My story starts in April 1973, when I was born in the Coombe Hospital, in Dublin, Ireland. I was over a month premature and I weighted a little less than 3lbs. My Dad said that I was the size of a pint tumbler (glass) wrapped in a tea-towel. I may have been small but I was already a fighter.
I am the eldest of 4 girls, we are all very close and I don’t know what I would do without them. They really make me realise that family is the most important thing in life. I had an idyllic childhood and grew up with great friends and lots of cousins. My extended family is very big and we are all pretty close, this probably comes from how close my parents and their siblings are.
When I was 29 years old, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and didn’t know what it meant. I was getting ready to fight in the Irish National Eliminations for Kickboxing, (I was the current all-Ireland and World Kickboxing champion but every year, you had to fight to retain your place), when my left leg started to feel funny, it wasn’t particularly painful but it had some numbness and co-ordination issues . The next couple of years where hard for me, trying to come to term with the diagnosis and what it brings with it, my suddenly weak legs and irrational bladder made life harder, walking to the canteen was sometimes a challenge and getting to the bathroom was at times a priority due to lots of kidney infections.
Then in 2007, I had a further blow, my Mum died suddenly, she had a brain haemorrhage and I felt like my left arm was taken away. She was so supportive, always there for me and her unconditional love made it easier for me to cope with my issues. Suddenly I had to find another way to deal with things. I first turned to food, which didn’t work and later to friends, family, Reiki and Counselling which worked.
I have also thanked God that I work for such a wonderful company, they have given me the tools to manage my illness (working from home when not well) and alleviated any worries about losing my job due to my condition. I have a job that I really enjoy and work with a manager who is very understanding and encourages me. I have colleagues who are aware of my condition and do anything to help while not patronising me. It is great to be able to work and not have it impacted, it really helps with self-esteem, remaining positive and leading a normal life.
It is now 9 years since my diagnosis, and a lot has changed in my life, I can no longer kick box, run or walk a long distance but I wouldn’t change a thing. MS has pushed me in all ways, mentally, physically and emotionally and initiated lots of lifestyle changes. I don’t think that I would have my inner peace today, if MS hadn’t shown up.
For the past year, I have been trying to come up with an avenue to provide information to help people. I am no expert or doctor but I would really like to be a bright light to young people and their families, to help them realise that the diagnosis isn’t the end of the world and can sometimes come along at the right time so that important stuff gets dealt with. So I set up this blog, it is called Nic’s MS in the City – https://msinthecity.wordpress.com/
I think that the biggest learning for me is that you can’t segregate things, if you want to do your best to maintain your health, you need to look at everything, Mind, Body, Spirit, Diet, Stress etc, a holistic approach. Caroline Myss makes are very valid point when she says
‘Your biology is your biography ‘ (in other words your physical body (your cells) absorb the biography of your life and reflect back to you how that life has been). So you can’t just look at the physical, you need the balance in all aspects of your life.
So my life has been a bit of a roller coaster and maybe I could help you with MS or one of my experiences below 🙂
– Shy child
– World Champion Kickboxer
– 4th degree Bushido Martial Art Instructor
– Lucan Rose (beauty pageant)
– Image Consultant
– Emotional comfort eater
– MS patient
– Single young female
– Online dater
– MS blogger??
Finally, if someone told me what life had in store for me, I don’t know if I would have appreciated it but I do now.
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