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My Perspective: Listening to Your Body

Written by Brittany Quiroz
Posted on October 13, 2021

Those of us with multiple sclerosis (MS) have to be good about listening to our bodies. I know I’m much better at listening to my body now than I was before I developed MS. In addition, I know when I’m pushing myself to the point of running the risk of a flare-up.

I’m fluent in the language of “It’s as hot as Satan’s butt crack outside, so I better install my ice pack system!’”

I surprise myself at how resilient I have become since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In one year’s time, I went from thinking I was completely healthy to being diagnosed with MS, treated for MS, diagnosed with the CHEK2 breast cancer gene, and undergoing a preventative double mastectomy — and hey! I’m still here and actually smiling as I’m typing this.

I consider everything I overcome on a daily basis, like numb limbs and crazy speech issues that make me unable to find a noun even if someone held me at gunpoint. That’s why I call everything “the thing!”

When I look back over time, I feel a sense of pride of how I’ve grown since my diagnosis. I’ve overcome my fear of needles. Thanks, blood work! I’ve managed to get past my fear of being shoved into a tube like a hamster being shoved into a toilet paper roll wearing a helmet. Insert annual MRI scans here. I’ve been open to new ways of taking care of myself. Hello, juicing, but honestly wheatgrass, why can’t you taste better?

Can I say after all of this that I’m a complete impervious badass? I can and I do. Of course, some days are less fortunate than others — but in the grand scheme of things, I’m stronger and more accepting. So who cares if I didn’t accomplish even one thing on my to-do list today, or even this week? I’ll try again next week. And if I fail again, I brainstorm ways to approach the task differently. I can’t empty my dishwasher anymore? Good thing Target’s having a sale on paper plates! I love it when I surprise myself with a solution I never saw coming.

MS doesn’t make me weak. It makes me stronger.

My Perspective articles discuss multiple sclerosis from a specific point of view. My Perspective articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyMSTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyMSTeam content isn't intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Posted on October 13, 2021
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Brittany Quiroz is a freelance writer and the creator of A Hot MS, a site built to help change the perception of what disability looks like. Learn more about her here.

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