Everyday Life With MS

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Ronith Dunn
I went to school and got my bachelor's in criminal justice. And I thought I was gonna be an FBI agent. So I kind of had to re-evaluate that. I was diagnosed when I was 22. And theres all these thoughts going through my head. And being so young and out of college with all these hopes and dreams and what should I do? And then theyre telling you you have to limit everything. And Im like, oh my God. My worst fear, from what I knew about M.S. was that I thought I would be in a wheelchair at the age of 40. Because its really what I knew about the disease and I was very scared -- very, very scared. So I went on medicine right away. I really took the strength within myself to say, you know what? Im going to do what Im going to do. And I just kind of went on with my life. When I got married and it was about time for me to have kids, my doctor said, Well, are you sure? Because after you have children, you could have a pretty big attack. And I said, Ill risk it. I have two daughters, two wonderful daughters. My oldest daughter is Maddy and shes 18. My youngest is 13. She is graduating from eighth grade and going into high school. One day Im sitting in my office and I snapped. I was like, I've got to get a hold of myself. Ive got young kids. I've got to get my act together, I've got to get my job together, I've got to work, I've got to make money. I started my own company. No more pitying. Ive found that I need every day to do the same thing. So my job, my career is perfect for me. I wake up in the morning, I, have my juice, I feed my kids, I drop them off at school, I go to my office, I work for 6 hours. They come home, I make them dinner, I take them to sports. So I know that I have to have this routine in order to live the lifestyle that Im living. Exercise for me is not about looking fit, it's a necessity. Its sort of like taking medicine. I need to exercise every day. And if I dont exercise, I dont feel so great. I have weakness in my legs and my mind is not good, Im more depressed. I know that I also need alone time. And I tell my children that, too, and they know that. I work from home, so my life is in this house. So I have to get outside of this house and have fun. The hardest part of having MS for me has been to learn my limitations. As Ive gotten older, I realize there are things I can and cant do. And figure out what I can do well and focus on what I can do well and not what I cant do. Its not until now that Im 46 that Im starting to have symptoms that are causing me to slow down a little bit. There are definitely times where I say, "Why me? Why did this happen to me?" But I focus on the positive. Ive got a wonderful family, things are very good.