One year ago, a neurologist confirmed my worst fears—that I have multiple sclerosis. Perhaps I already knew in the back of my mind, after years of phantom symptoms and pain, that this moment was coming, but that didn’t make my doctor’s words any less unexpected or frightening. As I sat in his office with my husband, it seemed as though the world had stopped, and I could barely breathe. I just couldn’t help but think about how life would be now. What about my kids? Can I care for them long term? How will I explain this to them? How will I make it through? How will my husband deal with this?
The past year has been filled with many ups, downs, and zigzags. Treatments, doctors, MRIs, and pain and weakness to deal with, all while trying to resemble a put-together mother, sister, daughter, and wife. I spent a lot of time searching for a reason behind my diagnosis, and it came to me so clearly while sitting in my neurologist’s office one day. My doctor was finishing up a call with an insurance company that was denying a very expensive treatment for one of his patients, who really needed it. He was obviously angry and fought his best fight, but to no avail. There was not even a chance at an insurance appeal. My eyes welled with tears and I knew I had to help my fellow MSers. MS HOPE Foundation was born.
Treatment is so important with this disease. Without the right combination of care; medicine; routine MRIs; and visits to neuropsychologists, ophthalmologists, and urologists, the disease will get the best of you. But no one should have to choose between treating their illness and feeding their family. No one should have to suffer more than someone else because they can’t pay for a certain treatment, doctor, or device. And that is exactly why the MS HOPE Foundation exists: to help people get the care they need so they can live their lives to the fullest.
MS is responsible for taking away so many things from so many people, but every blog I read, every patient I speak with, every doctor I meet—they all talk about HOPE. I now have more of that HOPE than ever. For my kids. For my husband. I HOPE to feel better, I HOPE for a cure, and I HOPE for a promising future for all of us that are dealing with this beast.
One year later I am still shaken by my diagnosis, but I am also overwhelmed by the feeling that I can handle whatever this disease throws at me. Thanks, MS, for a really crappy first year—you almost got me, but I am one up on you!
100 percent of all MS HOPE Foundation proceeds go directly to the cause: patients suffering from MS. If you’d like to help someone with MS, you can make a donation here. Thank you for your generosity.
financial assistance, health insurance, help for MS, medical bills, MS, multiple sclerosis