My Multiple Sclerosis Story
By Julie Stamm
I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (“MS”) on January 8, 2007. While I can date my symptoms back to 2001, it wasn’t until 2005 that my symptoms became too debilitating to live the life I once knew and loved. After an official diagnosis, I felt vindicated. I had known something was wrong for many years but was dismissed by innumerable doctors. Knowing gave me power. Knowing who the “man behind the curtain” was, gave me the courage to fight. It wasn’t and isn’t always an easy battle and the unpredictability of this disease is by far the most challenging aspect for me to accept.
Currently, we have no cure but I do believe that one day in the not-so-distant future there will be one. When I was diagnosed in 2007, there were only three options available to me. Since then, we are seeing new drugs introduced at a rapid pace. Now, there are oral medications, medications with greater success rates for reducing relapses, and options for all forms of the disease which, in the past, seemed to have fallen by the wayside.
At first, many aspects of this disease seem unbearable but you fight through it. We MSers fight! We battle to support each other and give each other strength. This disease has changed me in countless ways. In some ways, I am a shell of the woman I once was and the woman I dreamed I would be. I truly believe that I am where I am today because this is where I should be, need to be, and belong. I have a perfect, loving, and supportive partner. We have a beautiful son and each day, regardless of the pain, the worry, the lack of control; I am grateful.
Yes, I would love to one day wake up and not have to look down at my legs and wait for them to wake up. I would love to one day wake up and not have to worry about where every bathroom will be and if I will be able to make it to them. I would love to one day wake up being able to walk and dance as much as I used to.
Most of all, I would love to one day be the best mom in this world. For now, I will be the best me that I can be. I will find solace knowing that I’m not doing such a bad job. The reality is life evolves for all of us. We all want more for our families. We all face obstacles that we need to overcome. We are only here on this earth for a blink of an eye and I hope my moments will matter.
My book, ‘Some Days We…’, is my attempt to leave a footprint.