Josh and I always play a "game" called Would We If We Knew. It is a game we have created since the MS diagnosis. We don't look at each other and say, "Hey, let's play that game." The game just seems to creep into our conversations. It goes something like this...
-Would we have 3 children if we knew Josh had MS?
-Would we have purchased our new house if we knew Josh had MS?
-Would Josh still be in his old job if he knew he had MS?
-Would we have done more things before the diagnosis of MS? (i.e. travel, check some things off of the bucket list)
-Would we have done __________ differently?
These are just a few of the questions that come up in our little game. Do you ever play this game with yourself or someone? I feel like at some point, everyone does. Sure, we always planned to have children. We were surprised that it happened so soon after we were married, but Anabelle was a blessing. When we found out we were pregnant with Jack, we were amazed that God was trusting us with another sweet baby. AND when Russell popped into the picture, even though we were on the fence about 3, well everything worked out perfect and our little life as a family is complete.
If you do the math, according to some signs and symptoms, Josh had MS when I was pregnant with Anabelle. So, for about 6 years, we lived our life as if MS didn't exist. We had babies, bought houses, changed jobs, moved states, bought vehicles, all the while living with a "silent" MS. Now, since the official MS diagnosis, we are cautious, sometimes overly cautious about decisions we make for our life and our family. I know you can't predict the future, but sometimes you have to make decisions based off of the what ifs.
There have been times when I really sit and think about these questions. A big part of me truly feels that God allowed us to "live" and get "settled" before we received the MS diagnosis. I don't know if this is true, but I can tell you our life would probably be different if we knew then what we know now. I am so grateful for the 6 years that we had unaware of Josh having MS... during those years, we shaped and molded our life that we live today, and we were able to make decisions without a disease to consider.
I do thank God everyday that we are where we are today. While I don't really consider myself "wise" (I mean, you have to be old to be wise, right? :) I do think at this stage, we can handle and deal with the MS better than if it were 6 years ago when we were 25 and 28- basically still newly weds, expecting our first child, and trying to figure out each other's quirks.
I think no matter what you are dealt in life or the timing of it, everyone experiences issues and bumps in the road like a duck- calm on the surface, but frantically kicking underwater and just trying to stay afloat. I honestly think MS is like that, too. People with MS and the ones closest to them seem calm and "normal" on the outside, but a lot of people dealing with MS are "paddling like heck" on the inside just to keep it together. I kind of feel like decision making for Josh and I will be like that, too, from now on. I think the what ifs and the unknowns will cause us to be overwhelmed when making big decisions. I think it will cause us to play the game of "Would we do this now that Josh has MS?" We are definitely trying the "Live for the Moment" approach. I am hoping we can keep it up and continue to live without MS dictating our lives. I know that others aren't so lucky, and I would be ashamed if I took for granted all that we are able to do.
I won't be blogging for a few days. We have some things coming up (non-MS related:) that will keep me pretty busy. Thanks for reading and keep "paddling like heck", even if it is only to make it to the weekend:)