Today is a Gift

Brittany - Morro Bay, California
Entered on April 3, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Today is a Gift

My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the young age of 32 years old earlier this year. People are usually diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) between the ages of 20 and 40. My mom’s neurologist says that she probably has had MS for about 8 years now, but her “attacks” didn’t last long enough for her to question them. The attack that brought her to her neurologist this time around began in December of 2008. She noticed numbness in her left arm and hand, and weakness in her right side. During an attack, my mom sometimes has coordination problems and fatigue. She can’t do most of the things she used to be able to do, like ride her bike, walk up and down stairs very often, or even stay standing for very long.

MS is a lifelong disease that attacks the central nervous system. When a normal person without MS goes to lift his/her arm, that person’s brain is thoroughly communicating with the central nervous system, which tells the muscles in the arm to lift, and voila, the arm lifts! When someone with MS goes to lift his/her arm, though, the brain sends scrambled signals because of the damage that MS does to the central nervous system. So, it’s like the brain is talking in a foreign language that the arm’s muscles don’t understand!

I believe that nobody should take their health for granted. Many students whine and complain when it’s the day to run the mile. I’m guilty of being one of those students. I think that we should all look back at all of the young people with MS, sometimes in wheelchairs, who would love nothing more than to run the mile. I know my mom would give anything to have her energy back. We’re lucky that we actually have the energy and ability to run and do sports, because so many people don’t have that.

Even though my mom has MS, she’s still the best mom a kid could ever have. She’s like my best friend, and I try to do everything to help her when she’s under an attack. Whenever she needs help doing anything, I give her a hand.

When my grandpa was helping my mom drive as a teenager, she didn’t really want to listen to his advice; she wanted to drive. He told her, “You’ll be living on your own much longer in your life than you’ll be living with me”. That quote from my grandpa has really stuck with me throughout the years.

My mom’s current attack will hopefully end soon, and then a lot of her symptoms will go away. Although the attack will stop, though, she will always have MS. Having MS means my mom could have another attack anytime, but not even her doctor can predict when.

“Yesterday was history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” –Eleanor Roosevelt