Megan was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2006. Though nervous about her future, she soon discovered how to adapt to the condition and live a life she loves.
There are times when life with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) can make me laugh. Of course, it can be very challenging, but I try my best to find the humor in what life throws at me. I’ve realized that not taking myself too seriously helps me get through the more difficult moments.
Relapsing MS has made some everyday tasks harder to accomplish. For example, buttoning my clothes has become challenging, so when I’m home, I usually ask a family member for help. However, when I’m out alone, I have to rely on whoever is around me. The first time I asked a stranger for help, it was awkward to say the least. But over time, I've been able to overcome my embarrassment and learn ways to add a bit of comedy when I find myself in this situation. I try to start these requests with something like: “I know this sounds weird but…” Most women laugh with me and are happy to help!
Soon after my diagnosis in 2006, I faced another challenge. Believe it or not, I had a rock climbing trip planned with my family. At first, I didn’t think there was any chance I could participate. But in those few days following my diagnosis, I chose to take on a new attitude. I knew I wouldn't be able to climb like I used to, but I was determined to make the changes necessary to be part of the experience.
My family and I brainstormed how I could make the climb. We modified a big part of our route, and shortened it to 15 minutes to avoid me tiring out. I relied heavily on my husband, my friend and the ropes, but I made it! I said yes to finding a way to still join in the fun, and I’m glad I did. Of course I wanted to climb freely like everybody else—without the extra caution and constant assistance. But, I was thrilled to be part of the trip. I felt proud that I found a way to participate, and I learned that life isn’t over, it’s just different.
I've changed many aspects of my life over the years because of relapsing MS, but the truth is that I'm still able to live the life I love. With some small but impactful changes, like knowing that it's okay to ask for help and being willing to give up some control, I am able to manage my life with this condition.
Megan W. is a paid spokesperson for Biogen and has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). She may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA.