Multiple sclerosis, Nick

Guest post from my better half

Nick graciously offered to write another guest post today, on our 10th wedding anniversary. I did not have to beg, bargain, cajole, reason, bribe or threaten with bodily harm. Honest! Also, wedding photo to be added as soon as I can find one. Oh, we were so young then!

When Jennifer was first diagnosed with MS, I’m not ashamed to admit, I didn’t know exactly what MS was.
I remember sitting in the emergency room listening to this very nice doctor with a very thick accent and not knowing how to react. I wasn’t sure whether Jennifer was getting a life sentence or a death sentence.

I was a student intern at Windstream who had no vacation, no sick time and no insurance should Jennifer have to quit working. I remember getting on the Internet that night in between packing clothes for Jennifer’s suddenly extended hospital stay. I also remember that the Internet really wasn’t as much help as I’d hoped it would be.

That’s because for all the things we know about MS, there’s way more we don’t.
And for someone who lives in black and white, there was this whole big gray area that I was going to have to get adjusted to.

Lo and behold here we are a year later and I still have way more questions than I do answers. But that gap is narrowing each day. It helps that I have a wife who embraces each day and each challenge with twice as much vigor as she did the last.

Jenn has gotten stronger and more educated about her disease. It helps me, as a juvenile diabetic, to think about her condition as something like my own. She takes medication to treat the symptoms of her disease. And just like the virus that has been attacking my pancreas since I was 18, the lesions on her brain aren’t going away any time soon.

In the past 12 months, Jenn has organized a team for the MS Walk, gotten involved in the MS Society and lobbied on its behalf at the state capitol. She’s even had to be there for a friend diagnosed with MS in a way that none of her friends could have when she found out a year ago – she could empathize, not just sympathize.

I worried about what the future held for us is those first few days as Jennifer lay in that hospital bed while I bounced between home, work and a very uncomfortable hospital room couch. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary today, though, I realize that it’s then future that should be worried about us.

I realize that the world is laid out before us. We will get everywhere we want to go, it just may take a little while longer. And the parking will be better when we get there.

11 thoughts on “Guest post from my better half”

  1. Nick, this is Sharon (your dad’s sister) from Arlington, TX. Happy Anniversary to both of you. I have a great friend who was also diagnosed in her late 20’s with MS. She is doing really well these days, but she has taught us all a lot about living. I enjoy the blog so much. Thanks to both of you for sharing your journey.

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