Not much gets to me these days: I sometimes think MS has anaesthetised my soul so that, isolated and watching the world through a window or a TV screen, I've become numb to what is going on around me. That is, until I read your description of what MS is doing to your life, (note: is doing not has done – the general public would do well to understand that distinction), and to be honest I'm lost for words. Your courage and appreciation for what remains to you are awe inspiring.
I'm sure you know that MS can plateau at any point, so it is by no means certain that the next 18 months will be a continuation of the last – I sincerely hope that that will be the case.
I think you're right to hold out hope for regenerative therapies: it's my sincerest wish that actual repair will become possible so that, whatever your disability, at least some recovery of function can take place.
gwa is right about Neuren: Australia seems to have some very interesting work going on at the moment… But if you listen carefully you can hear encouraging noises being made in research establishments all over the globe.
That's our old friend MS: chipping away at the marble statue of yourself – familiar, solid, recognisably you – bit by bit like a deranged Michelangelo. Where once you were a confident success, things which used to come easily are now harder. I hope your employer is decent enough to give you a little more leeway but, and this is really important, I hope you can find it within yourself to accept that you have slowed down a bit. Forgive yourself.
Sometimes the overriding feeling is not so much that my life has been stolen, but more as if I've sunk without trace: somehow I've slipped beneath the world's radar and it all goes on somewhere out there. It's kind of like being dead but with better food.
I absolutely agree that stress response has a big role to play, but I have known many different types of people to get MS. I've always imagined that type A people externalise stress as anger, frustration and action, whereas type B people tend to internalise it. Perhaps it is stress itself, and not the way we react to it, which elicits a response in our bodies?
It would be interesting to see if personality types have ever been correlated to MS, but I suppose participants on a board like this are a self-selecting group.
Hmmm… " getting things done before it's too late", that's a bit too close for comfort. You see, the reason I'm not around here quite so often is that I'm trying to finish off a number of creative projects I started years ago, (music, photographs etc. etc.), and I sometimes get the uneasy feeling that my body is telling me I had better hurry up…
Aah well, better get to work!