Guest blogger Emily, also known as the wibbly dinosaur, writes about her life after being diagnosed with MS, and why she started blogging to help others who are new to MS.
You don't know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have
I usually hate cheesy quotes, but this is one saying I can't help being drawn to. It never ceases to amaze me how much strength can come out of a single human being.
Even the little bit of strength I have shown in the face of MS continues to flabbergast me. Before I was diagnosed at the age of 28 I had lived an incredibly sheltered and privileged life. The only real drama came from the fantasy worlds in which I immersed myself - in books, films, and the theatre. Change scared me and the unpredictability of life terrified me. Even my degree took me as far away from the real world as I could get. Living in the artificial environment of a university campus whilst watching and studying film provided a safe haven away from the uncertain post 9/11 world we'd suddenly found ourselves in. And when it came to choosing a Masters Degree and possible career I opted for Film Archiving, which meant hiding myself completely within the safety of the past.
Basically, I liked control and by my mid-twenties I had my future laid out; I had goals, ambitions and solid plans. The trouble is, life being life, my plans didn't go to plan. You see, I never planned to have MS. It blasted its way into my life totally uninvited and utterly unwanted. My life had ended with those words, "you have MS". Or so I thought at the time. With a lot of help and support over the years from my incredible family, knowledgeable neurologists, numerous nurses and one amazing counsellor I am able to embrace the more colourful life that MS has forced on me. And I can honestly say that my life did not end on the day of my diagnosis, on the contrary, it had only just begun. Like many other MSers who I meet I am stubbornly determined not to let MS stop me. With my diagnosis came the realisation that I didn't want what I thought I wanted. Career ambitions thrown aside I found myself planning a wedding and dreaming about having children, which had previously not figured much on my agenda. I am now 36 and married with 3 kids and 2 cats. Life is both exciting and challenging.
I may have embraced MS, but that certainly doesn't mean that I don't find it the most annoyingly inconvenient, painfully stupid, and random condition to be lumbered with.
I am, however, thankfully able to laugh or at least manage a smirk at most of the rubbish it throws at me, and this is where my blog comes in. I began writing upbeat bits and bobs on a social media page for a local MS support group in 2016. I wrote candidly about situations I found myself in thanks to MS and people were incredibly responsive to it. It became clear that I had a lot to say on the subject and so I decided to officially launch my own blog, thewibblydinosaur.com. The name is perhaps not as random as it seems, MSers are wibbly after all plus I love dinosaurs, they often feature in my tales somewhere, be it in the text or in the accompanying photos that my children help me to set up. I write what I would have wanted to read when I was new to the MS game and in doing so hope that my readers feel supported and inspired by it. Although my writing is mostly upbeat I certainly don't shy away from the trickier issues, my aim is to make it as honest and relatable as possible, in fact it's often cringingly honest! I pretty much write about all aspects of living with this debilitating condition and when it comes to a condition with symptoms that are as multiple as Multiple Sclerosis the possibilities are truly endless.