Keep a Positive Attitude

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Updated When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, my initial reaction was shock. At that time, I did not know a lot about multiple sclerosis. I had heard about it. I think I knew the worst-case scenario, which is Richard Pryor being in a wheelchair. But I didn’t understand all of the symptoms or the degrees to having the disease or a lot about it. After being diagnosed in 2008, I felt like I was living my life,

but I wasn’t really living a full life. I dropped out of school. I kind of shut down. I wasn’t communicating with friends and family. I kind of considered what’s my purpose here, why am I even bothering to work hard, to do anything when really don’t know how this disease is going to treat me. One of the things that my doctor told me very early on in my diagnosis is that this disease is going to feed off of your negative energy. If you’re negative and you lay down and you just let this disease take you over,

you’re going to get sick. He’s like ‘you’ve got to get up, and you’ve got to live your life like there is nothing going on. You have to fool this disease into knowing that you are controlling it, it’s not going to control you. And so it was almost like a cloud was lifted from me, and it was like sunshine came in and I just decided I can live a full life with this disease, and I will live a full life with this disease.

I am that kind of person that can control it. And so I just started spending more time with family, spending more time with friends. If there is an event to go to, instead of saying no, And so I’ve been doing that for the last few years. And I have the most amazing support system, so they do push me and it gives me something to look forward to and to be positive about even while I’m living with this disease. Before, when something would happen,

I would freak out because you have every right to freak out. But my doctor has said to me, he’s like ‘for everything that can happen to you, you’ve got to trust that I’ll try to find a way to get this back. So recently, when I wasn’t able to walk and I couldn’t speak. Having to want to get your words out and thinking of the things you want to say and not being able to vocalize that…that’s pretty scary. And I was like, ‘you know what, after dealing with this disease for so many years, I trust that this is going to be a temporary place, and I’m going to be better.’ And sure enough, in a couple of days, I was walking better.

And it took a little while longer, but my speech has come back. I’m able to write again. I’m able to drive. For me, the only way that can happen is not just with my medications, but with my positive attitude. I’ve made up my mind that MS is definitely not going to control my life. I have control over this disease and even when I’m not and I have an attack, I am determined to live my best life.