Where do I begin?
I will be FORTY this year. Check.
I am a mother of three young ladies, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a Godmother. Check.
I have too many nicknames bestowed upon me throughout my years to be named here. Check.
I love sushi. Check.
I was diagnosed and have been living with Multiple Sclerosis for about 15 years. Check.
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune deficiency disease. What that really means is that my auto-immune system is supposed to be protecting my body by design, it instead attacks itself, resulting in varying symptoms and outcomes due to old exasperations or current flare up‘s that are taking place. It affects your nerves and your brain. That’s important to understand because our brain’s are the systems that help us not just think but be. So, being diagnosed with M.S. is scary within itself because of the unknown. Will I lose my vision? Will I be in a wheelchair? Will I lose my ability to remember, or speak, or use the restroom in a restroom or will I lose my functions? What is true for me having M.S. may not be true for another person living with the disease. Even what is true for my experience today may be different tomorrow. It is ever changing and makes each moment new, at least for me. We, those living with M.S., are all different in our experience, our common denominator is M.S.
Living with M.S. is stressful, no matter how at peace or evolved one might be. This is true for the patient and the patient’s loved ones. M.S. is physically and emotionally draining. It is painful and confusing. I find my commitments now come with a disclaimer, “I will be there if I am feeling okay. I will make dinner if I am feeling okay. I will come to your game if I am feeling okay. _______________________if I am feeling okay.”
The fatigue alone is life changing. It makes you reside to your bed when you want to be with your family and friends, enjoying company, reading a book, even cleaning the house. I try, just like everyone does who lives with a chronic illness, to manage the stress, which is so super important.
One of the ways I soothe my mind and body is Greentoes. I go in for varying services; facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures. It is a place that always gives me what I need in the moment. With M.S., my needs change from visit to visit. I might need a massage to help relieve stress one visit and then with the next visit want to focus on a pain area due to stiffening of my muscles. A pedicure and manicure gives me pampering focused application to my hands and feet without exposing myself to dangerous fumes. It aides in the quality of my life instead of doing the opposite.
And I know that it seems I would have a bias, that I love Greentoes, because I planted the “Greentoes Seed”, because it came from a dream which I had and carried through. But, the truth is that I love Greentoes because it is a beautiful experience that really supports me in the way I want to deal the hand I was dealt.
Today there is no cure for M.S. but there is research so that one day there will be. And, I am so honored that my husband would organize a day to raise awareness and money to be part of that missing puzzle piece needed to find a cure.