As I sit here typing I am acutely aware that I haven’t written a blog in quite a while. I’ve wanted to write, I’ve just been at a loss of what to write about. I even had a draft saved, but when I went to publish it, I just couldn’t. I didn’t feel like it.
Well, it’s the start of a new year. This year will be so different. I am an adult now, I have an adult job, I have adult responsibilities, and instead of furthering my school career, I’m trying to adjust and progress in my nursing career. I have my own apartment, my own car, my own bills, my own meals to make…I know what I’m going to be expecting.
I wish I could say the same for my personal life, my emotions. Since I was diagnosed with MS, I haven’t had time to really grieve about it. I keep thinking I’m alright, but in all truth, I am still walking a fine line between being okay and not being okay. I had enough to distract me in Texas throughout it all – my NCLEX, moving back to Colorado, getting a job. But now? I’m trying to find things to distract myself. My work is a good distraction. 12 hours of work is a good length of time where I don’t have time to think about the fact I have MS. Christmas was a good way to forget about it. But the new year has come and the fact of the matter hasn’t diminished in my mind, despite months since my diagnosis.
I don’t know how many of you know this, but I have been attempting to write some sort of a book related to my experiences with chronic disease and the emotions involved, in hopes that I can help and relate to people out there struggling with the same thing. And the good part is that I’m writing it from the perspective of a nurse who has been a patient one too many times. Every time I sit down to write, my eyes well up with tears and I have to put my computer aside, even though writing is therapeutic. I’m obviously not “alright”. Every time I take care of a patient who has a history of MS, I have to take a step back and just breathe for a minute. I took care of a patient who had a lumbar puncture and all I could think about was when I had to get mine to diagnose my MS and I had to go into the procedure room alone. Every time I see my “Walk MS” t-shirts from college, I want to throw them in the trash. Every time I see an article about MS, I scroll right past it. It’s a stark contrast from my diabetes. When I write about my diabetes, I sit there and think about what else I can include. When I take care of a patient with diabetes, I go in there with a smile, with my head up, and make a personal connection with them. I test their blood sugar with a joke and a smile – “You’ve been poked so many times it doesn’t matter which finger, right?” I wear my JDRF t-shirts with pride. When I see an article about diabetes, I at least stop and read the title. In other words….I’m obviously not alright.
I’m not the same person I was before the diagnosis. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. I don’t feel the same, and despite my efforts to put on a smile and treat my MS like I treat my diabetes, I just…can’t. I have my first MS appointment tomorrow in Denver with the MS clinic. I’ve been so emotional this week. I haven’t felt like talking, I haven’t felt like laughing, I haven’t felt like gathering up all my MS records to bring to my appointment. I certainly don’t feel like going to the appointment to rehash everything I’ve been through with it. I don’t feel like reliving my initial symptoms. I don’t feel like reliving my summer in the hospital, waiting to feel humiliated as physical therapy came by to help me walk around a little. I look at pictures from graduation, smile, and then think, “Wow, I wasn’t feeling all that well right at that moment and I had no idea it was MS. Everything happened so fast.” And my smile fades.
It’s not just my emotions. I feel like my faith has suffered. I have been so shaken by this MS diagnosis, and it just shows how weak I am in my faith. For a little while, I didn’t want to go to church, I didn’t feel any hope. I’ve overcome that now, but still, my faith has suffered a bit. It’s just what Satan wants, but I’ve got to tell you, he’s good at what he does. I’m fighting the feelings every day, but it’s so hard and so tiring. With my diabetes I feel so different, and the stark contrast between the two is foreign to me. Sorting through these emotions is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. The people around me suffer as well. And, I hate making people miserable.
So, to sum up, friends, I just need prayer. I need prayer for this appointment tomorrow and reliving my diagnosis. I need prayer for the strength to continue to fight. I need prayer for healing. I need prayer to stand firm in Christ and rest in His presence. I need prayer to find my joy even in the midst of this. I need prayer to use Christ as my distraction, not other things. Obviously I’m not getting it done on my own. And I know I’m not expected to. But that fact doesn’t make any of this any easier. Thanks for reading, friends.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”