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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!