Since Oct of 2013, W and I have experienced a ton of firsts. My life has revolved a bit around weirdness and unexpected things and every once in a while it just still catches me off guard. I may pause while taking my nightly pills and wonder how I ended up this way, or giggle strangely sitting in a specialist’s office when I look around and realize I am the youngest person in there by at least 30 years.
With all the crazy firsts, there have also been plenty of amazing ones. Last month, W and I attended our first MS support group meeting. It was something that I wanted to do, but things kept getting in the way. The closest meeting to us is about 45 minutes away and is only held mid week in the evenings. As I was battling fatigue, it was hard to convince myself that this was a necessary step. We’re lucky enough to have a support group that is specifically for the newly diagnosed, so this time we told ourselves we would go regardless of the circumstances, and so we did.
I can’t express enough how wonderful it was to be in a room of other MS patients who were just talking about whatever was going on in their lives. Some talked about medication, others about frustrations with doctors or new symptoms and overall stress. The group leaders are a husband/wife team who are amazing and took the time to make sure that everyone in the room talked even just briefly. I am not one to speak in public, even in a small group setting like this, but they encouraged me to talk about Rituxan as they have not had anyone in the group on that particular medication. I spouted off an abbreviated version of my story, a bit about the medication and my experience with it and answered some questions. I even managed to get a few giggles from folks while I was talking. Everything is confidential, so I felt totally comfortable sharing and honestly am incredibly excited to go back.