I do not want to live smaller as a result of my diagnosis. I have had to adjust. There is no choice in that but to do it. But I am not going to let go of my goals, passions, and vision that I am actualizing.
The bad days are rough but the good days, they shine brighter than the sun.
I have all these great things happening in my life right now. I can hold them and feel them. There’s a perfect job for me. But right now I know that it’s not in my future because my body hurts so bad, and I know that’s how you make it much worse.
I was diagnosed in 2012. I had just moved to San Francisco from Sacramento to begin my bachelors degree in sociology. I was at work, and for a split second, I got double vision. Then it progressed to the point I could hardly see my arms or move around. I could see, but I couldn’t see straight. I woke up in the morning and one of my eyes couldn’t open. I could no longer see right. I was in a lot of physical pain and my legs had trouble moving.
I want to get a PhD in either cultural or medical sociology. I have two projects I started as an undergrad. I like the idea of telling stories to heal and to fix policies, to bring a face to an issue where there aren’t faces.
I have always been a lover of dance. I have taken ballet on and off my whole life. I love it. But post diagnosis, my relationship with studio classes has been a mixture of satisfying, beautiful, and very challenging. I am still coming to terms with accepting that I can’t handle intermediate classes.
I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t want this disease. I really don’t want it. It’s lonely. Who wants to date some 29-year-old who has this thing?
Diagnosis: Relapsing Remitting
Jessica was diagnosed when she was 26. She will be 29 in September, 2015. Her first attack of MS occurred as she was leaving Sacramento to attend San Francisco State University. She began experiencing double vision, her eyes were moving without her telling them to and her legs would not move at all. These random, unexpected symptoms were the beginning of what she describes as her “new normal”.
Jessica completed her Bachelors Degree in Sociology and is a member of the Association of Black Sociologists. She hopes to continue her research project on the development of diseases among black lesbians. She would also like to enroll in a PhD program at Columbia University however, severe weather fluctuations in conjunction with her MS, she realizes that her body may not be able to handle New York weather.