IBS, MS, Low-FODMAP and Me.
When I was younger I had five letters and a pair of brackets after my name – BA (Hons.) As time goes by I seem to be collecting all sorts of letters. IBS is kept in check by a LowFODMAP diet and there’s a little crew of other oddities (SIBO anyone?!) that remind me I’m getting old. Recently I added MS to my alphabet of ailments.
Four years ago I had what was classed as a clinically isolated syndrome. I think I must have repeatedly fallen through the net as it took until this year to have everything re-scanned and my diagnosis ‘upgraded’ to Multiple Sclerosis.
The diagnosis isn’t necessarily one I’ve been keeping secret but private. Obviously I’ve had to tell the DVLA and insurance, filling out unfathomable forms, but while everything’s still fine, I felt a bit of an attention seeker telling people. Before the formal diagnosis not knowing whether every other issue, such as the permanently itchy and swollen eyes, was connected to the earlier tests was beginning to grind me down a little. *
Everyone has issues, some we can’t see, and some are more obvious. My mum has been very ill this year, her healing process will be a long one but, brave soldier that she is, she’s on the right road. My friends and family that I’ve spoken to have been marvellous but I do feel slightly guilty that I’ve been so wrapped up in my own problems for the last 9 months and not given everyone the attention they deserve, as they bravely take on their own battles.
I’ve got a theory that a bit of wallowing is a healthy service station on the journey of dealing with any problem – the important thing is that the wallowing point doesn’t become your destination.
We decided to tell the children before we went on holiday, to prove everything’s still normal and I knew we’d have time to answer any further questions. This coincided with the World Para Athletics Championships.
Young Master - “Like Kadeena Cox?”
Me - “Yes, like Kadeena Cox.’
Little Miss - “Are you going to be a parathlete?”
Young Master - “Can you enter the Paralympics now?”
Me - "..."
Pretty sure you need a degree of talent and agility to become a parathlete: a diagnosis is simply not enough! It did make me realise how lucky we are that my children look at people with disabilities as inspirational and wonderful and not, as in days gone by, with pity. Holiday was simply wonderful incidentally – it’s pretty easy to get any dish down to Low-FODMAP in Greece. The hot weather was simply gorgeous on my constantly cold arms and warmed my very bones!
So I’ve wallowed a little, got a bit cross and I’m ready to deal with this my own way – I find dark humour and creative swearing very effective. While I’m still fine, it’ll be business as usual. If things change, they change, and no doubt I’ll wallow again.
Please continue to invite me to things, I’m more that happy to hear your wallowing rants as much as your happy news! Facebook keeps nagging me that I haven’t updated my followers for a while – sorry about that kids, but it’s been a bit of a buzzkill. However, I haven’t the energy to keep feeling sad anymore, I’m annoying myself! I need to strap on a pair and start figuring out how I’m going to be marvelous, while I still can. Our family motto in the face of adversity is to shriek hysterically ‘EVERYTHING’S FINE!’ And it is.
So how’ve you been?
*As of yesterday we think the eye issue has been cracked and by the time I see the specialist in 3 months, we’re expecting the whole sorry saga to be over – hurray! Admittedly the featured picture on this post has nothing to do with MS but aren't my kids clever making an arch bridge strong enough to stand on?!