Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's that time again

It's that time again. Time to get serious. If you have been paying attention, I've been feeling pretty awesome for about 2 years. Until Tuesday the 11th.

The timing is intriguing. Although March is officially MS awareness month, we have been immersed in MS events this month.

The first was Legal Day, where we got to meet with a lawyer for 30 minutes on any legal issue.

The second was a Women's Breakfast, where my neuropsych did a talk about how women have to restructure their cognitive thinking.

The third is an MS bike ride. Yannos and 6 of our friends are riding 61 miles this weekend. They have raised more money than I ever dreamed and I am super excited about the event. Check it out here if you are interested in donating.

Tomorrow I will have a brain MRI. I've had too many MRIs to count on both hands, which is slightly troubling considering I'm only 30. Multiple knee injuries and a neurological disease will do that to you.

Being active in the MS world is as rewarding as it is disturbing. It is so much easier to ignore the world around you than it is to participate. My mom and Yannos walked away from Legal Day a little heavyhearted. They were quiet about it, but you can watch someone shrink a little when they are face to face with a disturbing probable future. Wobbly. Unstable.

I didn't take the same feelings away as they did. I vividly remember the couple with the wife using a scooter and her husband's hand on her shoulder. The smiling daughter holding coffee for her mom using the walker. Love. Smiles. These are the things you have to look for to stay grounded. 

I imagine they would have felt the same way at the Women's Breakfast: walkers parked in every corner of the room.

But I saw a room full of women who aren't content to sit at home. A woman who rode her scooter 3 miles from the Metro station. Walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, and scooters aren't a sign of weakness. They are proof that you are still living your life. That you are a fighter who cares about participating.

Mothers who raised compassionate children from a wheelchair. Wives who maintain loving relationships despite fatigue. Daughters who care for their aging parents between drug infusions. What incredible role models these women are.


  1. Wow - this is powerful stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. What you said about assistive devices not being signs of weakness is dead on - I try to impress this upon my patients who are too stubborn to agree to use an assistive device and insist on struggling through their limitations. I admire your ability to see the positive side of living with a disease like MS.

    1. Thanks so much Alina. Unfortunately with assistive devices, you can hear it a thousand times but you have to reach the conclusion on your own.

  2. Beautiful Ashley! So reflective and articulate on a difficult topic.