Finding Us in MS
Dear Fellow Family, Friends, and Followers, Where have we been? I would love to tell you that we have been drinking margaritas and dipping our feet into the ocean off some sandy beach, but we haven’t. Instead, our August 2017 took us on a different path. Dan didn't qualify for the drug therapy test trials. Since then we have had moments of great love and glory, and next everything in life feels slightly rocky and unknown. Trying to find one way to fix Dan ’s Multiple Sclerosis is not in existence. I have wished upon every matter that resembles a wish that Multiple Sclerosis would leave our life and we can get back to being normal. But then I think what is normal for us? We have lost but we have also gained. Some days we are screaming at each other; then enjoying the classic taste of chocolate avocado pudding for the first time. Our most significant times of success are when we hold hands and talk it through; sometimes to the point of having to repeat this step several times in one day. The collection of Kleenex boxes can tell many stories of how we have been finding us in MS.
One is finding something to laugh about during the difficulties of the time. Even when you have an audience, and you can't keep your words in any longer, you scream and shout, and everyone is watching you lose your sh*t. You have to remember the small things that once brought you laughter. Like our joke, “Smells like you have thyme on your hands". I will never forget how those simple words brought a smile upon Dan’s face and the laughter I felt throughout my body.
Two is getting out in nature even after you have torn apart the house in an anger rut. It doesn't matter what the neighbours will think or how the house looks like a mess. The smell of fresh air will eventually work wonders in your nose and head for your limbic brain. The centre of your emotions; the ones you need to feel then release. Remember the serenity prayer, change what you can change and let go of the things you can't. Best advice shared with me, "It is none of my business what others think of me, it only matters what I think of myself".
Three is working together, but make sure you think of your own needs as well. Yes, it sounds selfish at the start, but the investment of taking care of your own individual needs not only empowers you but everyone around you. Make sure you do that thing you love doing for yourself. May it be plucking your eyebrows, steaming your face or getting together with your friend Karen who inspires you every time you see her. Please seal your lips if the first thought is I don’t have time. Make it happen! You do matter and time is precious, so enjoy this life!
Lastly, everyone has an opinion. Yes, it would be nice to own some hearing aids for those occasions. I could mute what I don’t want to hear and smile gracefully, and politely say thank you and walk away without an ounce of their knowledge running among my thoughts. Wish those type of people happiness and remember it is your life and no one has control over you.
Whatever you have Relapsing, Remitting, Progressive or Secondary Multiple Sclerosis or your spouse has MS, I feel for you. There are days I am not in the best mood to be Dan’s cheerleader and help him fight his battle with MS. I want to give up and have a pity party for myself. Other times, I am Dan’s best wingman, finding everything I can to make his day that extra better! Over the past year and a half, my best advice is to find your tribe. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and support you. Individuals who are on the same path as you, and when you do reach out for help you feel good holding their hand. Remember there will be people you will clash with, and that is okay. What works for some doesn't work for all. I sound like a cliché of advice, but I am on the same path as some of you. Looking for answers and ways to help my husband, my Prince Charming, beat this dis-ease.
Since our mission, Finding Us in MS, things are improving. Little pieces coming together that inspire hope that everything is working out for our highest good. The people we have met along the way have led us to places, specialists of some sort, and things we didn’t know. I am so thankful to many caring individuals who have shared their journey with us. I feel Dan and I have tried it all, but when we look at it all, we are continuously learning. We hired a Health Coach who specializes in MS, work with Naturalpaths, and seek advice from other MS patients. The clothes Dan and I wear don't always match and either does our approach to wellness, but we are working on it together.
So from the bottom of both our hearts, we thank you! To the person reading this, thank you for letting us know we matter. Whenever you check us out either on our website www.findingusinms.com, our Facebook page Finding Us in MS or on Instagram #findingusinms, it shows, and we feel grateful someone is listening. We also really appreciate the stories of hope from fellow MS patients. All this reminds us we are not alone in this dis-ease and we have a network of support backing us up! So please continue to join us and introduce us to other individuals that can help shine hope how to heal Multiple Sclerosis.
Dan and Casey Campbell
Photo Credit: Samantha Anne Photography