In June of 2000, I woke to find myself partially paralyzed on the left side of my body. It was as if someone had drawn a line down the center of my body and one side worked while the other didn’t. That started a round of hospital and doctors’ visits and tests. Nine days later, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and about four months after that, I was forced to leave the best job I had ever had and go on disability.
I thought my life was over. I was only thirty-five and I imagined myself spending the next forty or more years sitting alone in my one bedroom apartment, watching television. The official stance on MS is that it doesn’t kill but it can make a person’s life miserable. The paralysis had gone away but I still walked with a cane and had other problems. Especially with fatigue. The fatigue is what really knocked me out of the work force. My future wasn’t looking very bright.
However, what I realized later was that the MS didn’t destroy my future, it gave me the opportunity to create my own. Fourteen years later, I am an award-winning novelist with four published paranormal novels. I also have a blog entitled the Vancouver Vagabond, which tells the history of Vancouver and is gaining worldwide attention. I get a thrill when I get an email from Ireland or somewhere I have never been, asking me questions about something on my blog.
Last year, I got rid of the cane too. For the blog, I have walked a lot around the city and then one day, I realized I didn’t need the assistance to walk any longer. That was a turning point in my life voyage. This year I published a book entitled On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success that details my journey, so far, with multiple sclerosis. I am starting a career as a motivational author speaker and life coach – a positive energy mentor. I have had two speaking gigs, have joined Toastmasters and am working towards my future. A future better than anything I could have had before.
People tell me I’m an inspiration and I used to find that so strange. I didn’t feel that I deserved to be looked at that way. I haven’t done anything unique or special. I have just gotten on with life. I’ve made mistakes along the way – I am still making mistakes. I’ve tried things and failed at them. So I try something else.
Fourteen years ago, I had a choice. I could give up, sit around all day watching television, live off my disability pension, and do nothing. I could become an authority on daytime television and list what was happening on all the soap operas. I didn’t have to start pursuing another career, I don’t have to keep trying to better my life and I don’t have to get up each day and try to live a life to be proud of. But I do.
I want to help others who are going through life changing events realize it doesn’t have to mean the end of their lives and dreams. It just means taking a detour. You see, my life wasn’t over when I became disabled by MS – it was just beginning. The plans and goals I had for my future had to be adjusted but that’s the way it goes.
As long as I’m not six feet under, I am on the right side and anything is possible. The same goes for everyone reading this.
Peacock Image © Heather Hess
Guest Author Bio
Forced to leave the workforce in 2000 by the onslaught of MS, Karen saw this as an opportunity to explore her lifelong desire to write. In February of 2014, Karen independently published an inspiring story of her journey so far with MS entitled On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success.
Ms. Magill believes that anything is possible and when she writes fiction, she leans towards the paranormal. She writes about extrasensory powers as if they are commonplace because, in her mind, we are all capable of those gifts.
Karen lives in an eclectic area of Vancouver, Canada and draws inspiration from the history and stories around her.
Blog: Vancouver Vagabond
Follow Karen on: Facebook Author/Speaker Fan Page