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Proud of my Scars Always, and During Disability Pride Month

We’re coming to the end of Disability Pride Month and I’ve deliberated the vast majority of the month over what angle I would share. Truth be told, I am extremely proud of every scar I’ve earned living with Multiple Sclerosis for the past 21 years but that’s kind of all I have to show for my disability. I’d imagine it’s an issue many with an invisible illness share. That said, scars are just the lasting effect of whatever trauma our bodies have been through and how boring would it be to snap shots of all my old scars?

Of course, as kismet would have it, just over the past week I have had a series of unfortunate events that have caused a whole new set of scars. Normally, I just move on in life dawning scars and bruises, mostly on my legs, that I can never figure out where I have gotten them from. This time they were too memorable to forget so I’ll give you a peek into my life.

The first accident was minor and happened when I was going up the stairs. My left foot has a significant lag to it because it feels like I am dragging a bag of wet sand with it. Going up the stairs can sometimes be challenging and this time, as I was walking up, my left foot just clipped the step causing my right shin to come crashing into the next step. As I am bandaging up my right leg, I made the observation of how it really has suffered at the expense of my left leg. My little Amelie and her sweet heart came up with solution and of course I am more than ok with her graffiti on my stairs. Her plan was to get me to use my left leg on the steps with an “A”.

Of course, that plan backfired two days later when my left leg collapsed going down the stairs. WOAH - that was an awful experience!! Not one but two of my problems presented themselves at the same time. My left leg collapsed and my arms did not respond fast enough to stop me. I practically slid down the stairs riding ON my left foot – that accident may have made up for the comment of my right leg ALWAYS suffering at the expense of my left leg.

Last but not least, as if to slap me in the face (literally) the third accident left me with a tiny scar and a heck of a story to share – so why not?

My 7-year-old daughter and I were playing a really fun game. We had a helium balloon and the string had come off of it so we were smacking it back and forth – kind of like reverse volleyball. Obviously, the balloon had gotten away from us a couple of times and we had to pull out the chair to bring it down. Well, I started to get over-confident, and we were having fun so I figured I would try to jump to get it down. It worked once but I should have never tried again!! I really can’t even tell you how I fell. I just know my head hit before my feet and it’s been 4 days and I still feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. My sweet Amelie was again the most thoughtful as she immediately brought me a get-well card as I sat with an ice pack on my nose.

That said, invisible illnesses are unique to each individual so we really don’t have others we can fully identify with, but it definitely helps to talk to others and share stories. MS can affect any part of my brain or spinal cord, just like others with MS. Where and how aggressively it will be is the unknown and what gets affected makes EVERY case unique. Connect with others going through the same problems, you never know what valuable information they may have to offer.

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