I could have known sooner. Three and a half years ago roughly. Earlier today I found an old gratitude journal, from 2011, and one of the three things I was grateful for on a day during October half term of that year was that I had visited an optician and been reassured that my (then) current episode of blurry vision was just down to needing glasses for driving and not (noted in brackets in my hurried scrawl) a symptom of MS. As I read it I remembered laughing at my own hypochondriac tendencies, and vowing never again to google a minor ailment (a vow that I confess to not adhering to).
So it turns out that, even then, I had committed to paper my doubts and fears about MS as a possibility, albeit a distant one.
Do I wish I had pushed more, been more insistent that glasses would not/ did not fix the problem? Actually no. The last 3 and a half years of my life would have been distinctly different had I known sooner. I will never know if they would have been better or worse for knowing, but I could write here and now a list of things that I would not have chosen to tackle had I been more fully informed at the time, things that I am glad I have had the opportunity to do. This is not necessarily the time or place to list them all (how could I without sounding like I am spouting some sort of Curriculum Vitae of my professional and personal life?) but I know their worth and I know I would not change them given the choice.
Even the low spots – the “darkest days” have served a purpose, though I would have gladly thrown through a window anyone who dared suggest such a notion at the time.
So no, I would not rewrite my story, redraw the map of my life so far. I did not know, so I lived my life as it was at the time.
And now I know. And I would not change that either. I will not allow myself to be drawn into questions about why this has happened, why now, why me, what if… It is what it is, and I am where I am, here and now. So I shall follow this wise advice that I found somewhere this week and “bloom where I am planted”. Look at me – a metaphor with no candle or moon in sight, and a floral metaphor at that! MS is changing me! I am planted here (I know not by whom – that is a question for another day, another Philosophy lesson) and I am tasked with blooming and making this life I now have the best it can be.