Just One Breath

An American girl in Scotland, figuring things out one step at a time

…where I am going


Since mid April there have been many ups and downs. I have been back to the gym and it proved to be more challenging then I remembered. I think the hospital stay made me finally acknowledge that there was something more wrong than a pinched nerve. I couldn’t just tough it out and pretend it would get better on it’s own. I have tried to remain positive and keep telling my family to be positive. I have been holding on for dear life that I will be ok, that the healing will be the end of it, that I can just live happily and peacefully with Jamie. I prayed, I meditated, I received Reiki and I have done everything I could to get in touch with my phantom parts. I knew they were there even if I couldn’t feel them.

I finally had my neurology appointment in May. Jamie and I met with with a great Doctor and by this time I was well on my way to healing so I was hoping for a good outcome from the visit. We were shown my brain scan and it was peppered with white blobs that were all of the damage. It was scary to see. Although Dr. Dani was very nice he had some not so nice things to tell me. I was told that I was being diagnosed with “Clinically Isolated Syndrome” the pre-MS diagnosis. He told me that although I present with Demyelination and many typical symptoms they can’t diagnose with MS at this time even though that is where they believe the diagnosis will lead. I didn’t know how to react. I was correct about the Relapsing Remitting MS that I had found out about, that will be the one, all I need is one more bad MRI and that will be the final piece to the puzzle. I felt stunned, MS… Wow!… Really? I thought that I was ready for this, I was wrong. When we left the hospital we had gotten about half way down the sidewalk to the bus and Jamie realized I was not quite right, he stopped me and I wept into his loving arms for a few minutes. At that moment I began telling myself to hold on to what Dr. Dani had said, live well, eat well and continue living everyday the way I have been. Don’t give up… and I wasn’t going to.

Telling my family was the hardest part. I wanted to be able to tell them something good not this. They were deeply saddened but held on to the things that I was stressing, I was getting better. Every week I was noticing a return to normal sensations throughout my body. I seemed to be healing from the feet up. I was able to tell them that I was in the rotation to see the neurologist every few months for a check up and I was being put in touch with an MS nurse to be my go to contact if something happened again. I was trying to convince them and myself that everything would be fine.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months I have had time to think about what this experience was meant to teach me. Why did this happen to me when finally things seemed to be turning around? I think I may have found the answer. I needed to live. I needed to actually live. Since I moved to Scotland to be with Jamie I have had one stress after another and many self-induced. Visas aside, I needed a job. I needed to contribute. I wasn’t actually seeing that I was working. I had 2 volunteer jobs for nearly a year that I was valued at and counted on by. I had just finally gotten a real part-time job. I was contributing everyday to my marriage by making a home and being supportive and loving to my husband. I may not have been bringing home a lot of money (like I am used to killing myself working way too many hours for) but our home was running smoothly because of what I was doing. I couldn’t see anything beyond getting a full-time job. I was blind by my need to earn my keep and to help financially. This illness has made me realize what I have and what I contribute. It has made me realize it is ok to slow down and just live the life that I have. I don’t need to search for more because we are fine… we are a team. I am not in anything alone.

My healing is still in progress but I continue to hope that soon I will be back to normal. I have the most wonderful family, through birth and through marriage. I have wonderful trainers at the gym that have helped me get through this and will continue to support me. My Doctors have been so amazingly helpful and are there to offer help and advice anytime I need them. I am still working through the fear of a relapse and possible final diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting MS. Meeting with my MS Nurse was so helpful to relieve the stress of the last few questions I had. I know I can’t live in fear and now that I have gotten through this I know I will get better. I will make it through a relapse, if it happens, the way I have this… by living, by not giving up, by putting my faith in those that love me and in myself. I have my rock… God Bless my Jamie who has held me so many times when I couldn’t stand anymore. I know he will be there and if I do as the Doctors order and as I believe I can, I will live well, eat well and continue… x h

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