Sick of Being Sick | Teen Ink

Sick of Being Sick MAG

October 13, 2008
By Anonymous

I woke up this morning like you, took a shower, and brushed my teeth while planning my homework. I got a phone call around noon and spent an hour of joy telling my girlfriend how much I love her. I ate a bowl of ramen, started my homework, and took my pills. Three, actually, to combat the side effects of the shot I injected myself with last night. Why, you ask, did I do that? Simple: I am a teenager living with multiple sclerosis, or MS, and I take my shots knowing that if I don’t, my body’s defenses will destroy me.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the nerves and restricts the signals from flowing in the brain, if it ­allows them to transmit at all. It attacks seemingly ­randomly, from one area to the next, anything from sensory perception to control over legs and arms. Though the disease took away control of half my face and reduced control over half my body, I consider ­myself lucky. It could have targeted my respiratory or ­circulatory systems.

Ironically, MS is most common in older people. Though rarely fatal, MS can steal your life away in a coma, or drag you into a vegetative state. Breathing through tubes, living only thanks to machines. Living, but not living. A fate worse than death. A fate only staved off by the injections I administer every week, which serve to slow the disease though not cure it. Did I mention I hate needles?

When I heard my diagnosis, to put it simply, I was crushed by my sickness. Crushed by the idea of such an uncontrollable disease looming over me, able to strike at any time without mercy or pity. Crushed by the thought of my bright future now dimmed prematurely. Crushed by the terror of my own body turning against me, and me not being able to do anything to stop it. I couldn’t help myself or stop this disease from taking over. I was paralyzed by my fate.

But people may pass me today and think nothing except Why is that guy wearing all black in the Texas summer? I don’t look sickly, and people balk when I tell them I have MS. The same disease is there, still incurable and malicious, but now I am a brighter, ­happier individual, boldly looking to the future and living the high life. What happened?

It’s simple. I was sick of being sick.

For years I knew I could not change my fate, yet I dwelt on it. I still do, sometimes. It’s human nature. But I realized there is more to life than fear. Worrying about things you can’t control only wastes time. What kind of life would you rather live? One fraught with worry about impending doom only to see your fears realized after an eternity of dying. Or a life lived in the moment, reveling in the here and now, with eyes full front, ­appreciating the past and accepting that there is an end to every party.

It’s quite simple, really. Live in the moment. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. My own life is full of imminent dangers, potential horrors, and fates even worse than death, as is yours. Yet some things will happen, regardless of how much thought we put into them. What’s the point of using life to fear death? Enjoy the life given to you, while you have it, and know that when you die you have lived a life worth living, using every breath to do, not just to think.

My happiness still prevails. I have loved and continue to love. I laugh. I smile. I walk with a spring in my step. I revel in my life, despite my affliction. I cherish the time given to me, knowing that it could be cut short at any moment. I live despite my disease; in fact, you could say I treasure my life all the more, knowing that time only comes once and is gone in a flash. I savor my life while I still can. To do any less, in my opinion, is to live by dying. Which sounds ­better to you?

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This article has 106 comments.

on Jun. 10 2017 at 9:40 am
HereSheIs BRONZE, Wellesley, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 187 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." -Plato

You are pretty wise

Absjfksa said...
on Jan. 15 2016 at 3:10 pm
Please stop romanticizing a mental illness. Depression is not beautiful. Getting out of depression is beautiful.

Ned Stark said...
on Jan. 15 2016 at 2:33 pm
What an eyeopening article this girl is on to something. I hope the Boston public school system is keeping an eye on this student she's going places. I just hope her peers are able to keep up with her stellar work.

on May. 1 2015 at 5:57 am
AmazinGracey PLATINUM, Wilmington, Delaware
24 articles 6 photos 25 comments
Im in love with this; outstanding job. My mother was diagnosed with MS when she was 18 years old. After she gave birth to me and my twin sister, her health started to decline rapidly. By the time I was 5, she was in a wheelchair. She passed away last year at age 40 from a severe stroke that the doctors were not able to treat soon enough due to her complications of MS. I've spent my whole life so far dealing with MS, it wasn't just my moms battle but mine as well. Instead of growing up, being taken care of by my mom, I spent more time taking care of her. Many times she would say that she is 'sick of being sick'. Im so very sorry to hear that this has happened to you as well, at such a young age. My sister and I do all that we can to raise awareness for MS, especially participating in the MS walk every year in my mom's memory. Last month we raised almost $3,000, and were put on the top teams list. I know MS can be difficult, even though the experience is different for every person. What my mom went through was not typical. Many people overcome this disease. There's still hope, and even though I'm only 16, I'll rapidly do anything that I can to fight for a cure. Keep your head up, and great writing! xx

on Oct. 28 2012 at 7:44 pm
nerdyfish SILVER, Peabody, Massachusetts
5 articles 2 photos 11 comments
I love how your memoir was written. It touched my heart in many ways that I can not describe. Kepp up the great writing, and soon you will be an author with many newberry medals.

hanajun said...
on Sep. 27 2012 at 3:58 pm
hanajun, Olmsted Township, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Brevity is the soul of wit" ~ Shakespeare's "Hamlet." "All the world's a stage" ~ Shakespeare's "As You Like It."

Wow, this memoir really inspired me. I can't imagine preserving such resilience.

Preston said...
on Sep. 20 2012 at 12:53 pm
I could not of said it better myself, everyday of life is a gift and to often do people take it for granted and i hope that your're still living your life to the fullest, a life worth living

kbj7 said...
on Jul. 1 2012 at 2:45 pm

Your story is inspiring, and remindes me of how important living in the moment is. I don't know if MS could be classifyed as an Invisible disease, I guess it depends on the case. You should check out .

You might like it. It's just a site I go on to deal with having an CP. (Chronic pain) Thanks for writing this, so wonderful to hear a story like this. 

on Jun. 30 2012 at 2:47 pm
angel2011 SILVER, Lincoln, Nebraska
5 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isn't fair; a fair is a place where you can play game, eat corn dogs, and ride Ferris wheels.

Thank you for writing this.  This is really inspirational.  I have an autoimmune disorder and I understand how terrifying it can be to have your body turn again.  You will do well in life :-)

on Apr. 23 2012 at 2:10 pm
Fantasia80 GOLD, Cincinnati, Ohio
10 articles 33 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If music be the food of love, play on." - William Shakespeare

What admires me the most about this writing piece is that you fight through whatever challenge you face.  I have challenges too.  In fact, everybody has to go through challenges!  Just remember that you're a great person just like everyone who is logged onto this website.  :-)

5 stars

on Apr. 1 2012 at 9:58 pm
sithukorale GOLD, Mississauga, Other
13 articles 2 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Better well done than well said"
Benjamin Franklin

i'm so sorry- i meant to give you a 5/5 but clicked 4/5 instead!

thank you for writing this- it really inspired me a lot. reading this, i know you will be a very successful and fulfilled person in your life.

on Apr. 1 2012 at 9:40 pm
SpringAhead GOLD, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 99 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't call me crazy, it drives me nuts!"


Wow, this is very inspiring! I love your way with your words and your whole outlook on life. :D 

up2ewe BRONZE said...
on Apr. 1 2012 at 1:28 pm
up2ewe BRONZE, Weston, Massachusetts
1 article 4 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Never Regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it' bad, it's experience." -Victoria Holt

I love your outlook- to see people overcome the obstacles life has thrown at them with so little remorse is what makes the word "people" sound beautiful. Now I'm a bit of an inspiration junky, and am a huge fan of TED talks. Although you may have already seen this and may be well aware of all the treatments available for MS, there was this one TED speaker named Terry Wahls who cured herself of MS by adopting a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. I thought her story was really inspiring, and her treatment something to think about if you are interested in it. :-) Best of success, in writing and enjoying every moment!

vazenitran98 said...
on Apr. 1 2012 at 10:58 am
vazenitran98, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 79 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street,I met a man who had no feet."

This was a beautiful true story.I hope you feel better. You have a way with words despite everything else.

on Mar. 10 2012 at 1:18 pm
BrickByBoringBrick64 SILVER, San Francisco, California
8 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You know you are in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
-Dr. Seuss

You are very, very inspiring! Great job writing this :)

on Jan. 26 2012 at 9:14 pm
Bballstar98 SILVER, Pearland, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary."

Omg, that is so beautiful and true. I admire your outlook on life and I hope everyone in this world has this set of mind sometime in their life. :D

Mani2x SILVER said...
on Jan. 26 2012 at 6:05 pm
Mani2x SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
I was born an original, I'm not going to die a copy.

This is great. Your inspiring.

on Jan. 26 2012 at 5:26 pm
Bandana56 BRONZE, Snohomish, Washington
4 articles 0 photos 13 comments
That was awesome, your advice is really inspiring, and i liked the voice in the article.

on Jan. 26 2012 at 3:00 pm
DarknessForever13 SILVER, Gainesville, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
Quoth the Raven: "Nevermore!"
"What's right isn't always popular, but what's popular isn't always right." - Unknown

This was amazing, and very inspiring!! Keep up the good work! I'm glad you don't let the choices of Lady fate drag you down. As I sometimes say, just give a smile, and take what she throws at you. *Huge Smile*

on Jan. 26 2012 at 10:53 am
JJ Kaiser BRONZE, Franklin, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This really hit home for me, as my mom has MS. It's great to see that you're living your life to the fullest despite your disease, your story is truly inspirational. There needs to be more people with your outlook on life.