school do! It’s not fair!!!
So, I pick up my toys and run home. It’s a safe cozy place with air conditioning. And when I do venture out to ride my three-wheeled bike, or using my beach-accessible-chair, I will be sure to post pics where all of my friends can admire my strength and perseverance that I’m working hard to conjure up. But hey—at least it looks great on facebook! ;)