As I close in on 50 (FIFTY!) and look back over the past decade, so much has changed. Other than my MS diagnosis, the bulk of those changes happened in the last 18 months.
It all started in Portland, Ore. My ex and I were in the process of separating when I took a trip for an MS-related gathering. While I was there, I met Matt — the most amazing man who has impacted my life significantly.
A group of us were taking a walk. I was having problems with my left leg, and this guy that I barely knew, just being the kind and friendly sort that he is, took my arm to help support me. Like he’d do for anyone he saw having problems. That’s the type of person he is.
After a couple of blocks, I suddenly doubled over and burst into tears. It had crashed in on me that in the 17 years I had known my (now ex) husband, he had never performed that simple, assistive task for me. Not once.
Matt pulled me off to the side and talked to me. More importantly, he listened. I’ve never believed in fairy-tale romance. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to… but in my experience: nah. Well, boy was I wrong. The metaphorical lightning bolt struck us.
In spite of COVID, Matt and I spent the next few months traveling between Colorado and Minnesota as well as meeting in between. All while wearing our masks and practicing appropriate social distancing. Without the freedom to work remotely as a result of COVID, our path may not have been so smooth. We bonded through our shared loves of online games and movies, as well as the challenges of living with MS. We spent hours and hours every night talking, playing, sharing, watching, crying over past setbacks, and supporting each other through current issues. In August, Matt moved from Minnesota to Colorado and in with me.
Twenty-ish months ago, life was pretty humdrum and uneventful. There wasn’t a lot I looked forward to. I was depressed, but at the time and in the moment, I didn’t consciously realize it. My general approach was, I’ll make my way through today, then start everything all over again tomorrow.
A lot has changed since then. In addition to the general upheaval upon all of us from COVID, I’ve experienced lost love, new love, job change, financial issues, leaving my home of 17 years to rediscover the “joys” of apartment living, the divorce process, and a family member with a potentially terminal diagnosis. It has been a trying time with lots of emotional ups and downs.
We all know life is hard. We know living with MS is particularly hard in its unique ways. There are those minutes and days and maybe even weeks where we want to give up. Sometimes it’s tough to pull back and truly see the beautiful forest of life for the ugly weeds of everyday problems. During some of the difficult times in the past year, I’ve had more than one moment of wallowing in misery and failing to be the best me I could be for myself, and most importantly, for others.
Through it all, though, Matt has been by my side. He’s helped me, challenged me, supported me, infuriated me, and loved me despite my myriad faults and flaws. He’s helped me to learn more about myself and grow as a person.
I’ll be 50 in a few months. Wow. Looking into my past, there are so, so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself. Then again, without all the mistakes, hurdles and pain of the past — as well as the triumphs, joys, and laughter! — I wouldn’t be who I am.
What is OCREVUS?
OCREVUS is a prescription medicine used to treat:
It is not known if OCREVUS is safe and effective in children.
Who should not receive OCREVUS?
Do not receive OCREVUS if you have an active hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Do not receive OCREVUS if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to OCREVUS. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to OCREVUS or any of its ingredients in the past.
What is the most important information I should know about OCREVUS?
OCREVUS can cause serious side effects, including:
These infusion reactions can happen for up to 24 hours after your infusion. It is important that you call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the signs or symptoms listed above after each infusion. If you get infusion reactions, your healthcare provider may need to stop or slow down the rate of your infusion.
Before receiving OCREVUS, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of OCREVUS?
OCREVUS may cause serious side effects, including:
These are not all the possible side effects of OCREVUS.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
For more information, go to www.OCREVUS.com or call 1-844-627-3887.
OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.
OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.
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