Sick of Being Sick MAG

October 13, 2008
By Michael Moser, Flower Mound, TX

I woke up this morning like you, took a shower, and brushed my teeth while planning my homework. I got a phone call around noon and spent an hour of joy telling my girlfriend how much I love her. I ate a bowl of ramen, started my homework, and took my pills. Three, actually, to combat the side effects of the shot I injected myself with last night. Why, you ask, did I do that? Simple: I am a teenager living with multiple sclerosis, or MS, and I take my shots knowing that if I don’t, my body’s defenses will destroy me.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the nerves and restricts the signals from flowing in the brain, if it ­allows them to transmit at all. It attacks seemingly ­randomly, from one area to the next, anything from sensory perception to control over legs and arms. Though the disease took away control of half my face and reduced control over half my body, I consider ­myself lucky. It could have targeted my respiratory or ­circulatory systems.

Ironically, MS is most common in older people. Though rarely fatal, MS can steal your life away in a coma, or drag you into a vegetative state. Breathing through tubes, living only thanks to machines. Living, but not living. A fate worse than death. A fate only staved off by the injections I administer every week, which serve to slow the disease though not cure it. Did I mention I hate needles?

When I heard my diagnosis, to put it simply, I was crushed by my sickness. Crushed by the idea of such an uncontrollable disease looming over me, able to strike at any time without mercy or pity. Crushed by the thought of my bright future now dimmed prematurely. Crushed by the terror of my own body turning against me, and me not being able to do anything to stop it. I couldn’t help myself or stop this disease from taking over. I was paralyzed by my fate.

But people may pass me today and think nothing except Why is that guy wearing all black in the Texas summer? I don’t look sickly, and people balk when I tell them I have MS. The same disease is there, still incurable and malicious, but now I am a brighter, ­happier individual, boldly looking to the future and living the high life. What happened?

It’s simple. I was sick of being sick.

For years I knew I could not change my fate, yet I dwelt on it. I still do, sometimes. It’s human nature. But I realized there is more to life than fear. Worrying about things you can’t control only wastes time. What kind of life would you rather live? One fraught with worry about impending doom only to see your fears realized after an eternity of dying. Or a life lived in the moment, reveling in the here and now, with eyes full front, ­appreciating the past and accepting that there is an end to every party.

It’s quite simple, really. Live in the moment. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. My own life is full of imminent dangers, potential horrors, and fates even worse than death, as is yours. Yet some things will happen, regardless of how much thought we put into them. What’s the point of using life to fear death? Enjoy the life given to you, while you have it, and know that when you die you have lived a life worth living, using every breath to do, not just to think.

My happiness still prevails. I have loved and continue to love. I laugh. I smile. I walk with a spring in my step. I revel in my life, despite my affliction. I cherish the time given to me, knowing that it could be cut short at any moment. I live despite my disease; in fact, you could say I treasure my life all the more, knowing that time only comes once and is gone in a flash. I savor my life while I still can. To do any less, in my opinion, is to live by dying. Which sounds ­better to you?



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This article has 106 comments.


on Aug. 3 2011 at 7:23 am
joyfuldancer SILVER, Easton, Maryland
6 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm not a perfect person, I'm a forgiven person.

This is beautiful!  It really helped me put things into perspective in my own life.  Thank you so much for writing this.  I'll pray 4 u.

God bless,

Joy


on Jul. 12 2011 at 11:48 pm
SecretFlame PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
20 articles 1 photo 375 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have a life. I just choose to ignore it."
-one of my friends

This is amazing and incredibly moving. You are a very talented, poignant, and strong writer. Keep living and enjoying your life. You are an amazing person, and a wonderful writer!

on Jul. 12 2011 at 11:39 pm
Dragonfly_Girl PLATINUM, Pleasant Hill, California
21 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.

Wonderful! I really relate to this! I have a teacher and friend who has MS and have watched her struggle with it. I know how devastating that disease can be, but am so inspired by your spirit and positive outlook. Stay strong! :)

on Jul. 12 2011 at 12:32 am
Anerio_Deorma BRONZE, NULL, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
NULL

You remind me of the mortality that we all carry. You are a true hero. Someone who despite overwhelming odds continues to carry out whatever mission he was given. You are one of those people who deserve a medal

on Jun. 20 2011 at 10:14 pm
WinterFairy PLATINUM, Chicago, Illinois
45 articles 15 photos 111 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't dream it. Be it."
"Singing is praying twice, and dancing is singing with the body."
"Paper is more patient than man."
"Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live"

Wow. I can honestly connect to this, but not as intense a level. Last May I was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome; my kidneys spill too much protein in my urine. At one point I was taking about six or more pills a day, and I still have to take meds to keep my numbers in check. Possibly for life. BUT INJECTIONS???? That takes some courage. And the way you live is so inspiring. If I would you, I would try to live like that, but I don't know if I could. Please stay optimistic and an inspiration to all of us TeenInk-ers. I don't know what faith you are, but I'm Catholic, and I'm going to say this:

God bless you, man.

:)


on Jun. 20 2011 at 9:31 pm
collegegirladventures GOLD, Mequon, Wisconsin
10 articles 8 photos 307 comments

Favorite Quote:
A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.

~Salman Rushdie

wow!!1 so sorry about your disorder. but im glad u have faith and that this trial is making you a better person.

..and please will you rate and/or comment on my pictures? thanks


_NoAir_ BRONZE said...
on Jun. 20 2011 at 6:38 pm
_NoAir_ BRONZE, Toronto, Other
4 articles 1 photo 463 comments

Favorite Quote:
There are as many ways to live as there are people in this world. Each one deserves a closer look.


–Golly (Harriet The Spy)

I agree.   =)

on May. 7 2011 at 5:18 pm
A.PaigeTurner, San Antonio, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 125 comments

Favorite Quote:
You think that everybody hates you. You should really stop that.- A Good Friend

You're stronger than I ever could be. 

on May. 7 2011 at 8:46 am
squeakyshoes GOLD, South Portland, Maine
10 articles 0 photos 4 comments
This is a wonderful piece! Keep strong!

on May. 7 2011 at 6:19 am
TheBlackRose BRONZE, Madrid, Other
3 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
I knew who I was this morning, but I´ve changed a few times since then

Your piece is great. Being so optimistic as you would be great for me and I´ll follow your advice and live life for the moment. Thanks!

on Apr. 15 2011 at 7:12 am
skyblue95 PLATINUM, Bear, Delaware
35 articles 1 photo 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am paraphrasing, of course. "My only fear is that when they are turned to loving they will find we are turned to hating." -Reverand Msimangu, Cry, The Beloved Country (a book by Alan Paton)

Amazing work. Very beautifully written and put together. Keep writing! :)

smith said...
on Mar. 24 2011 at 9:50 pm
this was beautiful, i love it! an its nice to know that someone in this world have alot of confident in there life.

on Mar. 24 2011 at 8:35 pm
cascadeblanche BRONZE, Winder, Georgia
1 article 2 photos 6 comments
I loved this! I have an autoimmune disease too. Very nicely written.

on Mar. 24 2011 at 8:11 pm
to.hold.the.sun SILVER, Maryville, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present." -John Green

Inspiring and beautiful. 

on Mar. 2 2011 at 5:13 pm
AbigailElizabeth SILVER, Medina, Minnesota
8 articles 0 photos 80 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Scars are souvenirs you never lose" - Goo Goo Dolls

good piece! it has really awesome descriptive words, although kind of repetitive. my grandma has MS and has been in a wheelchair since she was 40..she has lived 20 years past what the doctors thought: she's 75 years old! and it's all because of her zest for life and extreme want to keep living, much like you. way to capture this(:

on Mar. 2 2011 at 1:01 pm
yasmina.tabbal GOLD, Beirut, Other
10 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
You can get arrested for wearing those colors - Zach, A Chorus Line

Perfect    

on Feb. 8 2011 at 3:27 pm
WerewolfWriting BRONZE, Eerie, Nevada
4 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is not about the breaths we take but about the people who take our breath away."

Excellent Piece! :) <3

on Feb. 8 2011 at 1:44 pm
writingcheetah7 GOLD, Barr., Rhode Island
10 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

as other people have said, this is really inspirational, and a great piece overall. Nice job!!:)

on Jan. 17 2011 at 8:55 pm
Thank you. For helping me realize that I don't have to fear the inevitable. I hope that someday I can be like you and live more in the moment. You're writing really rocks! :) I'm glad you can be so optimistic and admire your courage! :)

on Dec. 26 2010 at 7:59 pm
MissFaber SILVER, Wayne, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 156 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nothing Less.

This article is so very inspiring, and I can relate to it. I'm proud of you for writing this, for having the strength to overcome your sickness with a positive attitude.

keep it up :)





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