Kevin Byrne: Fate, Circumstance and MS
Quickly following what I gained from MS was what I lost. The first loss was immediate: I would never fly again. That was certain. Slowly, more certainties would unfold. My time in command was cut short and by June 2000 I was evacuated back to the States. Feeling dazed and confused I said one final goodbye to the soldiers of Delta Troop, 1/6 Cavalry (Darkhorse!).
Don’t you get angry at what MS has done to you? -- I have never answered that question.
I don’t think of myself as a superstitious man. I do not believe in fate and I surely don’t think that things are destined to happen in any one certain way. Everyone I know and everything I have in my life is in my life because of some series of events in my past. Maybe I caused those events; maybe I am just an ‘effect’ of other circumstances. Regardless, I am here today because of what happened in the past.
Someday we will know more about those circumstances and events that cause Multiple Sclerosis. We’ll learn more about the cause and develop ways to defeat the disease or prevent it outright. In the meantime, we’ll work on ways to treat the disease and its effects on our bodies. Regardless, I will forever have the effects that MS caused on my life.
In 2000, I returned to the United States to build my new life with MS. This was only somewhat successful and it often felt like one step forward, two steps back. Many of those steps were damaging both physically and emotionally. By 2003, my MS had gotten the better of my physical and emotional self and I landed in Delaware for treatment at the Wilmington VA Medical Center. Slowly but surely my body regained its strength and stability; The rest of me soon followed.
I met Brie in 2004; we married in 2006 and moved out west to build a home in Portland, Oregon, the following year. Eleanor Rogue was born in 2010. A strange series of events, circumstances and actions have molded the three of us into the perfect family.
There is no way that these events would have ever occurred had I not been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on a cold September day in Korea in 1999.
Don’t you get angry at what MS has done to you? -- Yes, I get angry sometimes. Yes, I miss my Army days. Yes, I do miss flying.
I never answered these questions before now, mostly for fear of how I would react if I ever admitted that I missed the things I was forced out of because of my MS. That’s a foolish fear on my part. So, yes, I do miss it.
Do I wish that anything was different? -- Not at all.
Please visit Kevin’s website at www.brieandkevin.com