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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis: Who Do I Blame For This?

Isn't it interesting how we, as human beings, always feel better when we can "assign blame" for a perceived insult?

My observations are: Many people do this, and it is probably a very bad habit to get into. The blame game will not leave you better off in the end, will it? If you can blame your problem, whatever it might be, on another person....you will still have your issue, won't you?

How do we disconnect from this age-old habit as MS patients? With MS, we can potentially blame our genetics, our ethnic background, our geographical location, the environment, and possibly a virus for our illness. But still, in 2014, we have no solid evidence as to who or what is responsible for this disease. Would it matter?

Having MS is a great way to learn that you cannot always find someone at fault for your problems. I suppose the key is to stop blaming, and start living in spite of it.

We can blame the "system" for our lack of disability benefits, our employer for our lack of health coverage, and our families and friends for not understanding the struggle we go through. We can blame our treating physicians for not diagnosing us quickly enough, not treating us appropriately, or not being sympathetic enough. We can blame society for not taking care of the disabled more appropriately (some countries do a better job of this than others.)

However, in the end, even if some of these issues are spot-on, we are still left to live with this illness until a cure is found. We are challenged to not only survive, but to actually live our lives to the fullest extent possible.

I was diagnosed with MS after the birth of my fifth and final child, and I often spend time thinking, "would I have had all these children if I had known?" Probably not, in all reality. I would have been better prepared for needing to slow down my life as much as possible, and brace for the future. I would have had more time to rest, in the quiet, and recover from my relapses. I would have had more time to spend taking care of myself instead of my large family.

Time after time, I come to the conclusion, however; that my children are the reason I get out of bed on some days. On those very difficult, dark days when every single step is a marathon, and every twist of the spine is painful, and my hands won't cooperate with the simplest of tasks, I would likely just stay in bed if it weren't for them.

I have to say, I recognize that I cannot blame myself for the choices I have made in my life. Yes, my life may have easier without my "bunch," but easier isn't necessarily better. Rather than giving in and giving up on hard days, I have no choice but to get up and try: and sometimes that's all we need.

Find your reason to try today.

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