Friday was my birthday. It was a glorious day, so my girls and I headed out to a local park that I just love.
After I did some cleaning around the house.
I enjoyed every minute of both.
You see, about 20 years ago there were days I only dreamed of doing either thing. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in my teens. It was a bumpy ride. There were hospital stays, 15 of them to be exact. There were medication injections, a cane, a walker, a wheelchair, car hand controls. Did I mention it was a bumpy ride? I was told by doctors that things would probably get worse. It was pretty bleak.
And then a friend introduced me to Dr. R–a neurologist who specialized in MS. Things changed. He took care of medical needs, that previously landed me in the hospital, in his clinic. Medication needs that had previously taken me out of my life for days at a time, now took 3 hours of my time every three weeks. Something else amazing also took place during my appointments with Dr. R–he listened, he worked to improve my quality of life, and he cared. When my now hubby proposed–Dr. R and his staff worked to get me as healthy and as strong as possible so I could enjoy my wedding.
Through Dr. R encouragement and consistent treatment of the MS, I began to have hope my hubby and I could have a family. Up until Dr. R, I was so afraid of my children having a weak mom and possibly MS themselves, that I refused to consider having a family. Dr. R showed me MS was treatable, manageable, and not a death sentence.
The MS receded a bit, and hubby and I had Caitlyn, then Sue, and finally Patrice. And haven’t required any treatment of the MS in 10 years. During my last appointment with Dr. R, I asked him how this was possible. He said, “well maybe you have a course of MS.” To which I laughed. Fifteen hospital stays, 2 for a month each, years of steroid treatments, hand controls on my car and in and out of a wheelchair…mild! “Well, he said, we know hormones play a roll in MS starting and they can play a roll in MS stopping.”
I now exercise a lot, chase my kids around, homeschool my kids, am working on getting back to running…all things I personally never dreamed of doing…all because of the confidence Dr. R gave me to step out of my fears.
This post has taken me a week to write. In part because I wanted it to be just perfect, in part because I never wanted to write it. You see, I found out last week that Dr. R passed away. I haven’t seen him in quite a few years due to the MS being in remission, but I always knew he would be there if I needed him. And now he’s not. My heart breaks for his family, my heart breaks for the MS community, and my heart breaks for me.
What will we do without Dr. R?
Survive til you Thrive!