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As a Mother With MS, I Never Thought I’d See My Kids Trick or Treat

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I never knew I’d be lucky enough to see my children trick or treat. I thought walking the neighborhood in combination with standing was out of the realm of possibility for me. I’d accepted that I would revel in taking pictures beforehand and hear about their evening at the end of the night. But this year, that all changed.

After living 13 years as an undiagnosed patient, untreated for multiple sclerosis, I’ve now been on medication for three years. My neurologist warned me that it might take a few years for treatment to calm my symptoms. He made no promise that I would improve, but was hopeful the wide range of fluctuations I was having would settle. Some days I could barely stand. Other days I ran errands. Some days I wanted to give up. Other days provided renewed hope.

Over the last six months, my physical functioning has become more constant from day to day. Flares still present themselves, but to a lesser degree and less often. I can depend on my body more than I ever could before. I still cannot guarantee I’ll be able to attend a function at my children’s school or roam a museum at a future time, but it’s much more likely my body will allow it now than it was before.

We’d planned for my husband to take the kids trick or treating in a friend’s neighborhood. But when a group dinner was arranged, I decided to join beforehand, and determine, in the moment, if I’d join for the trick or treating portion of the evening. When that moment arrived, my boys and their friends dashed towards the driveway, excitement propelling them into the evening. Without a second to contemplate my ability to make it, I followed behind, hoping I’d prove my worries untrue.

With Spock, Captain Kirk, and their friends leading the way, I followed their trail for an hour; no sitting or resting involved. We walked, we laughed, and the children had a Halloween evening they’ll remember for years to come. And I was part of it. I didn’t need to hear all about it at the end of the night, because I lived it, firsthand, for the first time ever.

If someone had told me two years ago, or even last year, that I’d go trick or treating with my kids, I wouldn’t have believed them. I don’t know what future Halloweens will look like or if I’ll be able to do this yearly, or ever again, but I’ve proven to myself that what is impossible one day, may be possible again in the future.

I am hopeful. From desperate nights spent crying on the bathroom floor as an undiagnosed patient, I now see the sun shining brightly on my future. I’ll never say never again, because I can see now that the best is, certainly, yet to come.

Getty image by ~UserGI15613517.

Originally published: November 4, 2021
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