To Infinity and Beyond…

My first Christmas in Toronto in 1994.

My first Christmas in Toronto in 1994.

Ahh December, time for gifts, family time, winter and a little self-reflection on the year that’s ending. Usually people save the year-long reflections for the end of the month due to New Year’s but this year I’m looking back on the past year a little earlier because of what happened in early December last year.

The day was December 7th, and I was done my exams, and heading up to Keele to grab lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. While on the shuttle, I started to feel nauseated but I chalked that up to that I hadn’t eaten anything yet that day and the ride was a little bumpy.

Basically me.

When I got to Keele, I couldn’t walk straight so I kept bumping into walls, my vision was blurry and the nausea persisted. Not fun, especially in public.

This was the start of the most severe flare-up of my multiple sclerosis that I’ve had to date. Cue three weeks of nausea, difficult walking and talking, constant fatigue and blurry vision.

Considering this is my usual attitude towards food, no appetite was not fun.

I spent part of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital with an IV stuck in my arm getting infusions of steroids to make me feel better. I sat on my couch for two weeks, because I couldn’t do anything else. I didn’t eat much at Christmas dinner because I had no appetite.

It was the most frustrating moment of my life. Not knowing if I would ever recover. Thinking that I had to go back to school in a few weeks and I couldn’t even walk up my stairs. Being completely helpless.

Now I’m not telling you all this to throw myself a pity party. It’s because of how different my life has become in this year, and how blessed I feel to be in such a better place in my life.

I feel lucky because I haven’t had any relapses since then. That’s a full year without any other MS-related issues.

In the past year, I successfully ran a campaign for GLgbt* to become levy-funded, I became a Don, I trained myself to run 5k after not being able to run even 10 seconds, I became a blogger for the MS Society of Canada, I lost 30 pounds through exercise and healthy eating, been to five provinces and ten states, I learned how to cook for myself, travelled to Houston to visit my sister and newborn niece and changed my degree to reflect what I’m truly passionate about.

It’s been a busy year.

Lately, I’ve had this feeling of everything coming together. I can see direct correlations between my schoolwork and my future goals. I’ve realized my passion for leadership. My extracurriculars and jobs are challenging me and giving me opportunities to grow and learn. I’ve never been healthier, even before I was diagnosed with MS.

12 months ago, I was in the worst physical and mental states I’ve ever been in. Now, I’m at my best that I’ve ever been.

Me, December 2012.

Bring it on, 2014. I’ve been at my worst and my best this year. I’m ready for all the challenges you’re going to throw my way. I can handle anything.

Me, December 2013.

Now excuse me, I’m going to go watch Toy Story now.

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