On July 22, 2008, I woke up feeling dizzy. At first I thought it was the California summer heat, but then I noticed in the bathroom mirror that I could not move my eyeballs around no matter how hard I tried.
My first action was to go to the ophthalmologist but I was stirred away quickly, soon after I was sitting in the exam table of a neurologist and an MRI was ordered, “to make sure it is not multiple sclerosis” he said. But the black and blue pictures of my head showed white spots on my brain where my T cells had eaten away at my neurons; right there I was diagnosed with MS. The first thing I objected when I was listening to my sentence was “how can I fight this?” before I had the chance to tear up, I got mad and decided I was going to fight it all the way through.
Then they took spinal fluid from my back and sent it to a lab in Palo Alto to evaluate the disease’s advancement. I was lucky, it was in its first stages and a low dose of cortisone was administered, in two days my sight was back to normal.
The Doctor explained I had to make changes in my lifestyle beginning with my diet; no more canned or processed food, no more chemical based cosmetics, no more bad sleep habits and tossing aside exercise. If I was going to rise above this I was going to have to work and improve my choices. I’ll never forget that trip to the grocery store and that shopping spree of healthy foods, I was very conscious to select things that would improve my health and nurture my body. I changed most of the brands that I used to consume, I even changed my cleaning products, now I only clean with vinegar and my house always smells like a big delicious salad. But it worked, I felt better almost instantly and I made sure I had a brand new positive attitude to go along my crisp new start.
On January 2015, as a new years resolution, I decided to write letters to the ones that I love, in case I would leave this earth for whatever reason; I wasn’t ready to go and have my voice vanish forever. I realized it was very important for me to let my loved ones know how magical they made my life in the most ordinary of circumstances. When I began this project, the world around me was enhanced, I saw so much color and beauty all around me that my words would not just flow, they would gush out of my pencils and pens to create the most lovely verses.
I continued to observe simple family moments and they were all filled with wisdom and very important teachings to capture. When I had several letters lined up, I decided to share them with others in the hope they would appreciate these everyday adventures and maybe think about writing letters to their loved ones as well. We are not eternal, but our sentiments can live and inspire on through paper and computer hard drives.
My MS is under control now but still, it is a very unpredictable autoimmune disease and you never know how it’s going to creep up on you, so I stay vigilant and grounded to the present. I stay mesmerized by wonderful people and my surroundings.
I thank my MS everyday for giving me the generous gift of awareness and the power of voice, so that I can leave my essence to my family, friends and generations to come.