A Letter to My Newly Diagnosed-self

January 5th, 2015

Hi Keith,

The doctor has just told you that the MRI results are saying you have MS. Take your time. Just breathe – you don’t have to say anything.

I know you like to try crack a joke when you don’t know what else to say but for now just take time to process this new information.

It’s difficult to comprehend the irony of this situation. The one thing you feared happening to you is now happening – and it’s come straight out of the blue. There’s no need to figure out what to do straight away. You have a lot of allies, many of whom you have yet to meet.

Be kind to yourself Keith, this isn’t your fault. In time, you will learn more about this disease and how to manage it. There are many aspects of your life that you feel will need changing and this will become clearer over time.

Time can be viewed as both an asset and a liability. Use it wisely. Learn about MS. Talk to people about your diagnosis when you feel comfortable enough to do so. As human beings, we tend to wait for someone else to share their own sensitive information first before we share ours in return. Know that sharing your story will help others share theirs. Your world does not, and will not, revolve around MS. Yet sharing your story will help you build a trust with people that you have rarely encountered before.

Try to embrace change rather than fear it. The more you do this the better chance you will give yourself of escaping from that indistinguishable shakiness that has haunted you since childhood. You will face many challenges in the years to come. Most of which will be self-inflicted. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.

It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself. This is a very confusing time. You have MS to add to being a small bald man who flickers between being an extrovert and an introvert in a matter of seconds, give yourself a break. MS can steal people’s identity but, in your case, MS will be a catalyst for you to find yours.

Keith, you know the inner strength that you have (that you have always had!). Now is the time to start channeling that strength. It won’t be easy but you will do it. The future is too bright for you to turn your back on it. The things that you will achieve go far beyond any dream you have yet to imagine. Questions followed by answers followed by realisations followed by more questions, answers and realisations will be the new normal.

For now, however, just take a deep breath. Share your initial thoughts and concerns with the doctor (she’s lovely by the way and one of your strongest allies). And love yourself Keith. I love ya anyway!

Your pal,

Keith

September 2021

3 Comments

  1. Lynne Kearns says:

    Keith as always your strength and determination is an inspiration to me and to so many others xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pauline says:

    Ah Keith, what a read 👍👍❤.. amazingly honest , true, from the heart and even some humour thrown in.
    ” the future is too bright for you to turn your back on it “.. love love love this 👍👍.. what a way to fill your heart and the heart of everyone that reads this with honour, excitement and privilege to embrace every day we are given. Have to hand it to you Keith.. you are an amazing writer and please never stop.

    Liked by 1 person

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