Truth is always good but how long and what it takes to get there….not always. I knew almost sixteen years before my diagnosis that something was wrong with me and that it was probably MS. One side of my body was numb from just above my belly button down through my toes. Terrified, I went to the emergency room and left with nothing after an MRI of my brain. When the numbness remained constant for another five days, I was sent to a cardiologist to test my heart and still nothing. After a week or so, the numbness went away leaving fatigue as a reminder that something wasn’t right. Still, for about nine years I accepted the fatigue and decided that I didn’t want to know. I also convinced myself that enough had been done and pushing further for answers would make me look crazy. This worked pretty well until I had vertigo for days that had me unable to drive, stand for long, and vomiting around the clock. I called my doctor and, as soon as I could leave my house, I went to see an audiologist to run tests on my ears. Again, nothing was found but he gave me enough information about ear and balance issues to make me feel that seeing him was the right decision. I took that teeny bit of “this still could be a random ear episode” validation and ran with it. I had messed up ears… even though I knew I didn’t. Almost four and a half years ago, I woke up the day after Thanksgiving and my toes on both feet were numb. When I went to bed that night it was both my feet. Numbness continued moving up both sides of my body for days until it had reached my chest and I had to admit to myself that it wasn’t a pinched nerve or two… or twelve. I was going to know and would be introduced to the scars in my brain and in my spinal cord that mark all those years of not knowing. I had the truth and it broke my heart.
Not having the truth and not knowing have a way of being comfortably harmful both physically and emotionally but we still do it because it’s often easier and we all want things to be different from what they really are at times. I have recently done this with people, which I think is the most common way we all avoid knowing and the truth. We want things to be a certain way or we convince ourselves that we are just being positive, which is mostly a good way to be. Unfortunately, like my MS, knowing the truth about someone who is far from who you’ve known them to be leaves its own kind of scars. Again, I have the truth and my heart is broken.
I’ve decided that this spring I am going to work on letting go. I’m going to let go of the responsibility I’ve carried for the way I feel physically because I didn’t face my MS much sooner. I’ve been angry with myself and that is only making me feel worse. Even harder, I am going to let go of hurtful people who I now know are not who I thought they were or who I tried to make them out to be. Letting go will help me focus on fighting any harm coming into my life, whether it be a determined, misguided, damaging immune system, self-imposed guilt, or a manipulating, self-serving person misrepresenting themselves in my life. Spring is a time for new growth and beginnings and I am ready!