Anxiety (again) chest pain due to cough

my recent breakup has me sad, and still life’s challenges seem to have a dark MS cloud hanging over everything still. I always remain positive and say to myself I have MS now, I’m back to everything I used to do, except scaffolding at work and skating. Winters done (worst on in my life). I’ve worked so hard to push back against this disease and made some really good changes (diet, near daily exercise) I’m stable since January and tolerate tecfidera well (really easy to take) all this is well and good but I am scarred from my relapse in sept 2017 and living well with my MS. I can do all the right things and feel that I have control but I know I’m at risk of getting another attack which scares me still. I wouldn’t mind if I can maintain this lvl of health for a long time (decades) but I have to live with the fact that maybe, yes I can or maybe, no I’ll be disabled one day.

It tears me apart inside at times but I try and not let these thoughts and MS control me. I will live my life as best as I know how,

I know Ant. Many with MS could relate to how you feel, even myself. When you experience such a severe exacerbation it can scare the **** out of you. No one wants to ever experience something like that again…I get it and definitely understand.

I want to stress; it is very possible to have a life where MS isn’t necessarily in the fore front. Yes, you have MS and the exacerbations can be quite scary and depending on residual symptoms it’s not possible to completely forget about MS. However, it is possible to have a good life IN SPITE of MS. The fear and anxiety, in my opinion, comes from a lack of control and not knowing when or if there will be another exacerbation and the ultimate outcome.

There are things in our life we cannot control and those things we can…focus on those things you can control.thanks for that Snoopy, I take the thoughts of my excellent recovery and other things I can control like diet, excersize, stress management, this keeps my anxiety at bay. Also just living my life and keeping busy… very busy.

Regarding your question, for me, acceptance is not an all-or-nothing stage that I either reach or don’t. I think that coming to terms with this disease is sort of like the stages of grief. It doesn’t happen the same for any of us, it may not happen in the same order, we may go through some steps (of grieving our illness and losses) and not need to go through others, and most likely, we will cycle back through some steps more than once — sometimes grieving the same losses over again, and sometimes needing to grieve continuing new losses.

So, if I look at coming to terms with my disease using a grief model, the stages I can go though include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And, yeah — we’re all different. And, even after I experience acceptance, I don’t stay there indefinitely. I cycle back sometimes. But, I don’t dwell in my grief of the losses that MS has triggered; I spend much of my life in the acceptance stage. Or, at least, accepting it enough to be happy and to live a life that has lots of quality, even when the other emotions and challenges continue to exist. It’s not all-or-nothing for me.

Ant, With your DX and flare, this is a really tough time. But please know that it does both mentally and physically get better….all of it will but it will take time. It is unfortunate that each person is different and the time line isnt exact but varied and unpredictable.

My dx was in 2009, although I have had MS since the early 1990s. For those first 3 years at DX I really struggled with ongoing symptoms and flares, working in a job outside the home and managing two young children. Now I seem to hardly remember those days, but I know some were quite long. If I had to do that again now, I am not sure that I could….I just didn’t think about it, I just did it in sort of a survival mode I think. Crazy!!

Then I went through a period where I did have some symptoms but they didn’t impact my life so significantly and I was able to push them aside and just live. I would say that that has been the past 5 years…I am so very grateful for that time period where MS didn’t consume all aspects my life.

Of course, this past month I got hit with a flare that was probably the biggest since I was diagnosed resulting in IVSM and prednisone, which I have never experienced before. Well, my positive “can do” attitude just got an huge adjustment. I felt kicked to the curb. So much for feeling like the strong positive woman I pretend to be. Now I feel like I have regressed going back to that familiar place of anxiety and fear.

Please know that while I share this with all of you, people on the outside, at work or kids school, see the “smiling me” that minimizes my leg, walking and weakness issues, as I truck around with my cane in tow as if nothing was unsual and there really wasn’t a cane there or walking issues at all. LOL!

During these past 3 weeks, I have had some pretty good pity parties in the middle of the night when I am unable to sleep. I don’t think my daughters really remember me being this bad, so this recent flare has caused them some concern too. They are teens focused on school and their lives and trying to figure out what is going on with Mom. They have grown into strong and compassionate girls…and I am sure my MS issues over the years have given them that gift.

That all said and for the most part I still am positive and hopeful….for me and for all of us. We can each only take each day we are given and do the best we can. I take heart that each of you here on the Board are doing the same…staying the course during goods times and bad.

I am feeling so grateful for this network of MSers lifting each other up during times of darkness. Thank you for helping me to not feel so alone over the past couple of weeks. I hope that my story will help someone else know and believe that the dark times do and will get better. Hugs to you all!!