Whether measured in moments, hours, or days, there are times when chronic illness can get you down.
There are times when living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is, well … there are just times.
There are times like when we wake up with expectations for the day or week ahead only to have their potential blown away like a path in the sand, or when you know the night before to rake the path yourself, because your body is telling you “no” before you even ask.
Times like when you meet someone who hasn’t seen you in a good while and, whether they say it or not, you can see that they see the obvious reality you’ve been avoiding in the mirror.
And the times when you meet a friend with MS whom you haven’t seen in far too long, and their disease progression feels as painful as if it were your own.
There are times when we’re alone and we wish for nothing more than the company of someone else. Not to talk about MS, maybe not to talk at all, but just for their company.
Then there are times when one more person in the room feels like it will make you scream, because all you want from anyone is to be left alone.
There are times in the winter when the cold has our muscles stiff and sore, and times when summer’s heat has us wracked with fatigue and reliving symptoms from our past. And, of course, during these times we wonder how we’ll pay to heat or cool the house so that we might (just might) mitigate some of those symptoms.
There are times I comb through research papers to find a grain of hope and times I feel that all I see are clickbait headlines with words like “potential,” “hope,” and “further research needed” that lead me down a rabbit’s warren of false starts and dead ends.
There are times when I experience the adult version of being unjustly grounded to my room for an offense that was not mine, only to hear the other kids playing outside on a fine summer’s evening.
Yes, living with MS there are times … but then there are other times.
The times when we feel lost, vulnerable, and alone but find someone else who understands, not for the miserably inadequate way we’ve explained our feelings, but because they have been there as well.
There are times when today is better than yesterday, or the day ends better than it began. The moments we almost (almost) forget about the disease, and those ever so important times we find ourselves laughing at a situation rather than weeping because of it.
Times when that double-edged word “hope” cuts through our fears for tomorrow rather than slicing our plans for today.
There are those times when I think of all the great minds working diligently for better treatments, for breakthrough science, and toward the ultimate goal of ending this disease.
These latter times can be fewer, more difficult to recognize, and more precious for the effort. It is when things are on the negative side of the MS number line that it’s important to remember the positives that are out there. When we’re in the darkest places, to recall the light that once shown and will again.
At times that slogging through the swamp of MS can be exhausting down to the very fiber of our nerves — and if I’m being honest with myself and our readers, it’s more often than I’d rather admit.
But there are also times when we win the day, when it’s good news we get from our doctors, or someone simply calls in to see us.
There are times, and then there are times. I suppose it all comes down to how we live in the times we have.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
Important: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.