This month, in honor of MS Awareness Month, we are introducing you to Real People with MS. I admire Teresa’s spirituality and grace and am happy to share our interview with you.
When were you diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?
“I was diagnosed with MS in November of 2014.”
What have you learned since your diagnosis?
“I have learned much more about multiple sclerosis since my diagnosis. I was not fully read on the disease of MS, and although I knew a few people who had it I did not understand the physical and mental aspects of how MS manifests. The most important lesson I learned is not to take one day for granted. No one is privy to what the future hold, however, chronic illnesses, such as MS has forced me to really examine my life, walk in my truth, do what I can today and keep a positive outlook, even when it is difficult to do so.”
What would your like others to know about living with MS?
“I would like others to know that MS is a serious disease and is sometimes invisible to the human eye. This is why it is called an invisible illness. I would like others to know those of us battling MS struggle most days of our lives, physically and/or cognitively.”
“My suggestion to others are to choose your words wisely, encourage and uplift and never judge a book by it’s cover. You never know the battles others are secretly fighting. It’s a matter of empathy and human compassion.”
How has multiple sclerosis made you stronger?
“Long suffering, I am no stranger to chronic illness. Having congenital heart disease and a permanent neck and shoulder injury, pain is a familiar foe. MS has made me stronger because it has fortified my sense of purpose and it has given me another reason not to take life for granted. MS has made me stronger because I have committed myself to raising awareness and using my story to educate and encourage others. MS has made me stronger because on the days I am exhausted, struggling with pain, having cognitive difficulties and other issues, I hear the voice within me saying my spirit is stronger than this illness. My spirit has the will to survive and my entire life is reflection of my strong faith and indomitable spirit.”
Please share Teresa’s story to teach others that multiple sclerosis does not look a specific way. You might interact with people silently suffering every day. You may also enjoy Vanessa, John, Maria and Yvonne’s Real MS Stories.