Guest Post by Modern Day MS blogger Beth Prystowsky.
The day I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I took my kids out for sushi. My kids were four and six at the time. It was September; my son had just started at a new school and my daughter was in preschool for only two hours a day.
From the hospital, I organized school activities and drop-offs and continued to write my blog, Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom.
My right foot seemed to drag behind me when I walked, despite the yoga stretches, massage, bath and other techniques I tried, and my hand was numb. But I would not let this stop be from doing what needed to be done for myself and my family.
Within two weeks of my diagnosis, and after the IV and oral steroids faded out of my system, my walking was back to normal and I no longer felt any numbness. I was back to teaching yoga and I returned to caring for my children full-time, and I’ve done my best to keep my drive and commitment, despite the difficult days.
Since that day in 2012, I am conscious to continue and move my life forward. Some days I have to force myself to get dressed and head out to teach yoga, but every single time I am done with yoga, I feel better and am glad that I went. Reminding myself that others are counting on me at yoga class and the benefits it will cause my own body, I take my time getting ready and allow myself time to rest afterwards.
However, despite my motivation to go on with a positive attitude, it was depressing when I (or my family) searched online for MS symptoms, medications or any information about multiple sclerosis.
I found myself wishing there was a positive place online to learn about this chronic disease that affects 2.3 million people worldwide. All I seemed to find online about multiple sclerosis was sad stories of the lack of independence and damage done to relationships and families.
Again, I took the same approach to move forward and tried to create that place that only before was in my head. I began small by researching, visualizing and making lists.
It was the summer of 2014 that I made the decision to follow my heart and create Modern Day MS. For months, I worked with a designer while writing content, managing logistics and networking.
Balancing it all didn’t seem too challenging at the time because I was passionate about this project and wanted to spend all my free time working on it. I hope my kids learned from watching my drive and gained independence during the times I wasn’t available for them.
In 2014, I launched Modern Day MS, a website to learn about MS symptoms, treatments, research as well as creating Real MS Stories and MS in the news. The effort and time I spent building this space was worth it, especially when I receive a message from a reader telling me that something they read on the site has helped them.
Today, I took out the garbage that was piling up by my snowy, freezing Chicago back door for a few days. It seemed like it took a lot of effort to get my coat and boots on and carry the heavy bags down the stairs through the garage and into the alley. Once I made the decision to do it, I again committed and completed the task, despite the challenging wind, ice and cold that stood between me and my goal.
Some days taking out the garage is an accomplishment. Other days, when the sun is shining and my stress is limited, I can briefly forget that I have multiple sclerosis and I can just be me.
With the new year here, I am reflecting on how I can keep moving forward in 2016. I begin each day reminding myself how blessed I am. I have a beautiful family and do everything I can for them. I hope Modern Day MS reaches even more readers and awareness is created for multiple sclerosis. My ultimate hope is that we find a cure for MS in my lifetime and when we do, I'll be sharing the news with the world.
The possibilities are endless!