Elizabeth McLachlan, 39, Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis
How would you explain Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis to a child?
My illness, multiple sclerosis causes cuts on the inside of my body, but sometimes, my body can’t completely heal those cuts. Since I’ve had MS for many years, my brain has to work extra hard, because these old scars where I got hurt, can make it hard for my brain to talk to my leg, hand, or another body part. But resting can help give my brain the energy it needs to work hard.
What would you want the world to know about Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis?
I would like the world to know, that people with MS have spinal cord and brain damage. It is similar to damage caused by an injury, but from cells in the body repeatedly attacking from the inside. It’s hard to defend from an enemy that lives in our sacred space, our bodies; but with support, sometimes physical and emotional, from friends and family, as well as doctors and medications; we can better defend our selves from the inner demon, MS.
What does it feel like to live with Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis?
Like using an old faulty and glitchy operating systems. My body is my robot, and damaged wires and uneven power distribution make me overheat, shut down: and need time to reboot. I get overwhelmed constantly, by what are also the simple joys of motherhood. It can be especially difficult for me to balance being a good mom while also being disabled. But I’m very lucky to have a wonderful and understanding family to help me through each and every day.
What brings you joy?
Getting to have beautiful moments with my family. When everything lines up, and I see looks of joy and elation in my kids faces for something mom was able to help make happen; it fulfills me in the ways my soul craves. Simple things too, like my son knowing that MS is hurting me, and he takes his hand and gently rubs my spine, in the place where the thoracic lesions ache. Or the way my daughter gives me two kisses on the cheek for every one I give her.