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The Brian Petrelli Team
brian@petrelliteam.com

My Diagnosis with M.S.
-Brian Petrelli

A few months after I received my Real Estate License, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Besides my immediate family, I told no one for almost two years.

Multiple Sclerosis is a scary, unpredictable disease and it affects everyone in different ways. For me, high temperatures cause my arms and legs to tingle, go numb and do weird things. I've had vision problems, a few other "episodes," and my biggest issue is spasticity (muscle tightness). For each person, it's different.

Open Invitation To Talk

When I was diagnosed, I had no one to talk to, no idea of what my future held, and I was filled with fear and anxiety. If you are seeing this message, even if I don't know you personally, I welcome you to contact me by email (brian@petrelliteam.com ) or cell phone (303-817-0209).

This is a legitimate invitation because I vividly remember feeling alone and terrified. Having someone to talk to would have made a world of difference to me.

Thoughts After 20 Years With M.S.

This is a Facebook post that I made on my 20th anniversary with multiple sclerosis:

It was 20 years ago today that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As I do every year, I want to give an open invitation to anyone who has been diagnosed, Facebook friend or not, to reach out and talk. I had no one to talk to when I was diagnosed, and it was an incredibly scary time.

The disease is no fun, and more than just impacting my life, it is a huge burden on my family. Especially Erica. I could go on and on about my woes and struggles and throw an epic pity party, but instead, I'm going to force myself to explain why now is the best time in history to have MS. We live in a golden age of being disabled!

Doordash/Instacart: Even 20 years ago, just getting basics like food would be an all-day task for someone in a chair. (Call for a ride, load up the wheelchair, struggle through the store.) Now, I pull out my phone, it communicates with satellites, and in less than 2 hours I can have 50 frozen El Monterrey Chimichangas and 2 Totino's Party Pizzas delivered to my door for $30. What a time to be alive!

Basic Mobility: 75 years ago, I would have been forced to rely on someone to wheel me from room to room and help me do even the most basic tasks. In 2022, I have 2 electric wheelchairs: One for home and one for the car. The home wheelchair is almost 300 lbs. and is the F-150 of mobility devices. The travel wheelchair is amazingly light at 40 pounds, folds up, and makes it through the airport security line. (Note: If you do go through the airport, remove your fake NOS bottle with the authentic flammable/explosion warnings before you travel. The baggage loaders at the gates have a surprisingly underdeveloped sense of humor.)

Work At Home: If I had this disease 100 years ago, I would have been of no use to society. But now, thanks to the internet, home offices and zoom calls, I am able to run an entire real estate office/team from the comfort of my home while SIMULTANEOUSLY being of no use to society as I play video games online with my son and his friends!

Amazon Prime: As a kid, my favorite day of the year was Christmas. Stay in your pajamas, open presents and never leave the house. With MS, going to the store is a pain for me. Enter Amazon. I open packages every day! Is it Vitamins? USB cables? A new boat? It doesn't matter because opening packages never gets old! I want for nothing, and I can have a new gaming mouse delivered by 5:00 today if I order in the next 39 minutes! Do I need it? Of course not, but that's the beauty: I may be stuck in a chair, but the possibilities of this gilded age of being handicapped are limitless!

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Yes, for those of us with disabilities, there are huge struggles and many people have it far, far worse than I do. But it is nice to remember that God allowed me to live in an age as a disabled man where I can be sitting on a reclining power chair, in an air-conditioned office, on a high-end gaming computer, making 14 year old's cry as I enjoy my just delivered Qdoba burrito.

So God bless anyone who is struggling with a disability, and God bless delivery drivers!

Local MS Groups: