The MS Society released a new campaign this spring to help increase awareness, help MS families, patients, and assist with education and of course fundraising. (Big Sigh) I’ve been around the not-for-profit world (public libraries) long enough (14 years) to know when there is a big push coming on, and yes, this is the Big MS Walk & fundraising season…
BUT this copy did make me stop and think! It did hit HOME! And yes! IT is personal!
Shortly after I was diagnosed and accepted the news, I told close family and a select few close friends and began the process of treatment etc. Then I started to notice that things began to get a little funny with a few of my friends, and not the ha-ha funny. I thought I was strong enough to begin telling people about this disease about which I knew very little and was learning every day, and suffer the fall out, but it turns out MS really does Kill Connections! It makes it hard for some people to adapt to your disease even though they are on the fringes, they might not be your best friend, but to have them pull back, stop calling, stop asking to get the kids together for play dates, and even keep run-in conversations to small talk hurts. As a parent, I would have told my kids that these people weren’t really your friends in the first place, but golly, we were in our thirty’s! It wasn’t like I was trying to be the poster girl for MS at this point in my life either, I didn’t want lots of folks to know, I just wanted everything to go away and return to normal because my symptoms had subsided with medications after all. Cripes, this is the first time I’ve really even owned up to these feelings til now. I do see these folks from time to time, we chat, catch up on the kids goings on and leave it at that, but I guess there will always be a part of me that feels sad for them, I hope someday they can be strong enough for someone who will need them. But on to the positives….
MS has brought into my life so many wonderful caring people who didn’t even know I have the disease until recently! Crazy as that might seem, but if it weren’t for the disease I would not have made the choices or decisions I have in the past three years. Most of them have been family or health related with a focus on what makes us happy or content, or keeps us spending time together or apart (which ever is necessary at the time).
The MS Connection site went live this week and has been hopping since! I logged on and have been enjoying the resources and connections. I hope this format will continue and word will spread to others affected by MS; because there are days that even though I know how much my husband and kids love -love me there is no way they can ever understand how I feel inside, nor would I ever want them to, but sometimes it helps to have someone to commiserate with. Someone you just don’t have to explain a lot to, they just get it.