Brain

Brain (noun)
an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.

The brain is the epicenter of the body. Most people think it’s the heart, but without the brain, the body can’t work. The brain is the captain of the central nervous system, also include the spinal cord. The brain plays a role in the control of most bodily functions, including awareness, movements, sensations, thoughts, speech, and memory. Some reflex movements can occur via spinal cord pathways without the participation of brain structures.

For those who aren’t aware, multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. Nerves run throughout your body from the tip of your head to the ends of your toes, and everywhere in between. Picture a coaxial cable, or even a garden hose. With MS the body’s immune system thinks the outer coating of the cable is a foreign body and works to poke holes in the coating. And once that happens, nerve signals aren’t able to travel normally to all points throughout the body.

Now as much as I don’t like to think about it this way, I am in fact living with a neurological disease.

I recently told a few people that didn’t know prior, and their response, “I never would have known it.” And this is how I know the stigma still exists about what MS is, and isn’t. Despite the fact that owing to the advances in diagnosis and treatment, approximately 30% of people with MS progress, the general public still thinks of wheelchairs when someone says multiple sclerosis. That said, being in a wheelchair doesn’t make you incapable of living a full, productive life. So the stigma still exists, which leads to chronic under-and-unemployment of people with disabilities, of which MS is actually one.

All of that said, I have a neurological disease. While I’ve been told, “but you look so good,” more times than I remember in 11 years, and feel like I’m intact cognitively, the plain truth is that the disease can impact me at any moment in a myriad of ways. My brain can play tricks on my mind, I can be anxious, fatigued, in pain, intense tingling (known as paresthesia), depressed, grouchy, moody, sad, angry, cognitively “off” and a myriad of other emotions and feelings. And that’s not even the day or two after I do my weekly injection, which impacts my brain in ways that I have to remind myself, “this is just the medicine playing games with your mind.”

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A Lot

 

A Lot
A lot (noun)
very many, a large number; also, very much.

I am a lot of
love
music
smart
tenacious
ferocity
happy
sad
mad
confident
reliable
devoted
sympathetic
fortunate
sensitive
passionate
intrigued
fascinated
inquisitive
curious
nosy
eager
anxious
brave
daring
hopeful
sarcastic
rebellious
unique
dynamic
content
spirited
soulful
pensive
reliable
empathy
caring
kind
dedicated
satisfied
strength
courage

I am a lot. Take me as I am, whatever I am.

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