#WeAreStrongerThanMS

Finding My Words

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has been sending out encouraging emails containing stories of strength… and it is strength to feel as if something you love has been taken from you… to feel lost, but to find ways to continue on…

I have always been a creative person, with half my mind taken up with artistic ideas… but in 2005 I felt as if MS had taken all that away… no more oil paints, or stories full of my wonderful words; no more charcoal sketches or cake decorations… without warning, my mind and body was hit with exacerbation after exacerbation… without the progression and symptoms that are common leading up to a diagnosis of MS, my doctors were scrambling to find a reason for my loss of vision, my inability to walk, my childlike confusion and forgetfulness, arms with minds of their own as they twitched and slammed my hands into everything in sight, etc… basically all things MS related, but instead of a growing list of symptoms, it seemed that everything was going wrong at the same time… within weeks, I was going down hill fast…

thankfully, a multitude of physicians came to give their opinions as they ran tests and viewed results, knowing that as a college student I had not insurance… I am very grateful to them all… it was a rapid decent, but they managed to get my lesions under control…

with the support of my mother, I relearned how to walk, talk, read, write, etc… but in the beginning, the only thing I had to entertain myself in world full of unrelenting boredom (reading confused and hurt my head, watching tv caused headaches, walking was difficult and painful, etc…) was my imagination… I made up stories to pass the time…

but what good were stories, when I couldn’t write them down, I couldn’t edit my words or construct a full sentences … with my mother’s help I grew from that childish mindset… she would sit for hours, doing art project… simple and easy projects like superglue and material to make a cork board pretty, beads and string to make jewelry, or even hand held games for younger kids… each idea she came up with helped me to work on my thought processes, and my hand eye coordination… slowly I was able to jot down notes, so I could remember where my story was going, I could record ideas (in short sentences), and when my head started to hurt, I could speak into my phone so that the speech-to-text option would write down my thoughts…

I still use the speech-to-text, but I also flip back and forth between writing long hand and typing… I have an awesome wrist brace so that MS joint pain doesn’t slow me down, and I know how to manage my projects… it is all about balance… just because I cannot type out my story doesn’t mean that I cannot get my words into the computer… using my cell phone, I can use the speech-to-text button and suddenly my phone is a voice recorder (only better) and then I can email my current chapter to myself… after some copy and pasting, my chapter has been added to my computer files…

when you have MS, it is important to find little work-arounds so that you don’t miss the things that mean the most to you… with help and determination, I was able to finally get my novel Shocking Finds published… and I have two others out to an indie publisher at Gone Writing Publishing to be considered as well…

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I never thought I would be able to think straight again, let alone complete a 110,000 word paranormal/fantasy romance novel… but no matter how long it took – and it was a good five years before I started feeling like a person again, and another three before I could edit my own work – I feel satisfaction and pride in myself each time someone tells me how much they enjoyed my book… MS was a horrible bump in the road for me, but I truly feel that becoming ill helped me to find my passion in life…

Happy wordage everyone… and never give up hope

and if you want to donate to Walk MS, Click HERE

or if you just want to check out my Walk MS post, Click HERE

 

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