# 13 A Lifesaving Resource
When living in
, I was working, and coping, so I
didn’t seek out any help from available resources. Oddly enough the support
group meeting that I did attend a couple of times was for Myasthenia Gravis,
not MS. A friend and co-worker had left work on long term disability because of
this disease, and I attended the meetings to see her, as she was actively
involved with the organization. The medical information might have been
different, but the message about dealing with a chronic illness was the same. Toronto
I attended a MS meeting when I left the city, but it was difficult. It was a small, close knit group of long standing, and I felt out of place. The fact that I knew my condition was changing, and many of their members were in wheelchairs might have had something to do with my discomfort.
When I knew, and more importantly, admitted that I was no longer functioning at my job, I turned to the MS Society. I called the number in
and spent the next few hours on the phone with the most wonderful woman. I
cried; it was overwhelming to have someone listen; who did not judge, and who
understood all that I was going through. Ottawa
By the time I got off the phone we had a plan. I was to call the MS Clinic and request a neuropsychological assessment because of cognitive difficulties. To protect myself at work, since I had not received any support, I was directed to undergo testing, to know and verify the actual extent of the problem. It was suggested I take a medical leave from work until the testing was completed. She also sent me a book on MS and cognitive difficulties which explained many of the issues and the tests that would be conducted.
I contacted my doctor immediately and made an appointment. After that, I was signed off work, and as it turned out, never went back.
I still don’t make use of the group meetings, because I find it difficult to join an existing group, not that new members aren’t made welcome. I think about it, and maybe someday.