My RRMS Diagnosis Story
- by Susie W.
- May 07, 2018
Susie W. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
After being diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) five years ago, I felt like I lost all hope for my future. I was worried and expected the worst.
I was in a dark and scary place, and my fear "paralyzed" me. For months, I spent most of my days sitting and staring into space as I worried about how the disease might affect me. All I could focus on was the “what ifs.” I thought, what if I can no longer do the things in life I love most? For example, I was a cycling instructor and motivated others to exercise and stay fit. I started to find myself feeling hopeless instead of hopeful.
My doctor’s advice to me was to focus on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do, but it was hard for someone who was prone to worrying. I knew my mindset was holding me back, and I was determined to not let it get the best of me. I decided enough is enough and I was going to take my doctor’s advice and truly focus only on what I could do. I started by going for a swim in the pool.
Being in the pool gave me a sense of normalcy. When I was in the pool, my body was weightless and buoyant, and swimming became my happy place where I could get physical and mental therapy. Under the water I walked, prayed, meditated and even cried. I was in the water when I realized the life I was given was so much greater than my RRMS.
That realization also motivated me to try other types of exercise. It was a bit uncomfortable for me at first because I wasn’t sure where to start, but I tried out yoga and it quickly became one of my favorite hobbies. In fact, to this day, it’s not unusual for me to strike a pose at home or do some calf stretches while I'm waiting to check out at the grocery store. Yoga has been a great way for me to exercise. Plus, it helps me relax. As always, you should check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Since being diagnosed with RRMS, I’m proud to say I’ve learned ways to overcome my fears. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I’m hopeful for a very bright future.
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