Over the past seven years, I’ve faced a daily battle. My battle is with a disease that I have no control over. The disease is Multiple Sclerosis MS). There are various symptoms with MS. You can take two people with it, sit them side by side, and their symptoms and afflictions can be totally different.
It took ten years with different doctors, different tests, and different diagnosis, before there was finally a name given to my illness. On that day, oddly enough, I felt relief. Finally I knew what to call my illness. The guessing and waiting was over. The time for treating had come. The treatment is as various as the disease itself.
There have been great leaps in the treatment for MS over the last ten years. New drugs, new testing, and a new understanding of the disease itself. What works for one person may not work for another, and vise-versa. I had to accept that even with knowing what disease I had, it didn’t make treating it any easier. Mainly treatment entails treating the symptoms.
There’s medicine for the muscle spasms, the nerve pain, the depression, the tremors, and the fatigue. All of which help, but none of them is a cure. There is no medicine that gives feeling back to numb legs or arms. There is no medicine for the double and blurred vision. There also is no medicine for the loss of independence.
One of the first questions someone asked me after I was diagnosed was by my youngest daughter. She asked, “Mom, what are you going to do?” I will always remember the fear and concern on her face. I also will remember and repeat my answer even today. “I will trust in God, for He is in control of all things.” My outlook is and always has been that God looked down on me and felt that I needed a rest from the physical vigor of my life.
I had worked since I was fourteen years old. Many times I had held down 2 jobs at a time. My children where basically grown. My youngest was sixteen and my oldest was in College. Now was the time for physical rest. I will admit though it was a drastic change in my life. I went from being totally independent to being dependent, almost overnight.
I had many lessons to learn. I had to learn to be humble and patient. I also had to learn to trust in others to handle things I had always taken care of. I didn't lay down and give up though. I continued to fight back against this disease. When I couldn’t walk, I sat proudly in a wheelchair. When I couldn’t drive, I probably drove the driver crazy! I learned to ask for what I needed. I learned to accept my limitations, but found new ways to approach things.
I also learned to strengthen my faith in God. This is the most important lesson that I learned through all of this. My faith is what helps me to endure. Just knowing that our God is a loving God, and no matter what we face He is always with us, make it easier to endure all things.
Thus I say:
My Spirit rejoices-
with each new trial.
I greet it graciously-
with a knowing smile.
My life on earth-
is just a section.
My life Eternal-
by His gracious Salvation.
Written by Carol Jo Smith