I have to remind myself that not everything is a symptom.
Last night, I went to bed at 9:30pm like I always do. Usually, thanks to the pills I’m on, I fall asleep rather easily. I may have to get up several times during the night but falling back to sleep is usually not an issue. I’ve never had insomnia before.
However, last night, I was awake until 1am. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 12:57am. Instead of reading a book until sleep claimed me, I went online and did something I normally don’t do.
I Googled symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
I’m still coming to terms with my new body and have been trying to learn everything I can. I’ve changed my diet drastically, have taken on an exercise program; I’ve started living the healthy life I should have years ago.
However, because I’m still coming to terms with what my body is like, I try to read everything I can. I have MS For Dummies on my Kindle and I’m constantly referring to it. I do realise, however belatedly, that googling symptoms at 11 o’clock at night is not the same thing.
The list of symptoms with MS is wide ranging. Here’s a list of them borrowed from the MS Society:
I’ve suffered from, or am suffering with, almost all of them on the list. However, one that’s not listed is the potential to develop insomnia. I was convinced that my lack of ability to sleep was the development of another symptom.
I read this last night online and in MS for Dummies. It should also be noted that insomnia is a indication of depression and I’m not depressed now. That was last year. One night of insomnia does not a symptom make.
I’ve been so conscious of the potential of developing other symptoms that I’m seeing them around every corner, in every spasm or speech problem. I’m so afraid of developing more that I convince myself that I’ve developed something new and am on my way to a possible relapse.
What I have to remember is this: every day is a gift, filled with many joys. Even the smallest thing is a joy. The symptoms I do have, while inconvenient, do not stop me from living. Only I can do that.
I’ve only been diagnosed with MS for a short time. It hit hard in January, but the actual diagnosis only came on August 21st 2013, the day before my birthday. Though it feels like a lifetime ago, a different “me” ago, it hasn’t even been a year. When I started to get better, in May of last year, I made a choice. I could hole up and hide, or I could live. I chose to live.
I’m still learning about myself and my new body. I’m still learning about the disease I carry with me. I’m still learning.
I need to stop focusing on what might happen. New symptoms will come and go, that’s the nature of Relapse and Remitting. I need to stop looking for the boogeyman around each corner of my brain and focus on living my life the only way I know how:
Two steps at a time.