No, You’re Not Crazy. You Have MS.

Packing 20 years into 31 days — Day 5

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

A disability doesn’t define an individual. MS doesn’t define me.

These statements are a common mantra among MS Warriors. They are repeated often.

Ad nauseam…

But it is true. You own your disease and can define it any way you like. You make the rules, so chose wisely. Fight the urge to succumb to the stigma of living with a disability. While we may not be able to control the fact the disease exists, we CAN and SHOULD take the bull by the horns and direct its path.

We, as MS Warriors, are Super Heros even if society insists we’re weak. In the visual we present with our walking sticks, wheelchairs, canes, and handicapped parking placards the public has no idea the strength required in presenting these signs.

When I fall in public, I suffer the indecencies related to being handicapped; but my pride and fortitude set me back on my feet. Twenty years ago I would have been aware of public reaction. Now, I do my best to brush it off and continue my day.

I’m not saying it’s no big deal, but the MonSter has given me a thicker skin than the average gal. I know why I fell. I re-evaluate my circumstances. I do my best to downplay the severity of the situation and do my best to not burst out in tears. Because MS and tears go hand-in-hand.

We are creatures of resilience even when pride gets in the way.

I’ve learned the difficult lesson of asking for help when it’s necessary, but I still dole out those requests sparingly. A common stigma of living with an invisible disease is wanting pity.

Don’t pity me, but allow moments of pause. I’m slower than I once was. Deal with it or walk away.

Sounds harsh?

Multiple Sclerosis is a harsh disease. Especially the invisible kind of MS. Unless I’m walking, my MS is totally invisible. I understand the confusion this causes and really dread having to explain my visible AFO or functional cane.

I don’t like having MS. Who does? That doesn’t mean we as Warriors have to bow to public opinion.

Create your own definition of MS. Own it. This MonSter belongs to you.

If you choose to decorate it with your personal crazy, have at it.

Enjoy today,


Lady With The Cane



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July 1, 2001, six months after the birth of my only child, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.