When we first found out, we DEFINITELY were not celebrating. Even though the doctor said it could be years between attacks, we were more focused on the comment that it could be weeks or months. I remember driving with my husband a few days after my diagnosis and him suggesting that maybe we should move into a ranch house so I didn’t have to worry about stairs. But aside from some minor spasticity and minor fatigue (both brought on by my pushing my limits), I did go 4 years between the first & second attacks. And then 3 & 4 both happened within 3 years of attack #2, but they were special attacks brought on by being pregnant (a whole other story).
Let me think about all the things I have done in these last 10 years, in part because of the MS. First, the kids. When we first were approached about going on the ABC drugs back in early 1998, our first question revolved around getting pregnant because I was NOT going to take any drug that would hurt my chances of getting pregnant or hurt the baby. If that was the case, we were going to hold off on the medicine and start a family back then. When I was assured that the drugs would be ok, we decided to start a family as we had originally planned and we had our oldest in 2002 and the youngest in 2004. And in both cases (aside from the pregnancy itself) I have been healthy and able to do everything with them. At 2 ½ & 4, that has been a lot.
Scuba. When I was diagnosed, we thought of all the things we wanted to do that we should do sooner rather than later due to the potential for the disease to progress. So why not scuba, go 100 feet below the water. It is so much fun, although we have not been able to go in 2 years. It is a whole different world and I don’t know if I would have tried it when I did if ever had it not been for the MS.
Tae Kwon Do. When the doctor was going through the items I should add to my exercise regime (which was really not a regime, more of a every once in a while thing), he suggested Tai Chi and I thought that was a great idea. However, my husband had been talking to a guy he worked with about Tae Kwon Do and said maybe I could try that and it could be our way of exercising together. I do recall saying I would give it a try, but ONLY to blue belt. Well that was almost 10 years ago and I am a second-degree black belt. Again, something I would have balked at (I wanted Golf to be our “Couple Activity”) but due to the MS, I gave it a whirl.
Kilimanjaro. Some friends of ours had gone to Tanzania and climbed part of Mt. Kilimanjaro prior to having their first child and that became the “Big trip” before we had our first. And as much as I was not looking forward to the mountain part of our trip (we went on a safari & went Scuba diving in Zanzibar), the best part of the trip was the mountain. We did not summit because of the length of our trip and taking the MS into consideration (my neurologist had suggested I stay at the bottom for a few days while Scott climbed), but I went to 12,340 feet and I felt great. Again, we wanted to go before the kids, because if we waited until after, we ran the risk of the disease progressing. And it worked and I had a blast.