I am afraid of MS. I am confused by MS. I am pissed off at MS. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to have MS. I didn’t do anything to deserve MS or cause MS.
The people I would tell first about my diagnosis were the people that knew I was waiting for one. I left work early and called Mark (amazing husband) first. I tried not to cry and prayed that he wouldn’t cry either. He offered to come home and I told him I was ok. I got home, took another left over Valium and called my dad, then my mom and sister. I guess everyone was half expecting it but it was still a shock. I hated to make my family so sad! Mark told his parents and sister and they all called to let me know they were here for me.
Later on, I called my boss and friend Diana. We always make each other cry and this was no exception. The owners of the company I work for were next. They were nothing but supportive. They offered to take me to lunch and see what they could do to help. John and Margaret Mary are the publishers of the magazines that I work for. They immediately removed any fear I had about my job security and their loyalty to me. John has MS and has become someone that I look to for information and inspiration. He is tough and real and compassionate and I can’t begin to express my love and appreciation to him and to Margaret.
By the way, remember that blogger who constantly bashed her collegues and employers until she got fired? This isn’t that kind of blog.
Telling my daughter was the hardest thing I hope to ever do. I read all about how to talk to children about MS but when it came down to it, I could only do what I knew best. I told her about me. I gave her some basic MS facts. I told her that I wasn’t going to die and she wasn’t going to get it. She cried and cried and I held her and told her not to worry. She said she wasn’t worried but she was so sad that this was happening to me. For a few nights she was really upset before bed and I stayed with her until she fell asleep. I answered her questions as simply as possible and told her about some of my plans to stay well. Today, four months later she is still worried and somewhat scared but is strong. She recently wrote a paper about my diagnosis for school and read it out loud to her class. She is proud and supportive and talks to me when she needs to. I want to protect her from hurt and worry and sometimes wish I never had to tell her. I stay strong to keep her life as carefree as possible.
Later in the week, I shared my news with a few friends and my co-workers. I do not want this to be a secret. Most of the literature I read about telling or not telling lean towards not telling. My opinion on that is that not telling adds extra stress and worry and can potentially make MS worse. There are laws in place to protect your job and you need the support of friends and family to stay healthy.
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