Hi guys, somewhat of an infrequent poster here.
I believe I have posted here before about my tough time living in limbo without a diagnosis and then actually getting my diagnosis and struggling with university – so I won’t go too much into that. The long story short with all of that is I had a rather nasty relapse that began in about March 2017 (shockingly still ongoing) and basically lost most of my control over my brain, legs, arms etc. I couldn’t sit my second year exams at uni because of the state I was in and had to fight tooth and nail to be able to retake the year (faced some naughty discrimination from the university while that went on, actually). Now I’m back at university, things are looking even more bleak than they did before.
I actually managed fairly decently during my first semester, but as the semester wore on everything got much, much harder to cope with. The whole time my MS was there, wrecking havoc with my body. Towards the end of last semester I got a Christmas Temp job working at a high street retail (department?) store on weekends and for the first time in years it was something that I actually genuinely enjoyed. The work was tiring, yes, but it also was completely stress-free and didn’t require me to use my already failing brain to sit down and work at complicated problems (university). As of last week my contract expired, but they actually wanted to keep me on permanently. This was fantastic news, but given that I was struggling with university already I said that I couldn’t continue, but thanked them very much for giving me the opportunity and told them I would be very interested in coming back the same time next year.
Where I am at the moment with university – doing a maths degree and not being able to make sense of numbers on paper – has made turning down that job offer the biggest regret of my life (second to actually going to uni in the first place). It has reached the point where it has become so impossible for me at university that dropping out is becoming more and more inevitable, but is something that puts dread in my heart. I’ve already sunk two years of my life into university, including my granddad actually paying £18k out of his pocket to fund that, and now I’m in my third year (retaking second year) and have taken out a student tuition loan for this year as I imagined it was the safer route with my MS.
If I end up dropping out then essentially I will have wasted 3 precious years of my life and will have got nothing for it. Not only that, after dropping out I will just be a guy with absolutely no qualifications and struggling to get a job. This would be hard enough without my MS, which causes me to have lots of issues with mobility every now and again and gives me horrible pains that make doing things a nightmare (for example right now my spine is on fire). So without this degree, that is basically impossible to complete, I am an unqualified disabled person for whom work is even more difficult to find because of my MS.
So my question, after all this writing, is that has anyone been through a similar experience? At the moment I have slipped back into a nasty MS-fuelled bout of depression and haven’t eaten anything for 5 days other than a banana and a few pieces of toast. At the moment I am completely paralysed by my fear of the future and the uncertainty of my life ahead. My mother is a single parent who very much struggles to pay the bills every month and is only getting by with the small amount of grant I get from the university. If I were to leave my course I would just be a burden on my mother who is already struggling and would just cause things to be worse. There isn’t really a support network that my mother and I can rely on as no one in my family is particularly well off – my granddad was actually putting his life savings into my education which makes me feel even worse, so he’s not loaded or anything.
As an emotional wreck I would really appreciate any advice from anyone who knows if things get easier. Is there any chance of an unqualified disabled person being able to find his way in the real world or is life destined to be all doom and gloom. And on top of that, is this what life living with MS is like – just falling at one obstacle after another? I mean, I have only been recently diagnosed (July last year) but have been dealing with this for about 4 years, but everything seems to just be getting worse.
Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for being here, and also I really apologise for the essay I’ve ended up writing. I started typing and just couldn’t stop, as this is stuff I need to get off my chest.
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