Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on tired.
I have MS.
I was diagnosed when I was 23 and yesterday was my 16 year anniversary of getting the call that confirmed my fears.
It has been 16 years.
I can't even say they have been long years
because we have been "lucky".
We caught it early
we got on meds right away
I have setbacks here and there but all in all, we are so "lucky".
Fatigue is my biggest challenge, I am so damn tired.
Starting a business tired.
Having a disease that makes me tired tired.
Yesterday was also International Women's Day, is that a coincidence?
A day to celebrate our strength, our grit, our determination.
So let me start by saying I wasn't "lucky".
This is my year of different so let me say, I am good at this.
I fight this.
I battle this.
I look at it in the mirror every day and I tell it to go to hell.
I caught it early because I knew something was wrong.
I advocated for me when they told me nothing was wrong.
I fought for all the tests.
I called every day to find out if there was a cancellation for the MRI, I refused to wait the 5-month time frame.
I got on meds early because I didn't mess around.
People were good to me and opened doors for me because I connect with those that I care about, and people wanted to help me.
I cried in his face telling him I can't do needles anymore, he looked at me and reminded me that I'm strong.
I took the meds every day. I fought and battled all the side effects.
I had the flu every week for three solid years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had bruises all over my arms and legs for 2 years not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I had 2-hour treatments once a month not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I lost my hair for 9 months not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I did get tired of it, I did want to quit, but I kept going, not because I was lucky, but because I was strong.
I fight fatigue, a tired I cannot explain, not because I am lucky, but because I am strong.
It isn't a silent disease to me, I look at it, I worry about it, I connect symptoms and I battle on.
I did what so many women do, I told tired that it doesn't have a chance here today and I womaned up!
Thankful for your strength!
I feel like I just walked your entire journey with you through this short poem. My mother was diagnosed with MS at 36, so I know a little first hand the battle you've been facing and the strength that you've needed. I'm especially impressed that you are a ceo and business owner. That's incredible! What a huge and wonderful accomplishment, and though it surely adds to your day to day stresses, I hope it also gives you life and a reason to keep fighting! God Bless and I will keep you in my prayers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this FMF and for your amazing words. I can tell you first hand that your mother worried that her children would also have this disease, she worried that a twinge meant something so much more, she worried and worried but like all women who face a battle, she womaned on and became a mom and a person and lived a life. Thank you for recognizing her journey and for recognizing mine.
You. Are. My. Hero.