The Tough Stuff

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

What a perfect day for my first blog post on a website I designed for my husband and I's adventure as homesteaders. Only a few months in, we have accomplished quite a bit on our 1.24 acre plot, including started raising our own chickens and vegetables. We are working our way to becoming self-sustainable. Today was a little different though, a day spent 3-1/2 hours from our permaculture homestead in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fifty minutes spent in a doctor's office, answering questions, sharing my experiences with a new medicine I had started on 2 months prior.

This morning, I was told I "shouldn't be 24 years old and feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin and run." I know this, yet there I sat in my neurologist's office in an open-back gown feeling utterly uncomfortable in my own body, not just the thin cloth draped across my front. Three times per week I load my "Whisper Ject" auto-injector with the most painful shot of 40 ml of Copaxen. I usually sit there for a minute waiting to press the trigger, anticipating the pain I know will come within 10 seconds of my finger pushing the button. I sit there in disbelief that life has come down to giving myself a shot to stop a stupid autoimmune disease that has decided to plague my body and mind. I procrastinate, try to think of a reason, more like an excuse as to why I shouldn't deliver pain to my leg. Yet every single time, I press the trigger and take a deep breath as I silently count to ten.

My journey with Multiple Sclerosis has been rather difficult to cope with mentally. For the first time, I experienced the deep hole of Depression, something my peppy self has never seen before. I'm thankful it doesn't last long and I now have a clearer understanding of how it affects those whom it grasps onto. Many people would say you don't need accept the diagnosis. I say, how do I not accept it when my brain feels so foggy I can hardly concentrate or when I become utterly exhausted, fatigued for no reason. I accept the diagnosis but I refuse to give up; that's the key to anything, persistence.

Diagnosed in June, I ran a 5k the first weekend in November. I felt like absolute shit afterwards, but I did it. As I mentioned before, I deliver my shots to my legs only; other options include my stomach and the backs of my arms though I can really only accept my legs. I tell myself I can just walk the pain off, in that case run. As I found out today though, those shots aren't working. Their purpose was to prevent my bad days. The bad days occur less but they still occur and today my neurologist gave me a referral to a rheumatologist since there may be something else going on.

Overall, it's rather learn this painful shot I endure every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night is not doing its job. I feel defeated, yet I know this is God's plan for me. My heart goes out to my husband - he doesn't understand, not truly. He sees the pain and some days offers empathy for whatever he thinks I am feeling. He pulls my weights for me when I struggle to climb out of bed to feed the animals in the morning. He washes the dishes when I can't stand at the sink for longer than a few minutes due to the fatigue. He wipes my tears as I hold his hand to my face when I need comfort. I appreciate him more than he knows.

If you are new to our story, this is our why. My diagnosis jump-started our journey to wanting to eat better which became raising our own food. I apologize for the word and emotion vomit here but I needed to find an outlet and I truly am not sorry for sharing my story. May you enjoy tagging along for our journey as we refuse to give up together.

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