A couple of weeks ago, I was in New York for a conference and finally got to see the High Line, a park I’ve been curious about for a long time. It was as beautiful as expected. Flowers blooming and grass greening in the pale, early spring sunshine. This was before green had reached Vermont, making it even remarkable, as if being on a green path in the grey city wasn’t already lovely enough.
But what I also remember about that day is that, unexpectedly, I had a limp. A noticeable one. I didn’t have much pain or anything, but my right side was clearly working less well than my left side.
I was surprised at how quickly I could go from my normal state to one of physical awkwardness and insecurity. I’m not particularly coordinated on my best day, but still.
By the next day, I was completely back to normal. Physically, anyway. Mentally, this definitely threw me for a loop.
I know I have a progressive disease. But because I was diagnosed before I had any obtrusive or easily-recognized symptoms, I’ve been able to delay (sometimes, or to some extent) thinking about the truth, which is that, well, I have a progressive disease. It’s not that there’s a chance that it will have an impact on my physical capabilities. It’s that it will have an impact on my physical capabilities. It could be later, but clearly it could also be sooner. My one day of limping was a reminder and a reality check. This is really happening.
There’s no lasting change from that day. And there’s no resolution to this blog post. I think that’s what it’s going to be like for me to live with MS: no resolution. I just see more clearly than ever that I need to find ways to be strong physically but prepared mentally for the difficulty of these changes.
I call it the new normal. Learning to live with our new normal is challenging mentally but it’s all in the attitude.
I think you’re exactly right. The new normal is it.
I was diagnosed just a year before you and find myself in that same spot. Kellie said it well – it’s a new normal. 5 exacerbations last year but none for the past 5 months 🙂
I think that with time we’ll learn to take it one day at a time. I think MS does give us the gift of no longer taking the little stuff for granted 🙂 Hang in there
I have been diagnosed with spms since 02/2003. My left leg is affected which hinders my golf game. It is a new normal, I gave up golf for 7 years but got tired of watching. So I went out and got lessons to accommodate the left leg. I play the executive courses now and I ride but I regrouped and got back out there. I feel so blessed that I can still do a lot of things still and I keep figuring out how to do something differently. That is the new normal for me and never give up.
Keep on moving.
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