Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Let's get positive!

Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace
English Quotes: http://goo.gl/udl654

So, last week I devoted any postings to negativity, and I kindof forgot to let go yesterday as I continued my venting about the unfairness of MS. I titles my post WHY? and I wish I had given this more thought.

Who am I to question my life and all that it holds? I love my life. If I am supposed to have an incurable disease, I guess that's just how it is. No, I don't necessarily like it; but, it is what it is.

I also do not like that I have married three times and that I will be sixty years old when my only  child graduates from high school.

But, guess what? There is a reason for all this. I am now married to the most wonderful person I could ever ask for. He supports me and looks after my needs. He is a wonderful father and protective husband. I wish I was a younger mother, but I really believe that God saved this experience for me whedn I needed it most. The birth of my son pretty much saved my life.
With a birth and a diagnosis six months apart, I was finally galvanized into action and I made a HUGE decision to take on motherhood and MS all on my own.

One of the best decisions I have ever made! At the age of 41, I finally grew up.


So, today I am positive. I am also lookingfor funding for a small community library. I've go tthe building and I've got the public. I just need to find financial support to help this venture come true. The Marion County Readignni Council iagreed to sponsor a  Little Free Library in Onongah, for which I will be the Steward and I am beyond thrilled abou that; but I've still got my head wrapped around the idea of a small public library or reading room. My dream retirment job...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Why?

I awoke in the middle of the night, thinking about my MS and how it has affected my life and the lives of those around me. I really believe that the effects of this disease began long before I was aware of its existence. The tingling in my fingers and arms when I learned to play raquet ball in college and even prior to that when I used to fool around with tennis. Those many times when I inexplicably fell with no warning or dropped items without any knowledge of letting go until the damage was done. The experiences with memory loss that were in no way hrelated to late night beer bashes. These were all red flags begging for attention. I just had no idea what kind of attention to offer.

During my latest research I found that an estimated 1 in 3 children are diagnosed with MS symptoms. Does that mean that I might have been carting around this inconvenient condition for much longer than I coul guess. I reallyh do believe that my hand numbness and aversion to heat might have been early MS indicators; but that doesn't explain all those years of sun worshipping I enjoyed while life guarding in my youth. I do not recall any episode of numbness or dizziness occurring all of those years. Does that mean that those years of severe heat exposure could have possibly been an accelerant to the diagnosis of the disease? Did my child hood illnesses of measles, mumps, and chicken pox contribute to my diagnosis? What about the unexpected bout of hepatitis that I contracted in the fourth grade after eating licoriche shared by a friend who had it? Does one disease lead to another?

And there are the zillioin questions concerning MS progression that attacks different individuals. Why did a former art teacher, a retired doctor, and a friend's mother all die as a result of the diease; especially when it is well publicized that one cannot die from MS? Why am I ambling along with a stumbling gait when my dear friend is in a wheelchair with limited mobility?

I just do NOT understand this disease. There is nio rhyme nor reason for it.

Did you know that years ago individuals experiencing what we currently recognize as MS symptoms were actually institutionalized or even punished as being in cohorts with the devil?

Well, if there  was ever a devlish disease, this is it. I definintely hdo not want to be tried as a witch, though! At least not for exhibiting traits of multiple sclerosis!

Okay, I've rambled enough for today.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just too depressed for words!.

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I really wanted to post earlier, but I just could not fight through my tears long enough to put anything down on paper.
 
A dear friend, wheelchair bound, missed an important day in her son's life yesterday. He was inducted into the National Honor Society at his school. This is a big honor and one that looks great on a college application. Her pride in him stole my heart; even more so becuase she was unable to attend the ceremony in order to witness her baby receive this award. MS took this aware from her. I certainly hope that he knows how much his mother wanted to be there.
 
I also hope this week of negativity ends soon. I reallyh believed a week devoted to venting about the suckiness of MS would be therapeutic. Instead, it has just brought me down. It has helped me not to feel sorry for myself, though.
 
I have looked at my disease differently this week. I have noticed the many times that my own son has come to my rescue and has verbalized his concern that I am doing okay. He has gone out of his way to help me carry things to and from the car. He has reminded me to take a few minutes to rest while he has also urged me to spend some time exercising.
 
My love for him is so great that I just shudder when I imagine not being "there" for him. If I was forced to sit at home while he receives an honor, any honor, I would be crushed. I can only imagine the disappointment my friend suffered this week. But, I am also grateful for the existence of our sons.
 
Yes, MS stinks; but we do not have to bow down to its ugliness.
Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

There are so many reasons why MS sucks, and I could go on forever beging negative; but that's just not my thing. Negativity can do more harm than good in the events of life. If we constantly think that the world is out to  get us, then there is no convincing our pre-programmed mind that this is the truth.

A dear, dear lady with whom I have had the opportunity to become  reacquainted, saddens me with every conversation. She is miserable in her job. She cannot stand her boss. None of her co-workers talk to her anymore; presumably because they have gone "to the other side".  She is so loaded down with all fo this negativity that there is  no bright side for her any longer.

She has a lovely family and is married to her high school sweetheart. Her life is filled with blessings.

I do not understand her discontent; and if her professional life is so miserable, she needs to make adjustments. She can suck it in and make the best of it, even if it requires some creative acting. She can confront her boss and have a serious conversation concerning their relationship. She can find another job. She can make an effort to become more involved with her co-workers. Nothing is impossible here; and if her proclamation of faith is any indication, she believes that God will provide.

My blogging goal this week is to vent and to release as much negative energy as I can regarding multiple sclerosis and the many reasons why "it sucks".  Spring is upon us and, after the long winter we have had, I want to be void of the grey skies so that I can embrace the sunshine. I refuse to allow something as minute as a job (I mean, really!) drag me into the depths of despair. It's just not worth it. Life is full of celebrations, if we just look for them.

A life with MS demands that we are open to anything woth celebrating, no matter how small or how large.

Lately I am celebrating any day that I do not fall, especially in public. Two days ago my face met my classroom floor when I lost my balance crossing the room; and , yep, twenty eighth graders witnessed my humiliation. I had to celebrate the fact that the fall did not result in blood shed or a loss of bladder control. I have a bruised knee and a "touchy" wrist, but life is good in the long run.

Yesterday I remained on my feet and I plan to keep that upright stance all day today...I hope.

So, yes, life stinks sometimes; but at least I am upright today....for now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I got my flu shot early this winter. I know I did. My son got his also and we both agreed it was totally painless. We were prepared and we anticipated the dreaded winter illness with our armors on.

So far it's worked for him and I pray that continues. As for myself...well, I believe my luck may not be as solid as his. I have had a headache since Friday and awoke with an ear ache, sore throat, and nausea this morning. Thank goodness we had a snow day. I just do not think I can take a "sick day" from school with a clear conscious. We have missed so many days of school this year because of Mother Nature's desire to provide the first real winter we have had in a while. With any luck I will rise tomorrow with no residual effects of today's ickiness.That was two weeks ago.

Last week a flu of a different kind ravaged my body. This time the chills were accompanied by diarhea, fever, and nausea; as well as two nights of restless sleep and painful leg aches.

Unfortunately, MS doesn't always allow us to let go of little, everyday common illnesses. A common cold can assume the personality of a much more serious condition. Allergies attack with the vengeance of the flu. MS, like many chronic conditions, magnifies symptoms with the result of low immunities.

I am not a whiner, but I don't mind admitting that I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself today. I even cried a couple of times over the weekend. Yep, I gave into that self-indulgence after tripping up the steps with my arms full of groceries. It happened again when I lost my balance and fell over the coffee table and again when I slipped on the kitchen rug and landed on my back. Normally all in a day's work for me, but this constant lack of balance should have been a red flag since my ears were ringing and I even fell over while standing upright and not moving.

I really hate the unpredicabilty of this disease. I do not look forward to going out or visiting friends. I am becoming a hermit and can think of no other place I would rather be than within the walls of my own home. I'm even sometimes afraid to go to work and have entertaineed the idea of keeping extra underwear in my car just in case I have an "accident" while there. MS has taken away my independence, but I don't feel sorry for myself. I have been blessed with the intelligance to understand that this is where I am happy.

MS Sucks

I ran into a fellow MS sufferer today. When she asked about my meds, I admitted that I stopped "using" three years ago this February. She, too, is no longer "shooting up"; We agreed that this was probably the best decision we had made in our individual journeys with Multipled Sclerosis. The symptoms we suffered while self-injecting still plague us, but with little to no progression. We are saving money and free of the chemicals that filled our bodies back then and getting to the bathroom in time is just as difficult now as it was then. We still have MS and we still feel lousy but without the additional side-effects that medication often  creates. I guess that's a good thing; but rather disheartening in the battle against this horrible disease.
Another friend halted meds several years ago, mainly because of the expense and the lack of insurance assistance. Her symptoms were and are quite a bit different from mine. She is now in a wheelchair and unable to totally care for her own needs. She cannot attend her son's ball games and has difficulty feeding herself.
Both of these beautiful women are younger than I am. They were at one time physically active and involved in the lives of their children. MS took that away from one of them and served up terrible inconvenionce for the other.
MS sucks. That's all there is to it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Fifty-five years ago today God gave my parents a perfect little prize (yep, I'm selling it!). I was born on my paternal grandmother's birthday and spent most of my growing up years attempting (and failing miserably) to emulate that southern grace that demanded immediate attention. She was a lovely lady, and never without her perfectly applied coral or rose hued nail polish. Her shoes always matched her dress and her hair was never out of place. Gurney was the poster person of elegance.

Thirteen years ago any hope of growing old gracefully (as did my grandmother) was shot down without warning, nor the consideration of preparation. At that point my closet full of designer high heals joined in a chorus of "mwaa ha ha's" while I was crawling home from my last walk to the public library. (If you don't know my story, it can be read on my How Are You Dealing with the Winter Weather? post.) MS grounded me to the life of flat heals and securely fastened foot wear. With a stature of five foot, three inches, I sometimes miss my fun height-enhancing stilletos, but my legs and feet actually appreciate the wisdom of choice. That was the last "choice" that MS allowed me. (Of course, it was really not my choice, but I need to feed the ego of MS. Sometimes giving my disease a little false confidence makes me feel stronger as I spit in the face of such an unfair condition.)

I didn't plan to have MS. I also didn't plan to be married three times. I didn't plan to spend my entire life in West Virginia teaching school. I didn't plan to love camping or enjoying my new ukelele. I didn't plan on being a mother.

I DID plan in the following, even if it may not reflect the exact image I once had.

*I always wanted to be a published author.           check
*I knew that I would always be surrounded by books.              check
*I planned to graduate from college. (I just didn't plan on doing that 3 times!)      check
*I would always have a cat.                     check
*Travel abroad.                                   check
*Love what I do, whatever that is.         check

So, it is a Happy Birthday. I even got a Snow Day! (That would really be exciting if we hadn't had 20 of those already this winter:) This evening my wonderful husband, my fantastic son, and I will join my parents for a birthday dinner of my choosing: scrambled eggs, sausage, gravy, biscuits, and blueberry muffins. I also have a sneaking suspicion that there will be Dairy Queen ice crem cake, compliments of awesome husband. Maybe I can convince everyone to participate in a rousing game of something. Who could ask for anything better?

Take that, MS!

Happy birthday to me!