Everyday Wins and Relapsing MS By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • October 11, 2018
Accomplishments. According to the dictionary, accomplishments are defined as things done or finished successfully.
That’s the definition, but it still means something different for everyone. What does it mean to you? Do you have a goal that you’d like to reach? Is there some sort of challenge you currently face or that you are looking to overcome? And how about this—do you make sure you celebrate your accomplishments—even the seemingly minor achievements? I know sometimes, for me, getting out of bed on certain days has been a tremendous feat in itself, even worthy of a loud round of applause.
Let’s take this idea a step further. What qualifies as an accomplishment? Until I received my diagnosis, I didn’t realize or appreciate the power of everyday wins.
When I was diagnosed, my relapsing MS was having its way with me and the constant relapses were taking a serious toll, both emotionally and physically. I am a true lover of life, but back then, I felt completely defeated. The direction I was headed wasn’t acceptable for me and I was determined to do something about it. This meant I would have to get used to my new normal and my definition of “accomplishments” would have to change to include smaller victories.
The good news is that accomplishments can be found everywhere and every day. For instance, some of my most recent successes have been cooking a delicious meal, going for a ride on my horse, and taking a walk with my family. Though these might just seem like your standard day-to-day activities, they made me feel happy and capable, and that’s a reason to celebrate!
Along the way, I’ve also learned a lot about respecting my body when it says “no” and accepting that I have limits. I have good days and bad days, like anyone else, so I need to understand if this is the right day to tackle a particular task and remember to take it one day at a time. I make sure to celebrate both the little and larger accomplishments in my life, like spending quality time with the people I love and doing things that bring me joy. And on those days I’m feeling less than great, I always try to think of all the things I’m thankful for. Like my husband sticking with me through thick and thin. Or my excellent healthcare team. I have so much gratitude toward the healthcare providers who have been by my side since my diagnosis and all along this journey.
Look, we may not be able to control what happens to us in life or the lot we are given, but we can control our responses. I was spending time with some inspiring patients and Care Partners last night at an MS event and we all kind of giggled about how a relapsing MS diagnosis is like being invited into a club that you can never leave. Hmmmm … reminds me of a certain song—check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Anyway, you or I cannot undo a relapsing MS diagnosis. That will always be a part of us. But what CAN we do? How can we be proactive? How can we make sure to take pride in our small wins? How can your family and healthcare team help? Find the good in every day. Never give up. I believe in you!
Do you have any accomplishments you would like to share? I’d love to hear about them.
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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