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Poppy's Ponderings

Following on from a recent post on the Newly Diagnosed forum about things you wish you’d done before diagnosis, left me pondering…

The things I wish I’d done before diagnosis…?

I try to turn it around. On a good day, I think of the things I have done.

I’d never been abroad until I was 49. Late starter. My sister in law invited me to her home in Cyprus. Hubby has no interest in foreign travel and can’t take the sun, so off I went on my own. It was the beginning of an amazing six years for me. I was hooked and wanted to travel the world. (On a shoestring I hasten to add). My wonderful husband was happy to let me pursue this longing of mine. He was either very confident in our love for each other and knew I would always return home, or he was glad of the rest from my incessant chatter and planning!

I travelled solo to Cyprus, twice. Turkey, Crete/Santorini, Canada, Gran Canaria too many times to count, Lanzarote, Tenerife, for weeks at a time. Using public transport and making friends along the way, who I’m still in contact with now. I was filled with energy and a Joie de Vivre. I had been making plans for walking the Camino de Santiago for my next adventure. However,my diagnosis was sudden and my progression was swift. My declining mobility gathered speed, and I knew my Camino journey wasn’t going to happen. I remind myself how lucky I am to have done the travel I had done. I am also extremely grateful we can manage a week in the sun 2/3 times a year,only with airport assistance and hubby’s patience. No longer my adventures, but still getting “out there”.

I’m glad I was dxd aged 55 and had raised my two daughters. I don’t know how people manage with young children and they have my total admiration. My lack of stamina would not allow that today.

I’m sad I can’t drive anymore. So I have to be grateful my husband can drive me wherever I want to go. Grateful that I was given a motorised chair and we were able to buy a used vehicle with a ramp, to get it into.

I re trained as a Massage therapist, a mature student, aged 50. That was fun. As the oldest in the group where the youngest was 17 and the next oldest 28, I was again rejuvenated. The energy they brought with them was infectious. I could never manage to be up, dressed and in a workplace for office hours now, and complete a days work. Not to mind staying upright and on my feet all day! Sad I can’t work as a Mortician anymore, so I have to be glad I am able to finish my work contract as clerical assistant from home. My contract ends this Autumn. We are going to miss that small, extra income.

Sad I can no longer work in my acre of garden, that was our life-long goal and retirement dream. So I have to be grateful we can manage to pay the pittance a lovely local man charges me for keeping it tidy, because he likes me and feels sorry for me I guess.

So my conclusions are, buy those shoes, wear that dress, go on that journey, eat the cake! Who knows what tomorrow brings?

Well now, feeling very virtuous on this beautiful sunny Monday, I shall go and tell Hubby he’s wonderful and that I love him then make us some lunch. I’m not going to say Grace before it though.

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Thank you for pondering Poppy, I enjoyed your thoughts xx

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love your ponders poppy. i agree that i’m glad i was diagnosed just before my 50th. it breaks my heart to read posts by very young people. keep pondering carole x

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I love Poppy’s pondering too. I was half way between too young and glad I’d got a bit older. I was 30 (exactly, happy birthday to me!) when I had my first relapse though not diagnosed for 5 years and just thought I was weird when odd things (relapses) kept happening.

I’ve answered on the newly diagnosed board that I was glad I wasn’t diagnosed till I was 35. At least in 2002 the world changed for people with RRMS in that the Risk Sharing Scheme began and the age of DMDs had begun. If I’d been diagnosed in 1997, I’d not have left the comfy local authority I worked for and become a consultant working all over the country. I’d not be half the person I am today as I’d probably have been too scared to take the risks I did. Personally and professionally. I may not have met my lovely Mr Sssue. (Gulp!)

So although the world has changed for those poor souls in Limbo, I for one am glad I was in it. And yet I wasn’t in limbo really because I didn’t know I was. In the pre Google, pre instant looking up symptoms, pre internet on demand days, some of us were relatively happy in ignorance. I just lived through occasionally falling over (I did drink a lot so perhaps that didn’t help), lived through numbness and weakness. Lived through optic neuritis (although in retrospect I kind of wish I hadn’t driven up the A1 in the snow with double vision and colleagues in the car - thankfully I got away with it safely). Basically I just pretended it wasn’t happening. Until I couldn’t anymore.

Then I was diagnosed. And I had got into the habit of risk taking, so I took a few more (not driving with ON though, that was stupid). And I’m glad I did.

I hope everyone with early stage MS or still in limbo, manages to take some risks, to take the scary job, to fall in love with someone, to move halfway across the country, to live without safety nets (apart from DMDs) and just to enjoy living before disease and disability takes hold of their lives.

Sue

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i agree with sue

go to that festival!

you can take a friend as a carer for free!

it may need planning like a military operation but it will be worth it.

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Thanks folks. Glad my pondering gave you some entertainment. I should probably add another thing I am grateful for. Diagnosed with breast cancer before Christmas, I had surgery, a lumpectomy, in January, on my birthday. Six weeks of daily radiotherapy followed, involving a four hour round trip to the city hospital.

I’m incredibly grateful it was discovered early on a random mammogram. Lumpectomy had a clear margin and a lynphnode removed was caught before it had traveled further. I’m still here and I’m still standing.

There’s always something to be grateful for, however small.

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It’s much more than an entertainment, Poppy.

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great read poppy-thanks! ellie x

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I thought I’d add my ponderings too! When I married an older man (18 years older) I expected to have to look after him in his old age, not have him spend his old age looking after me. Some might argue it’s keeping him fit!

i was diagnosed just before my 50th birthday, but I’d symptoms going back several years.

Anyway, prior to that, partly because we wanted to see and do things before he slowed us down we travelled extensively, never thinking it would be me who’d clip our wings!

We’ve had some amazing times. We’ve been on safari holidays in Africa, we’ve seen the sights in the Far East, enjoyed Caribbean beaches, we’ve done European city breaks, and some here in the UK, visited historic sights, the battlefields in France, lots and lots of places. We’re so glad we didn’t put it off.

We’re lucky we both have occupational pensions, so we don’t have to contend with disability and being poor. We can still get away, but we tend to keep returning to places we know, where I can hire equipment. Only short haul flights now.

MS has had a massive impact on our lives, but I’ve a lot to be grateful for, not least that my husband has taken on the burden of care with good humour and mostly without complaint.

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I’m glad you appreciate what you have Flower. Amazing travels! Love that your husband has taken on your care, “mostly without complaint”!!! Made me smile. Mine does too. Mostly without complaint.

Nice one Poppy,

what a nice thread to read. We all know how crappy life can get but it is great to hear that there are silver linings, laughs and adventures to be had.

I always thought that a life without risk is a bit dull but then again I am a bit of a numpty.

Keep on truckin’

Mick

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I have never heard my wife complain. But then I’m never listening.

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She just does it out of earshot AD.