Attitude is Everything

One of the reasons I believe I’ve been doing so well is my positive spirit. Having MS doesn’t thrill me. There have been times I’ve been sad, and times I’ve been disappointed that my life won’t turn out the way I thought it would. Overall, though, I’ve chosen to look at this as a minor inconvenience rather than a disastrous catastrophe. Terminal cancer, God forbid, would fall into the latter category. MS, for me, falls into the former.

Much has been documented about the power of the mind and its effect on illness and disease. One of my supervisors at work beat breast cancer, twice, something she attributes to her mental strength and positivity. I choose to focus on my mindset as a self-fulfilling prophesy: the more positive I feel about myself with MS, my toughness, my ability to overlook the small discomforts such as leg spasms or back stiffness or feet that go numb when I drive too long or fingers that go numb when it rains, the less such symptoms actually bother me—and in fact, the less they even seem to appear on my radar at all.

I saw a former coworker today for the first time since he was paralyzed in an auto accident nearly one year ago. He was a terrific man to work with, friendly and easygoing with never a bad word to say about anything. My particular MS is nothing compared to the hand he was dealt. I would do well to continue to remember that.

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