Kim White is a strong, vibrant young woman from South Carolina. Her story is an intimate portrait of heartbreak, determination, and purpose while learning to live life with PPMS. I consider myself fortunate to know her and to call her my friend. Her love for others is palpable and her positive spirit is infectious. But, much more than that, SHE IS truth, hope, comfort, and love.
It all began in the year of 2006 at the tender age of 21. She was just a sophomore in college enjoying life, doing what young kids away from home do. She went to classes, played sports, worked a job, lived off campus in an apartment, and drove a car. To her she was living the life. Nothing could ever happen to her. Little did she know her life was about to change without warning. Oh my, how drastic did that change come — from college life: working a job, driving a car, playing basketball, running/walking; and then all of a sudden, down to the ground you go, struggling, trying to get up. That was the hardest thing ever to face, falling to the ground and not being able to get yourself up like you would normally do. Any other time you would probably catch yourself about to stumble, but this time you hit the ground. I felt hopeless. I lost it all: my car, job, and education gone, all because my legs no longer worked. People don’t take your limbs for granted, because we truly need them in this society!
Once, everything was taken from me, I had to move back home with my parents who had their loving arms wide open, but did not fully know what to expect. I was unable to walk so my strong father was picking me up and you can say I am not small by any means. After a day or so of doing that my dad went out and purchased a manual wheelchair for me to get around in the house. My parent’s house is tri-level and my bedroom was on the top level. With me back and not being able to walk and just pulling myself around on the floor like a baby my parents knew changes had to be made. At that point my parents faced the reality that my father would need to turn his pastor’s study into bedroom for me since it was on the main floor and next to the bathroom. I appreciated my parents for doing that for me.
With all of this going on, no one still knew what was going on with me. I had gone from being 21 to 22 years of age now. I traveled to doctors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It was crazy; from all three states they knew something was wrong, but could not tell me what. I was introduced to South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation and they sent me to a specialist. I give them all of the credit for everything, because on Oct. 20, 2008 I received the diagnoses of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) at the tender age of 23.
October 20, 2008 you think would be a day of relief, since it was the day when I was provided with a diagnosis after years of searching, and now I would know what is wrong with me, but OH MAN are you wrong! On that day, I tried to end it all, but GOD had other plans for me since I am still here. I tried to throw myself out of moving vehicle. Instead of being hit by passersby, an ambulance and policemen showed up and took me to the hospital. When I got to the hospital and was asked a lot of questions, I would only answer the doctor, because he was the one who could discharge me. I asked the doctor if I answered his questions, would he discharge me? He replied, “I need you to promise me you will see the therapist I am setting up for you.” I answered all of the questions for him. and he discharged me with information to see the therapist, as well as helping me understand why I did what I did. I thank GOD for that doctor. I saw the therapist for 2 years 3 times a weeks for 1 and ½ hours each session and took 50mg of Celexa (an antidepressant) for the 2 years as well to help with everything going on.
During my time with my therapist I released everything. From feelings of being all alone in the world and no one understanding me, crying for no reason, then being angry and lashing out at my family or people that claim to LOVE me or want to HELP me. I was just a total mental wreck and could not help it. I found myself questioning GOD with the “Why me?” when it came to being diagnosed and not knowing how I contracted this condition. I know you never should question GOD, but at the time I was not trying to hear that. As time went on, I came to the realization that GOD is too wise to make a mistake and everything HE creates is PERFECT. I changed my mindset and said, “WHY NOT ME?”In 2010, I graduated from seeing my therapist, but I still get calls every blue moon and cards in the mail to check on me. Side note: I have been off antidepressant meds since then. I always remember…I have MS it does not have me!!! I also remember things could have been much worse. I am able to keep myself together by journaling my thoughts and feelings and finding friends/support groups to talk to.
In 2010, I also moved out of my parents’ house. Since that time, I find I really am starting feel more like my own person again and I feel like I belong in this world. I thought by now I would be sitting on top of the world and I was for a while, until I realized how cruel SOCIETY is towards disabled citizens. I know you are wondering what I mean by that, well at that time I was 25 years of age and tired of just sitting around waiting for that once a month check so I decided to look for a little job. I would apply for the job online, but when I went for the interview and they saw someone in a wheelchair It seemed like I would get an automatic “NO” . (And they say jobs are EOE). Once that happened to me a couple of times I said maybe I am not intended to work, but that mindset did not last too long since I get bored easily.
In Oct. 2013 I was blessed with a work from home job that I loved dearly. I worked that job until Dec. 2015. I loved that job for a lot of reasons, but mainly because they worked with me. I had to resign due to medical reasons, but I am fine for that since I know in my heart of hearts that I gave it my all.
As of now in 2016, I am doing what I love and that is inspiring others through the every day journey of life that I am living. I believe that if I can inspire one person then my job/mission is completed. The one thing I lean on to get me through that keeps me going daily is this: “GOD gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.” So now, this MS. (Multiple Sclerosis) Invincible is 31 years of age and well. October 20, 2016 was the 8 year anniversary of living with PPMS and I am happier than ever.