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Multiple Sclerosis and the 5 Stages of Grief 

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis often brings with it a grief journey.

I stare down at my hands, clasped in my lap with my fingers knit together. A black wave moves across my vision, blocking out everything but the neurologist’s impassive face as I hear myself ask, ‘Are you sure?’

There’s silence in the room, but in my own head, there is a loud rushing sound and I feel the blood drain from my face. The rushing sound becomes almost comforting as it fills the eerie silence that hangs in the air…an intense silence, a frightening silence, a pregnant silence.

He gives a curt nod, picks up his pen and jots down a few more notes before giving me a final, ‘Yes!’ He slightly adjusts his cloak of professionalism as he wraps it more tightly around his shoulders. Anything to remove him from something as basely human as tears of distress.

A single tear rolls slowly down my cheek and gently falls on my still-folded hands. Is that it? One sentence and suddenly I become a diagnosis filled with symptoms; a sentence delivered with the efficiency and tact of a shop assistant giving you your change.

‘Please make an appointment for three months from now so that we can begin treatment,’ he says dismissively.

The tears are now falling freely down my face. I feel numb. I stand up slowly, only but for the steadying arm of my hubby I don’t collapse into a heap of shock at the foot of the messenger.  

I walked mechanically out of the consulting room and back to the car park. It’s only once I’m sitting in the safety of the car that I begin to feel myself become unhinged. My hands come up and I bury my face in them just in time to hide my pitiful tears from my hubby who has yet to say anything. My whole body begins to shake and huge, heaving sobs ache in my throat.

Hubby folds me tightly in his arms and we sit like that for the best part of an hour. Totally lost, totally out of control and totally broken – both of us!

That is the diary entry of the day I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – two days after my 36th birthday.  I went through the five stages of grieving in the months following that appointment. Grief for the person I was, grief for the life I thought was no longer possible and grief for what I thought was to become of me.  Denial and anger became my close companions for many weeks.

Read full article: Multiple Sclerosis and the 5 Stages of Grief | The Mighty

Read Full Article: Multiple Sclerosis and the 5 Stages of Grief | The Mighty

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