Do you ever have those moments of vivid clarity? Like, the ones you really remember, and know you’ll remember forever? Where you were when Princes Diana died (saw it on the TV at home, told my Mum and initially she didn’t believe me), or Michael Jackson (in Phuket, my pal Laura and I got in about 6am after an insane night out that was the breaking news), that kind of thing? Well I had that moment in July 2021, ‘Maybe this will be the year when everything is normal, except from my tingly toes – they’re back again and that’s annoying!’

Well, fast forward 5 months and a variety of interventions by a supporting cast and crew including my beauty therapist, GP, Neurologist, Specialist Nurse, several other amazing health professionals, my best friends and here we are…..finishing 2022 up with a diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting MS. I should say that this is the first in my tentative steps to put into prose what has been going on prior, during and beyond diagnosis so I thank you for even reading this far and warn you that I’m in this for the long haul. At exactly the point in time when I should be taking things off my plate, I’m effectively adding to it with writing, and I couldn’t be happier (and a bit anxious, to be totally honest) to get some of the plethora of subthemes out of my head and into the real world.
When I answered the call to submit a blog item I genuinely wasn’t sure I’d have anything to say, or offer, and it definitely makes things all a little bit more ‘real’. Prior to diagnosis I had been experimenting with writing (a story for another day) and it turns out that essentially a whole lifetime’s worth of, erm, shite? blethers (rambling, to non – Scots)? ruminations? has materialised in the old notebook in topics ranging from, ‘am I insane’ to ‘dealing with healing’, via ‘can I lovebomb my MS’, with thoughts often added to the list at 4am when my PartyBaby™ is up feeding, again a topic for another day.

So today is very much about me, and very little about MS, much like the vein I’d like my life to continue to go in. I am Carol. I am in my 30s and a career in education means that I feel much, much younger. My background is music education, and I presently head up an Expressive Arts Department in a state school. I am a mum of two children – Luke who is 6 (going on 16) and PartyBaby™, or Daisy, who is 14 months old and absolutely running the show. My husband Keiran is the calm to my chaos. We’ve known each other since we were 18, except he wasn’t boyfriend material back then, and look at us now, married for 9 years and counting! I live in the Northeast of Scotland and up until recently I would have categorised my life as pretty normal, but now it’s precious, and overwhelming, and everything in between, as I ride the rollercoaster that has swept me up and consumed me over the last wee while. I really love reading, being outdoors, travel and exploring culture.
I was diagnosed with RRMS in November 2022 and I honestly don’t know what 2023 is going to bring. I have always disliked the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra, but I know that I have work to do in order to at least feel in control of my MS, not the other way round. There’s an amazing community and a wealth of knowledge from everyone in, or associated with, this club we find ourselves in – that none of us wanted to be part of – and I want to find the time to explore it, to try things, find out what works for me and I hope that little changes mean some wins. So maybe it’s not, ‘New Year, New Me’ for this gal, rather ‘This New Year, I’m committed to staying as well as my body allows (and do more writing)’. Bodies are amazing, but that’s a topic for another time too!
What does your 2023 look like? How are you going to start the journey?

Carol x

PS – I’ve dedicated an Instagram page to my journey and I’d love for some of you to be there with me: