I hadn't heard from her all week so I emailed her on Friday with a list of things to do this weekend. A few hours ago I checked my email and saw the following message.
I might have ms girl, thank God everyday for health.
My first reaction was WHAT? What do you mean you might have MS as in Multiple Sclerosis? Secondly who puts that in an email? I immediately picked up the phone to call her. When she finally answered I asked her where was all of this coming from. She explained how she'd been showing symptoms of MS like her legs feeling weak, having tremors, and constantly rocking. She said she went to the doctor earlier in the week and he explained to her the symptoms were there but she'd have to have an MRI to find out for sure if she had it or not.
Our entire conversation was crazy because in the 2 years that I've known her, I've never seen her this vulnerable. She's always so upbeat and full of life. She started talking about how we must not take life for granted and how she may never get married or have kids. I tried to sound positive and told her not to think like that because her diagnosis wasn't final and even if she does find out she has MS her life isn't over. Then she attempted some humor saying something like, I'm glad all of my friends like to volunteer so when I'm crippled and in a wheelchair you all will accept me as I am. Although I kind of smirked when she made the comment, I couldn't help but picture her that way and had to shake the image from my head. I told her to stop talking like that and to stay positive and reassured her that she would be fine.
It's hard to hear that your 29 year-old friend could possibly have a debilitating disease like that of MS. It's one of those diseases you hear about "other" people having like the late-comedian Richard Pryor or singer Tamia, not something that could affect your friend who hasn't even reached 30.
It just reminds me that life is so precious and that I should never take it for granted. I'm so thankful that I'm healthy, have family and friends who love me, have use of my limbs and the ability to hear and to see, have a job that I enjoy. I've been blessed in so many ways I could never list everything. When things like this happen, it makes you realize how trivial, insignificant things cannot even compare to how someone who is diagnosed with something like MS, cancer, HIV could really feel.
It's so easy to take life for granted but when I think of all of the challenges I could be facing, it makes it easy to remain humble. I constantly have to remind myself that I only have one life to live so I need to make the most of it.