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I HAD THERAPY FOR MS & THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED

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I decided,

well, actually my MS nurse decided that it would be best for me to talk to someone about how Multiple Sclerosis is currently affecting me mentally, not just physically. I jumped at the chance because I'm not afraid to admit that my mental health and anxiety have suffered greatly since being diagnosed (I touched on that a little here). So that's where we're at now.

First of all, the lady I go to see is called Emma and she specialises in Multiple Sclerosis therapy and my god.. she's an angel.

So there I was, waiting outside of the room, watching other patients walk past me. (Oh btw, my counselling is inside of the hospital that I go to for my monthly checks) and then Emma came out of her room to get me. I was a little bit nervous but I felt relieved that someone was going to finally listen to all of my thoughts, instead of me listening to other people's. I sat down and cried instantly. She asked me straight up "So.. what's causing you to be so anxious?" and everything came out like word vomit. I explained that I was worried about the uncertainty of the disease and whether I was going to deteriorate as time goes on. I also told her about the Selma Blair Interview that I had watched the night before and how her's had got so progressive that she now needed a walking aid and can barely even speak. I also mentioned that I'm constantly worried about whether I'll wake up and be able to move in the morning or not. Emma then began to reassure me that the treatment that I've had is fantastic and that it has helped thousands of people live a normal life. She said even though it is a progressive disease and it's completely unpredictable, I need to try and put all faith in the fact that this is going to work and my relapses will slow down.

Emma spoke about the fact that I'm going through a grieving process and it's like I'm grieving the person I used to be because MS was not in my life plan. She said "You never thought you were going to go to school, study all of those years, go to college, work and then be hit with an incurable illness" and she's right. I never in a million years thought that this would or could ever happen to me but it has. I guess I'm still healing but I don't know how long it's going to take and I think that's what I'm most frustrated about. We then spoke about the guilt that comes along with being sick and she asked me how would I react if my friends told me they had been diagnosed with a chronic illness? I said that I would be supportive, caring and everything that my friends are to me and then she said "Exactly, so why would you feel guilty for being the sick one?”

I didn't have an answer.

I just guess that when it’s YOU that’s going through something, you only ever really see it from your own point of view. Not from the eyes of your friends or your family. For a while, I had gotten so caught up on worrying about whether I am a burden to other people, I forgot that if it was the other way round, I would 100% be there for those that needed me. Just like my friends, my real friends. We then began talking about coping mechanisms and what I can do to help relieve some of the current stress and worries that I had. I told her about my blog and that I like to document my journey online - she told me that she thought it was fantastic because I’m the ‘perfect patient’. She began to explain that although the nurses and the doctors can educate people about Multiple Sclerosis because they’ve studied it, I’m actually a real life patient that is going through it. She said “We don’t have MS.. but you do, so the words that you speak, offer way more meaning than anything I or your doctors could ever say”. And I completely agree.

I actually get annoyed by this quite often. Sometimes when I don’t feel like certain doctors are listening to me, my first reaction is “Well, you’re not even sick, so how you would you know?” and sometimes I truly believe that they don’t know. They have no idea what it’s like to live with MS or any type of chronic illness, so I hear what they say but I sometimes choose not to listen. This also stems from the fact, I went to my doctors surgery 18 times before I got a diagnosis and it was actually the opticians that sent me to the hospital, not my GP.

Emma then began listing all the great qualities about myself, all the things I already knew but managed to forget which obviously made me cry, like a baby, again. To be honest, the whole hour was spent sobbing into a pack of tissues whilst being told to "breathe" over and over. I also told Emma that even though I've had Lemtrada and will probably choose DMD's (disease modifying drugs) again in the future, I still want to go down the holistic route and try to help myself as much as I can with my diet and the environment around me. I wrote an Instagram post and spoke about the "Wahls Protocol" which is about how you can heal/reverse your illness. I said that there are 15 million people in England that have a Chronic Illness, so we must be doing something wrong. People are getting sicker as time goes on and the medicine that the doctors give us, aren't always helping. We need to resolve the root cause of our illness's, rather than suppressing our symptoms. If we only treat symptoms, then we'll always have a cause. So that's what I'm doing now, focusing on eating foods that fuel me, are good for my body and being mindful. You have two homes, earth and your body.. take care of them.

After my first session, I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like I weren't alone in my thoughts anymore and most importantly, I had faith that everything will work out in the end. So thanks, Emma for lighting the way and giving me back a ray of hope.

Have YOU ever been to therapy for your chronic illness? If so, did it help?

Charleigh
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