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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

You do not need to sacrifice for MS.


It is the Lenten season and we are fast approaching the conclusion of our personal sacrifice in honor of what Jesus sacrificed for us. I hope you have been successful with any goals you set for yourself this year. To me, this is bigger than any New Year's resolution I could ever make. This promise to myself reflects my convictions and beliefs that there IS a higher power watching over us. It gives me a purpose, something  to strive toward. I have a chance to "give back".

Just remember that Jesus certainly did not become invisible because of His sacrifice. His sacrifice made Him bigger than life. His sacrifice made Him a hero.

Having multiple sclerosis creates for us multiple sacrifices on a daily basis. Since my 2001 diagnosis I have forfeited the pleasure of taking long walks (and often short ones) around my neighborhood. 
I no longer attend sporting events that require excessive physical exertion that even being a spectator involves. 
Long car trips are often disastrous when immediate bathroom stops are not  possible. This makes vacation plans stressful, and we all know what stress does to us. 
 A visit to the beach is no longer fun for me due to the intense attention to the heat.
My tremors are unpredictable so even fine motor activity is not always a reasonable option.
I rarely drive after dark and I no longer really enjoy social events because I am not physically comfortable in large groups of people.
I no longer work outside the home because I can't trust myself to stay on me feet. I really, really loved my job.

With my limited social participation, I have often become invisible to people with whom I once spent large quantities of time. I am not asking for invitations, pity, or special privileges. I just want to remain your friend, or  your colleague. I still exist. I am still the person I have always been. I just have a harder shell and a more mature outlook on life.

Yes, I have given up so much to MS; but I haven't sacrificed everything to this ridiculous disease. That would mean that MS wins and that is definitely NOT acceptable.

So, sure, I would love to meet up for a game of tennis; but that's not going to happen. How about meeting at the book store for coffee?
Learning a new skill at the Y? We could take a yoga class or go to the theater (As long as we sit on the back row; those fountain drinks are a killer!). We could watch the big game at the corner pub instead of at the stadium. An evening of cards sounds like fun. I'm game to make a few concessions. Are you?

It's okay if my MS has you down. I apologize for not being the active person I once was. But I'm still me.

Don't get caught up in the depression that accompanies the loneliness of MS. You do not have to be lonely (and I'm not talking about Farmers True friends will not desert you. Know that you have to be proactive as well. Maybe those once-daily phone calls would continue if you allow your friends to be more comfortable in your presence. They don't now how to deal with your MS any more or than you do. Let it sink in for them and then you make a move toward visiting when you are ready.

Your friends didn't expect you to get sick.

With multiple sclerosis diagnoses on the rise, it is more important than ever that awareness of this physically, mentally, emotionally draining disease be publicized. MS does not only affect the individual with the diagnosis. MS wraps it's ugly arms around family members, friends, and even the community associated with the MonSter's target.

I want to do what I can to support MS research programs, so I am using my life long dream of being an author to accomplish what little I can. During the month of March, a portion of my book sales will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

Have a great day!

Abby, $15.00 (Her mother has MS. What does that mean to young Abigail?)
I Have MS. What' Your super Power? $12.00 (A personal perspective from an MS Warrior)
Bundle them and save! Both books $25.00 (Double the donation to NMSS)
The cost of postage is on me!
Check out my books on Amazon, but order direct from me to contribute to NMSS.
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