When you first get diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (or at least when the doc seriously suspects it), there are a number of different coping mechanisms. You might try to see just how many tears you can cry before your eyeballs dehydrate and start to deflate. You might watch a marathon of Happy Days episodes just because of the show’s ironic title, but when they sing the theme song at the beginning of every half hour, you substitute Crappy for Happy (sing along with me now, Sunday-Monday Crappy Days, Tuesday-Wednesday Crappy Days, blah, blah, jeeze that’s an annoying song). You might contemplate death by chocolate … or ice cream … or toffee squares, only to discover that you only get fat, an unpleasant bloated feeling, and a bit of gas. (BTW, overeating, especially if your comfort food of choice is Activia yogurt, is not recommended.)
But, since you found this post, odds are high that you have immersed yourself in Internet research on the disease, and you now probably know more about MS and its treatments than your run-of-the-mill neurologist. If that’s you, take a breath, back away from the computer slowly, and start getting back to living your life. Don’t worry; I’ll keep you updated on any excitement that comes along. You don’t need to spend 8 hours a day (or more) trying to predict your unpredictable future. Been there, done that. So get out and have some fun!
Originally published April 16, 2009.