It’s hard to know where to start with this whole “About Me” thing.
I could start by telling you I’m 50 years old, single and I live happily with my four cats Fred, Ivan, Owen and Roger. I could tell you that my mother cringes when I tell people the truth about how many cats I really have. “Just lie, Bethie, they’re judging you! Even if they say they’re not!” But I embrace my status as crazy cat lady and don’t really care who knows it.
I could tell you that I was a widow at 30 when my then-husband died suddenly from a massive brain bleed (there is a long, complicated name for the congenital condition he had but it’s not relevant here.) Suffice to say that one day he was a healthy 30 year old, happy-go-lucky guy and then the next day he collapsed at work – five days later he was gone.
I could tell you on that day my entire life changed, because it did. I could tell you that the result was a little over a decade of pure debauchery, self-discovery, horrible mistakes and learning that left me feeling a bit worked over but somehow, against all odds, somehow better for it.
I could tell you that at around 43, maybe, I started to feel happy again. Really happy. And I was grateful for it. I could tell you that I run a small office of a large advertising agency called Moxie and that I really love my job even though advertising is full of crazy. But I guess once you’ve done a thing for almost 30 years, you are forced to admit that you kind of love it. I like being in charge. I like making a good living. I like the freedom that affords me. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I’m happy to finally say I feel like I’ve made it. Wherever or whatever “it” actually is. I could tell you that I love being able to say that I work with some of my best friends.
Or I could tell you I have MS.
All of those things are now true. But it’s still hard to accept at least a few of them.
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015 after a three year journey of mysterious ills and bodily failings that left me feeling confused, frustrated and just plain pissed off.
I went down a rabbit hole with my primary care doctor, and a series of specialists, that had me exploring all of the “maybes” including…
-Maybe it was my blood sugar (it wasn’t)
-Maybe it was my hormones (ok, I am a lady of a certain age…but not that either)
-Maybe it was my thyroid (nope)
-Maybe it was rheumatoid arthritis (not this either)
-Maybe it was a back problem (not a back problem)
-Maybe it was lupus, Chrohn’s or IBS. (no, no and no)
Or maybe it wasn’t anything at all and I was just getting old, lazy and tired and that’s just how it happens! I often feel all of those things (old, lazy and tired) so I kept coming back to this one. It came closest to making actual sense.
Think about it. What does getting old feel like? I didn’t know. I had never done it before. So I speculated.
Maybe getting old means that one day, you wake up feeling like shit and you never go back to your old spunky fun-loving self because now you are officially…old! Old people sleep a lot, have lots of aches and pains, complain about every little thing, watch a lot of TV – hell, sometimes they even have a bunch of cats that pee on their furniture (more on that later!). That sounded a lot like me…but seriously. I didn’t know how to deal with the phenomena that seemed to be taking over my body so I did what most women probably do. I blamed myself for it.
Then one day on a hillside in Florence, Italy I found myself unable to walk and I started to think maybe I needed to stop blaming myself and start finding a doctor that could help me. More on that later, too!
This place, this blog, is where I hope to share my story in the hopes of maybe helping someone else, somewhere out there, who might be going through something similar and is also being told that she is perfectly healthy, possibly crazy and just needs to stop obsessing about everything!
Because maybe all of those things are true, but she might also have a disease that pretty much explains everything but also starts a whole new maze of confusion, frustration and yes, laughter, that is only just beginning.
Or maybe this is really just for me.
Either way, welcome to my good days (the bright), my bad days (the dark) and every kind of day in between. Thanks for coming by.
(This should go without saying…but just in case. I am a patient, not a doctor. Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about your drugs and your treatment. Opinions presented are only my own.)