So yesterday I attended my first “MS day”. I wasn’t apprehensive about going but more curious as to who would be attending. I was concerned for Michelle. She’s been so brilliant and probably knows more than I do now about MS. But still I didn’t want her seeing those who are affected worse than me and worrying that’s what the future has in store for us.
The group of around 30 consisted of people of all ages. All with different experiences of MS. I think Copaxone (my medication) was the common denominator. I still consider myself to have only had one clinically isolated episode although it lasted for months. So I really don’t think I have had to go through what many others in the room have been through or are currently going through. It was difficult for the most part to tell who were the ones with MS and who were there in support. Michelle was asked a couple of times when she was diagnosed. She would say she was here because of me but she’s been with me the whole way so can probably talk about the journey better than I can.
All in all it was a positive experience especially for Michelle which was important to me. I would like more emphasis on lifestyle factors such as diet and excercise as I know in my case anyway that’s played a big factor in both getting sick and recovering from my first attack. There was a piece on mindfulness which was interesting as it applied to anyone really. Although when the lady giving the talk asked us to close our eyes and listen to our surroundings I was afraid i was going to let a loud fart so kept laughing to myself. I need to take these things more seriously.
One part of the day that really struck me was after lunch when we sat in a circle facing each other. We were asked to put up our hand if we felt we had lost our identity because of MS. To see men and women of all ages put up their hand up was crushing. I suppose I hadn’t thought about having my own identity until now. I know we have all had different experiences of MS and it’s still new to many of us but I’ve thought to myself if I’m not going to start trying to be the person I want to be now when will I? I kept my hand down.
The motivational speaker at the end was good. He didn’t have MS but had overcome other demons. He got across some really good points. One being that how you dress affects how you feel about yourself. I’ve taken a mental note of that. He did say there was one thing he wanted us to take away from his talk but I can’t remember what that was. I like to blame MS for my poor short term memory.
My favourite part of the day was a talk called be your own superhero. I’ve already tweeted the speaker to say who I want to be:
Finally I love a good quote and Emma who gave the “superhero” talk had a couple for us. I think they were taken from poems. Immediately I had a line from an Aslan song come to my head. So to quote the mighty Christy and the boys:
“This is your life, your time, you gotta make it”