Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Living With MS

I am a photographer. It’s not just a job; it’s who I am. The moment I gripped a camera and covered my first assignment, my life changed in a profound and positive way. After searching for the majority of my adult life for a career that was meaningful to me, I knew this was the path that God had intended.

Unfortunately in September of 2008, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

My first thought was: “Oh no, what does this mean, thousands of people have MS and function normally. I will follow my doctor’s orders and start treatment immediately.” Albeit, that wasn't my deep deep feelings: I was scared, mad and angry. Other than the death of my grandparents, I have never been so low.

Then the heat of summer arrived. Now, I love summer; I live for summer. But, the heat literally paralyzed my body with exhaustion to the point where I could not take a step or lift my head. This, I wasn’t prepared for. I’ve never let fatigue or illness get in the way of my job. But this year, the heat stopped me dead in my tracks.

I’ve been told it’s unprofessional to share my illness. However, I am part of the community in which I work and live. I want to reach out to others who may feel alone. Part of the wonderful experience of my job as a photographer is sharing people’s grief and joy. So I am sharing my grief and joy also.
Recently, I had an episode that placed me immobile. From the severe weakness, I literally collapsed.

Upon high recommendation, I am receiving several consecutive days of intravenious steroid treatment. I am being optimisic that this treatment will restore my life to being active again.
If anyone would like to share information that may be helpful, I’m welcoming it. I joined a support group that will resume in the Fall.

I am going to fight this with everything I have.
It may slow me down but it WILL NOT ROB ME OF MY PASSION !
I'll see you on Friday.


Anonymous said...

Chill out Celeste...I know several people with Ms. They are doing fine although they do have occasional bouts with illness. Once you get on the correct medication I am sure that you will be fine...Did you know the Western PA has the largest number of MS cases in the United States..What's that all about ? Anyone ever think of doing a study...I personally think that it has to do with industrial pollution..
Take care ...your photos rock and so will you...

Anonymous said...

Celeste, I wish you continued success. Your health challenge will help you in your approach to your work if you allow it to. Your obligation is to inform and inspire and you are already picture perfect. Focus with the mind and the lens will follow.

Anonymous said...

Its not that bad celeste...I ve had it for several years now...its a long uphill battle...But if the will is there, you will surely win.
I chose natural holistic regimen vs the conventional medication, and I have seen results. Let me know if you need further advise !!

take care and keep shooting.........

Celeste Van Kirk said...

any information on holistic approach would be greatly appreciated. you can email me at the o-r website address.
thanks so much.
and thanks for the nice comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your own story. It's inspiring and good to know that you won't let this keep you down. Keep fighting; it's the only way to win. WJV

Anonymous said...

God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Celeste, I know that nothing will rob you of your passion. Where there's a will, there's a way. LM

Anonymous said...

You will triumph over this hurdle. Thanks for sharing your story. Roberta Flack once said "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering"
God Bless you.