My mother was diagnosed with MS in October of 2003, but she was sick for two years prior to her diagnosis. I have always known her as she is now and looking back, I realize that my life was strongly affected by her disease. I was embarrassed by her when I was younger, but I have become accustomed to helping her maintain her balance, keeping her stress level as low as possible, and reminding her when her memory falls through.
As a child, I was embarrassed by my mother's symptoms, one of which was dizziness in dark spaces. She always has to have someone hold onto her or be close so she won't fall down. I remember that had to help my mom while on a family trip to Lewis and Clark Caverns; when we were inside the caverns I had to stay by my mom's side in the darkness, while everyone else explored and had fun, so she wouldn't fall down. Over time I've accepted that I need to be there to help my mom in ways other kids don't, even if that means not always being able to do what other kids are doing.
When I was nine, I realized the severity of her disease. She was driving us to a New Year's Eve party at our church and completely lost her sight. I was terrified! The blindness was temporary, but turned into severe double vision. For the next few weeks, she wore an eye patch over her left eye so she could continue to carry out daily tasks. Her vision, although improved, will never be 100% restored and she still occasionally wears an eye patch.
Because of my mom's poor memory, I used to feel like she wasn't paying attention to me and didn't care about what I had to say. I would get frustrated when I had to repeat myself and constantly remind her of things. Throughout the years, I have accepted that she has memory problems and I try to be patient and not take things so personally when she asks me questions multiple times.
My life has been deeply affected by my mom's struggle with MS. I am thankful every day that her disease is not any worse than it is.
While I attend Montana Tech, I plan to earn a degree in Chemistry because I have always had an interest in science and research. Tech has a great science department, so I am excited to utilize all the resources the school has to offer. Because my life has revolved around music for so many years, I want to join the choir program at Montana Tech while I attend. I feel fortunate to live so close to a school that will help me pursue all of my interests while helping my mom when she needs it.
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