It Could Be Worse

I swear sometimes in life I am the unluckiest person going. My mother has said so often, “Katie, if it wasn’t for bad luck, you would have no luck at all!”

There are times when I look at my life and see a series of unfortunate events. I would write a book about it but there is already a book with that title! One time the doctor even said she had never seen the side effects of a medications happen to anyone before and guess who it happened to?? Yes, me! The doctor was completely shocked when my blood work came back showing the results. I just told the doctor “If it has to happen to someone it will be me.”

So why am I telling you how my life is sometimes bad news and back luck one event after another? I’m giving you that background to explain when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis way back in April 2016, it didn’t come much of a shock. That same year in January I was at one of my many appointments to try and diagnose the cause of my many symptoms when the doctor who was giving me all the different possibilities said “Worst case scenario it’s multiple sclerosis”. Fast forward three months and another doctor is telling me that MS is in fact the problem. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely devastated when I was told the news by the doctor. I was heartbroken, upset, angry and feeling so many other overwhelming emotions. It took a long time for my feelings and emotions to change. But I remember lying awake at night and I realised that actually, I was doing okay, I was working my way through and somehow, I started to think of the positives of my life. I realised that it could be much worse.

Firstly, I now had an answer to what was causing the symptoms; I had a diagnosis. This meant the end of all the different diagnostic tests and exams, the end of the multiple X-rays, MRIs, blood tests and lists of doctor appointments. That uncertainty ended when I was diagnosed.

Secondly, now we knew it was MS causing my symptoms, I met with the MS care team in the hospital. I then selected a treatment plan and started on a course of disease modifying drugs. Research showed that this treatment would stop the relapses I was having up to this point (another major plus for being diagnosed).

Lastly, my doctor and MS team pointed out that it was indeed very good that I was diagnosed when I was. I was young, they had discovered it early (it can take some people multiple years of testing and STILL not have any answers). For me it was a relapse between MRI number two and three that showed more damage and from that scarring the doctor was able to diagnose me.

Am I saying that I am lucky for having Multiple Sclerosis? Absolutely NO WAY! However, through a series of unfortunate events, having another relapse between one MRI and the next provided the evidence for the doctors to diagnose me after years and years of uncertainty.

I do not enjoy having MS, but these days, I am very much able to be thankful for being diagnosed and getting the treatment and care I needed.  The truth is it could be so much worse. I now have certainty even in the midst of the uncertainty and that certainty is a very good thing in my world.