b'Life with MSTS TuurrnniinnggMMSSiinnttooSoommeetthhiinnggPPoossiittiivveeBy Ardra Shephard Photo by Alkan EminI was in my early 20s, doing what people intosecondaryprogressiveMSdidntcome their 20s do. Nothing in my life was permanent.with the urgency that my RRMS diagnosis Not the job I was working which was payingdid, but the feeling of being railroaded was for the voice lessons that would launch my realthe same. career. Not the sketchy apartment I sharedAfter years of bouncing back from relapses, with the family of raccoons that lived on myI noticed less and less recovery after an attack, balcony.Noteventheon-again-off-againbut the progression is difficult to pinpoint. bartender boyfriend with the soul patch.There was nothing ambiguous about waking When I was told I had relapsing-remittingup with double vision when I was in the multiple sclerosis, I was devastated. Likerelapsing-remitting stage of MS. Identifying friends my age, I was trying to gure out whatchanges in the progressive stage felt more I would do with my life, where I would live, andlike trying to recognize my face aging. You who I would love. I had so many unanswerednotice a new line one day and wonder exactly questions about my future, but once I receivedwhen it rst appeared. my diagnosis, only one thing was sure and permanent:everythinginmylifemovingThe biggest adjustment to SPMS has been forward would include MS. the need for mobility aids. As my disease Ilivedwithrelapsing-remittingMSforbecame more apparent and less invisible, I many years. It was never easy, but I foundstarted to feel like I had to explain myself. I ways to function within a new normal. Ihad no idea the kinds of questions the use of gured out what I wanted to do (write), wheremobility aids by a younger person would I wanted to live (Toronto), and who I wantedinvite. I got tired of being repeatedly asked, to love (the bartender with the soul patch). Whatswrongwithyou?anddecidedto The second time my life was sidelined bystart my blog, Tripping On Air so that I could MS was much more insidious. I can tell youtell my story my way. the anniversary of my rst symptom. I canWriting about MS and connecting with a tell you the date I got diagnosed. My transitioncommunity struggling to see itself represented msfocusmagazine.org 36'