Around 3 a.m. the results of my MRI have been confirmed by a neurologist. A physician’s assistant is sent into this small, cold room to talk to me. Her words become the soundtrack to everything I value flashing before my symptomatic eyes. She tells that my optic nerve is swollen, putting pressure on my eye, causing it to distort colors and making me lose visual clarity. I also have a number of lesions on my brain. The combination of these issues leads the neurologist to believe I have multiple sclerosis. While it leads me to believe I am the epitome of totally screwed. I text my husband a single phrase that’s far too crass to repeat here, but you can take me at my word—it was wholly applicable.
When I was first diagnosed, people who thought they were helpful would tell me stories that threatened to strip away my hope. “You should move to a one-story house”, because you know I might as well give up on the idea of being able to maneuver a flight of stairs. Or they would say that it’s likely my husband would leave me because MS is not only a strain on your brain but also your relationship. “My friend’s husband left her after she got MS, but she’s alright without him.” a nurse told me during my inpatient hospital stay. Some would slyly demand I give in to MS and give up on my dreams of being a creative entrepreneur.
Internally, I fought with my mind and my body. For a while, I couldn’t physically write properly. My husband filled out the forms at the doctor’s office, and I struggled to get my hand to sign my name at the bottom. I had to decide between a menagerie of potentially dangerous medications while trying to parent a three-year-old and managing a left arm that didn’t have enough strength to hold my four-month-old baby. It is almost impossible to express the amount of fear and worry that come with a diagnosis of a neurological issue. For over a year, I woke up every day wondering if my legs were still working. Every. Single Day. I lived in fear of having a sudden seizure or going blind or going from an arm that was weak to an arm that wouldn’t work at all. I worried about dropping
my baby or otherwise endangering my children as a result of the unexpected nature of this disease. I struggled with how I could reach my goals when some days I could barely reach for a drink of water.
But then I learned to see outside of my fear. The natural methods I used to get healthier proved beneficial, and over time I was able to start dreaming again. I challenged myself not to give up. Yes, life was more complicated as a mom with MS, but I didn’t have to let the disease undo me. Now, that difficult to hold infant is a difficult to reason with 3-year-old. His brother is now 6 and has set-up his own workspace to be like Mommy. I hope they never remember a Mommy who was scared to dream big.
Yes, Hold the Line is about your family and mine trying to figure out how to make practical, progressive change in a scary intolerant world. But on a micro-level, Hold the Line, is about me, as a mom, showing my boys that fear cannot stand in the way of your goals. People around you giving up on you and writing you off as destined to steep in the stifling waters of a diagnosis cannot stop you from trying your hardest to overcome. Adversity, whether temporary or prolonged, cannot steal your light.
I don’t know what my future holds, but my present holds the line, and I am infinitely grateful to share my dream with you. I hope that you’ll love our first issue and give it as gifts, share it with your Facebook groups, your Instagram followers, and your offline friends, family, and community. And I hope you’ll stick around for future issues as we continue to improve our methods of showcasing powerful pieces and direct calls-to-action.
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