The following is a personal story from Anissa, a member of MyMSTeam, the social network for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
I still clearly remember the last time I was able to run. June 23, 2006 started out to be a great day. After breakfast the kids and I decided to go outside and play. We started a touch football game. We were all running from one side of the yard to the other, throwing the ball. Still, clearly in my mind are the way the clouds looked that day, high wispy, they looked as if God himself had taken a paintbrush and purposely left streaks across the sky. There was nothing ominous about them, just pure beauty. My legs were carrying me from one part of the yard to the other, chasing the kids. The sounds of the laughter coming from them will forever be etched in my mind and soul.
How does touch football always end up tickle football? As I am lying in a heap of arms legs tangled, giggles of kids and I trying to reach those hidden tickle spots, the pager on my hip goes off telling of an accident with unknown injuries. In that moment all movement and laughter stops, the kids know to allow me to hear where I am going in the next few minutes.
My legs carry me swiftly to the car. I yell back to the ones that I leave playing that they are loved, we will continue when I return. Would the words have been different if I would have known what was coming? Would I have even gone or would I have just stayed home to avoid the turmoil that was going to happen in the next few hours?
The call wasn’t out of the ordinary; in fact it was at the same milepost as many others. Two vehicles collide with each other for some reason that I never seem to understand.
As the ambulance pulls into the scene we see a small car pushed to the side of the road by the impact of the RV. Unknown who is at fault, and it is not for me to care about that at the moment. I am there for a single reason on that day, to keep the crew safe, to flag traffic around the scene. I ask for the ambulance to be parked above the crash so that I can begin to stop traffic. As I get out of the ambulance I am continuing to check the scene for dangers. I walk to the back of the ambulance, going for the compartment that holds the stop sign. Walking towards the back of the bus I see the truck, it stops me from going for the sign, I need to get this one stopped. I am in full reflective gear; I stand out in the midst of my surroundings. The lights are running full on the ambulance surly I can be seen. With the truck still bearing down on me I realize that something is wrong the driver doesn’t see me or the ambulance. I look for the way out of the situation I am in. To my left I have a steep embankment, to my right I would have to cross oncoming traffic and then jump a concrete barrier. I have been at this same location many times, I know on the other side of that barrier is a drop off that would send me to the river below. In that moment I realize I have nowhere to run. I am waving my arms trying to get the drivers attention, no luck. I give in to the thought today is the day that I die. With no other choices I turn and face the back of the ambulance, I do not want to see the impact, I do not want the last thing that I see in my life to be the front of a Dodge truck. The prayer that went out in that moment I will never forget. Lord please watch over my children and remind them everyday that I love them. Help them understand not to hate the driver of this truck. Be with my husband; tell him everyday for me he was my everything.
The truck somehow in the last second possible goes out into the other lane, the sound of the motor and of the tires on the pavement is etched forever in my nightmares. The truck somehow misses me and the ambulance, unfortunately the horse trailer that was being hauled does not miss. As the impact of the trailer against the ambulance happens everything slides towards me, the trailer hits my left side I feel my knee pop and somehow shift inside. In late 2008 I was finally able to find a doctor that knew what was wrong with me knee, by this time I was barely able to walk without a cane. I knew that this would bring life as I knew it back, the pain in the knee ended with the surgery, but the instability did not.
In August 2009 I found myself in a fight with a monster that I could not see. This monsters name, as all on here know as well as I do, is MS.
I now feel so blessed for the accident happening. I will always have the last day with normal movements etched in my memory. I never allow a single day to go by without finding at least one thing to smile about no matter how bad of a day I am having.
The best advice I have ever received from anyone came from my Primary Care Physician who’s mother had MS, He asked her what advice she had her answer was simple yet profound: Never be ashamed of who you are and what you have to do to live life.
Anissa’s story is just one of thousands shared on MyMSTeam. If you’ve been diagnosed with MS, be sure to join the free social network MyMSTeam to connect with others who may share your exact diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, and even neighborhood. You’re not alone. Sometimes completed strangers can understand even better than the closest, most well-intentioned friends or families.
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