Since I was diagnosed with MS in ’04, and probably “had it” for almost a decade earlier, I have to stop, sometimes, to think about what I miss. At first, not too many things were that different. Yet, as time moved on, the meaning of “incurable, chronic, and progressive” really took hold.
I don’t like always looking back – it serves no purpose, but I do, at times, think about the things I miss. Keep in mind that I was a Type A -- always going, creating, and living life to the fullest. I had my goals, I made my lists, and I basked in the glory of accomplishment. I was flying high. So, maybe like Icarus, I needed my wings clipped. Maybe it was time to learn a little humility. Maybe the time had arrived for me to see life through clearer lenses. But, even though I’m resigned (I absolutely refuse to say “accept”,) to this different existence, there are times when I miss the way things used to be.
First of all, I miss my energy. Who’s to say it wouldn’t have ended anyway, with age. Yet, I wouldn’t mind having a small portion of it back. It would be nice not to be exhausted after just taking a shower and dressing. I’d love it if I could not be fatigued from every minor chore. I’d prefer it if I could get through the day without a nap. It would also be great if the weariness didn’t affect every other thing. Yes, I miss that energy.
Then, I miss my normal walking. Wouldn’t it be great if I could move my leg[s] the way I used to do? I’d like to heave the canes, walkers, and wheelchairs into a giant pit and get by without any of them. I want to see my regular walls – not the ones marred by my constant wall walking. And the stairs! If I could do them even at half the speed I once could, I’d be so thrilled!
My hands are something I really miss. I think (but do not dwell) about the many things my right hand accomplished. I’d even be willing to trade and have my left hand be the lazy one! At least I could still write, draw, paint, knit, stitch, and even eat properly. I’d be able to create once again, and I’d learn to be more appreciative of my talents. I really believe that I still possess those talents, but I just can’t give them expression.
Of course, I also miss having my old “teacher bladder,” where visits to the loo were so infrequent. Now, I’ve spent so much time in the powder room during the day, I feel as if it’s my home! Oh, to be able to go five or six hours not worrying how long I can “make it!” That would be wonderful.
So, yes, I do miss a great many things as I decline with this wretched disease. I refuse to get depressed about it, though. By visiting the past on rare occasions, and acknowledging that things were once much better, I get it out of my system, and I try to move forward while anchoring myself to the present. At least, that’s what I tell myself!