Being a roller skater with Multiple Sclerosis

by Marta

Kaci has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about three years ago. But burying her head in the sand was never an option. Instead, Kaci shows that even though one might get diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s not the end. It can be a chance for a new approach on life. In her blog Myelin Moxi she writes about her journey as a roller skater with Multiple Sclerosis among other topics that life has in store. Here she gives a little insight how she dealt with the diagnosis.

Most of us hear the words “chronic illness” and “disabled” and immediately assume some of the worst conditions for others or themselves. While this may be true for a handful of disabling health conditions, there are instances when diagnoses are not accompanied by physical impairment (right away). This is where I stand. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April of 2017. It is a disease of the central nervous system that is a result from demyelination (damage) to the myelin sheaths that cover and protect the nerves. When the nervous system begins attacking itself, protective myelin is irreversibly damaged and allows for miscommunication between nerves. This results in a variety of abnormal physical reactions not limited to speech, mobility and cognitive issues that have the potential to be permanent.

Fortunately, after seeing a neurologist for my first flare up experience, I was able to take control of my symptoms and virtually put them to rest. However, maintaining a bossy chronic illness looked pretty boring in the beginning. I thought, ‘if this illness is going to change my life, I might as well have a good time while I’m at it’.  This thought led me to search for a positive outlet that allowed me to be my truest self and have fun while I take care of myself, medically. Since strapping on my skates for the first time since childhood, I’ve really tried to overcome all of my trials and fears, big and small, rational and irrational. I’ve challenged myself to stick to my goals, to be resilient and tenacious while learning a new skill, to fall plenty of times but also remember that getting back up is the most important lesson. And to remember to be attentive to my body while pushing it out of its comfort zone.

Being a roller skater with Multiple Sclerosis has taught me that no matter what life throws at me, I can always choose to make the best out of the hand I’ve been dealt. I’ve met so many inspiring people that encouraged me to give it my all and go for what I want. I used to be worried about how I would be seen by the public, being a Multiple Sclerosis warrior and someone who roller skates religiously. I was afraid of the backlash and negativity I would receive from not looking “sick enough” or possibly “faking my illness” (in perspective). But I got over all of that when I stopped caring what other people thought. After all, I’m the one who has to live in this body every day. It took some mental practice, but after saying ‘f―k it” to the spiraling thoughts, I began to fully dedicate my time to skating and combating the little symptoms I do have. Every day I choose to skate is a reminder that I am defying all of the MS odds that have conspired against me. My test results say I should have cognitive difficulties and unstable mobile abilities. But my creator had other plans for me, and so do I. I want to be seen by the world as an inspiration for chronically ill individuals – that your life isn’t over from a simple diagnosis, it’s just the beginning of a new one.

If you want to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis, misconceptions and facts, and roller skate related topics head over to Kaci’s blog

Words & Photos by Kaci Bell

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