I Am Different

I Am Different


A mirror image.

It pains me to admit since my MS diagnosis in ’96—-I am different.

REALLY?  How did you come to that conclusion, Einstein?  Was it the wheelchair?  Rollator?  Hand controls on your car?  Or was it the half dozen canes scattered throughout the house & garage?

No no no, of course I am different physically…heavier, flabbier, less hair here-more hair there (the image is frightening!).

I am different…mentally.

Multiple sclerosis has bushwacked my brain AND personality for the worst.

MS hijacked my old self and replaced it with a dummified, mummified version of me.

MS has stoked the fire of self-doubt to the point I can’t even trust myself with decisions or choices.

Confidence?…Smonfidence.  What little of that still in my cookie jar has been whisked away turning me into a 177 pound door stop.

Meanwhile, big social occasions…weddings, loud parties and crowds tend to shut me down.  I get anxious with the chaos.  I can’t hear you because of the noise.  And I don’t have the energy to shout.  Because of that, I usually try to find a door to hold open (Again with the door-stop thing).

As everyone gathers at the bar or on the dance floor, you can find me sitting at the table fiddling with a button on my shirt or counting the mints in the jar on the table.  I tried joining the fray at the bar once.  But because I use two canes, I had to hold my drink by placing it in my pocket.  How many times can one hear…”Is that a drink in your pocket or you happy to see me?” before heading back to the table to count mints.

Looking at myself.


Have you noticed changes in your own being?  Are you the same person you once were before MS?

I’d love to hear your side–I don’t want to be the only one belly-aching this crap!


Now, what to do about being a different person?

Well, for starters, realize it is NOT you.  You are the same intelligent, witty, charming cuss before your dx.

Straight away the blame is on MS.

MS steals mobility, vision, dexterity, balance as well as confidence, self-worth and anything else it can get its grubby little hands on.

Don’t let MS shut you down like it wants you to.

Stay vital.  And as engaged as you can.

Fight that bastard with all you can muster.

Spit in the face of MS.  And spit again for me too as I am a rotten spitter.


I am different now.  I know it.  Chalk it up to age, maturity, experience and of course, that dirty SOB multiple sclerosis.

Thanks for letting me vent.  Keep fighting.


3 Replies to “I Am Different”

  1. I am different because I have become a ” homebody”. Like you, social events, large or small, give me anxiety, and I have difficulty engaging in conversation. We got a NFL team, and I have never been able to attend a game in person. I had to give up my season tickets to the “Broadway Show Artist Series”, however I do manage to attend at least one show a year if it is something I really want to see. The last concert I was able to attend was Cher’s FIRST farewell tour and that was probably over 15 years ago. There are so many shows I want to attend, but have to settle for looking at my friends pictures on Facebook. MS took all this away from me, and it sucks !!

    1. Margaret,
      I hear you. Though today many events, facilities, sport teams & the like make it easier to attend by those who need an extra hand. Sometimes all it takes is to ask. Give it a try. I am floored by the kindness of people willing to help, hold, carry when I trudge along by cane or in my chair.
      Ask your friends if they want to go…maybe THEY are reluctant to go for some reason, but with a partner in crime (you) BOTH of you could attend. Don’t give in. Don’t let MS limit you. There are ways to make it happen.
      (Sorry to get on a soapbox–do they even have soapboxes anymore? Mine comes in a plastic bottle.) Very best to you. Thanks for checking in!

      1. I am aware that all venues in town are handicap accessible, and I do always take a partner in crime, and always pay for their ticket as a thank you. I can handle a theater of about 2500 people, and I always purchase the same two seats. However, even when I was able-bodied, I was not a fan of being in a crowd of 70,000.