Yes indeed there are good things from having MS and living with it. Please remember that 23 years ago there were no computers for the masses or anything else like they have now. So there was no quick way to reach out to others or learn much of anything about MS. I went to the library in search of information, but what I found was not helpful.
So now that I started my MS fight I had to open one door at a time and see where that led. First up was going across the road to a neighbor’s home for I knew the couple there both had MS. I had never really spoke to them much only a greeting or so at our mail boxes. I didn’t know what to expect but had to start somewhere.
Nothing like going to someone’s home and saying "Hi! I have MS and would like to talk to you about it", but that is exactly what I did. They were very nice and we talked for some time. Upon leaving the husband’s only advice to me 'be kind to yourself...you will know what I mean after a while." As time went on I did indeed figure out what he meant.
Shortly thereafter I had another MS appointment and I asked my intimating doctor if there was more information somewhere about living with MS. He then wrote down the phone number of the MS Society and said give them a call. When I got home I did and they were so nice and said they would send a big packet of information to me and to I would be added to their mailing list. A few days later the packet arrived and I must admit I was upset seeing my name with it and tears spilled down my cheeks. I really didn’t expect much help, however I was wrong.
There were all kinds of things inside geared to help me with this journey. It took me a few days to absorb it all and then I called them again with questions. I said I wanted to try the nearest MS support group and asked how I could join it. At that time the nearest group was in another town, but they arranged for a couple to pick me up and take me to the next meeting.
The next month arrived and the couple came for me and off we went. I learned the wife had MS so the husband would take her and then leave. We talked a bit then we arrived at this school for special children. This MS group had 300 members so they needed a big meeting place. We walked in and they showed me around and said OK we will see you later, just go around and mingle with others. I was left standing there thinking, here I am the shyest person on earth and I am to mingle?? They must be kidding!
So I just meandered around and saw everything MS can do to someone and I was quite shaken. Then the leader of group came over to welcome me and saw my distress. He said "Look around and you will see that most people are walking. I want to introduce you to those who cannot so you can learn something." I certainly did.
What I learned was that no matter what disability someone had they were a person first with feelings, emotions, and personalities and they were there to help others and themselves. I quickly saw a lot of abilities each person had and the absolute grit so many showed. They came from all walks of life. I was not alone with this anymore and my shyness dissipated. I was now learning good things that one can use anywhere in one’s life.
Next Blog: The Meeting and how it opened more doors to good things I had never imagined.
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