I’ve been struggling with something as of late and I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. I’ve just been feeling off like something is missing or out of balance in my life.
I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so out of whack and then I had a “eureka!” moment after attending a recent #ChatMS* which was about routines and living with multiple sclerosis. We discussed how some routines help us navigate life better with MS and how if our routines are disrupted, it can upset the apple cart, if you will.
Then it hit me. That’s it! I’ve been dealing with disruption to my routine, specifically the medication routine that I’ve grown so accustomed to and have been following for years.
Switching to Ocrevus, a medication that is only administered twice a year, has thrown me completely off my game. For the first time in about 15 years, I don’t have to worry about taking medication daily or several times a week. Since 2003, I’ve been so conditioned to taking a disease-modifying therapy on a regular basis that I’ve felt like something has been missing lately in my fight against MS.
You would think I would be happy so why is not worrying about medication actually bothering me?
When I had to take medication regularly, I accepted it as part of my fight against MS. In my mind, I was actively doing something to combat this disease. I was doing all that I could do and proactively trying to hold off progression. Now, not having to regularly think about taking medication has me feeling like I’m not doing enough in my fight. I need to allow myself to let the worry go and I have to get comfortable with a different way of thinking about my medication routine.
So what do I do now?
First, as I said, I do need to let it go and just accept yet another "new normal." (ugh!) Then, I need to enjoy it. I mean, why not? There are no benefits to living with a chronic illness so I'll take any perceivable perk I can find! I don't need to worry about medication for 6 months? Sure, I'll take it!
So I will try to take advantage of this extra time I now have. I can use it to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and continuing to cultivate a positive mindset. I have to trust the process and believe that this medication is doing what it is supposed to be doing. I have to remind myself that even if I’m not regularly taking something that my fight is still happening and will continue to happen. I am doing something to combat this disease.
Once again, in this journey with MS, I will adapt. I will forge a new path and discover even more powerful weapons in this battle. I will focus on worrying less and living more, continuing to rely heavily on faith and hope.
*Hosted by Must Stop MS! (@MustStopMS), #ChatMS is held every Monday at 7 pm EST on Twitter and Facebook. If you haven’t joined a #ChatMS yet, you need to check one out!