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A Renewed Love for Life – My Diagnosis with MS

Anjali D. | Consultant, Marketing Operations | India

Originally Published: May 11, 2022


Adventurer - That’s what a Myers Briggs test calls me (rightfully so).

As a 25-year-old who lived in Bangalore all along and was mostly an introvert, I decided to pursue my MBA in the United States. I jumped at any opportunity to experience new places and cultures. My exchange courses took me to Switzerland, Mexico, Ethiopia and eventually to Chicago for work post-graduation.

I loved living as a single independent girl in a big city. In the next three years, I travelled some more (Northern lights in Alaska was my childhood dream!), met new people, tried new cuisines, turned into a fitness freak, attended music concerts...felt alive almost every day.

But, of course, in 2015 right when I was in my prime, life had other plans. I was on my routine morning run when I first felt my right foot limp which I casually ignored as temporary discomfort. I returned to India to be with family and joined Dell Technologies in 2016.

After this “temporary discomfort” limp became more persistent and severe, many frustrating doc visits and inconclusive reports followed for more than two years. It eventually turned into a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.

MS is an unpredictable, chronic, often disabling disease caused by the immune system attacking myelin, a protective covering over the nerves of the Central nervous system. This disrupts communication between the brain and the body. It has no proven cure.

The diagnosis hit me like a ton of bricks. On the outside, anyone could tell things aren't right. I chose to bottle it up by continuing to live on like nothing happened. But I grieved from within. I felt sorry for myself, resentful, scared and angry.
My healing journey started when someone recommended The Secret to me. That really opened my mind to how toxic my thought patterns were. I then immersed myself in inspiration from books, podcasts, videos. I ditched social media, brought discipline in sleep, workout, meditation and journal writing. I started setting goals and a vision for myself in all areas of my life. Slowly, I saw myself open up - to new possibilities, a new personality, new experiences and a renewed love for life.

I love this quote and live by it: “You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.” - Cheryl Strayed

While living through my adversity and healing through this deep and personal transformation journey, all I desired at my workplace was to feel a valued contributor in a supportive environment that respected my personal life and treated me no different from others. 

Dell culture offers me a balance that not only trusts me to perform within my comfort, but also pushes me to do more. I could choose to work remote. I was not answerable about my condition to anyone and had the freedom to open up in my own time.

I was promoted twice within a few years. I was selected for RISE - a development program for women with potential.  Despite my suboptimal physical condition, I was entrusted to manage a sub-organizational event. I always felt like I belonged, was accepted, recognized, and valued.

As a marathon runner, watching myself lose my ability to walk little by little everyday has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. However, I also watch myself turn bolder, stronger, and more resilient every day, with a kinder and much more optimistic heart. I have learnt to value the gift of life and stay in gratitude.

As I grow from this, I want to thank my most amazing family, friends and coworkers who remind me that I am bigger than my problems. We all are.


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