Skip to main content

You are amazing!

Image result for random acts of kindness images

I've been thinking a lot about attitude lately. Not just my own, but that of others. When I first fell ill (like the old folks say), there was much concern surrounding my situation. Because a diagnosis was not immediately confirmed, speculation grew as to the possibility of a stroke. It made sense. I could not walk; the entire right side of my face was drawn up; and my speech was severely impaired. Stroke fit the bill and was something people understood.

People literally came out of the wood work to help my family.

The few visitors I had while in the hospital brought a wealth of advice and suggestions about what to do when I got home. Their stories of advice only make me shudder now. Note to self: NEVER offer a hospitalized individual un-requested advice on ANY thing. 'Cause it is un-requested. Duh...

But they meant well.

Before being released from that first (and only, knock on wood) hospital stay, a stroke was checked off the possibility list and I silently exhaled a HUGE sigh of relief. Even with a non-diagnosis, I knew that "stroke" was not something I wanted to hear. The little I knew about that condition was not favorable.

Little did I know what lurked amidst the shadows of my newly appointed doctor's lair.

"We want to run some tests to confirm, or rule out, MS," they said.

"Okay, fine. What are the tests and, more importantly, what is MS?" was my reply. 

The second part of that question only brought about cryptic side glances and a grandiose amount of paper shuffling. 

What I didn't realize then is that they didn't know how to answer the second part of my question. They, the professionals, could not define MS. That's when I knew things were spiraling in the downward direction. 

After a CAT scan, an MRI, multiple blood tests, and a complete neurological scan, my team of experts proudly announced the diagnosis. 

"We aren't sure, but we think it may be multiple sclerosis. The only conclusive test is a spinal tap."

After eleven days in the hospital and a pen cushion body, we were back to square one. the folks back home were getting a little weary and needed some juicy news to circulate around the neighborhood.
MS wasn't good enough, but, oh, a spinal tap. Now, that had the makings of tragedy and mayhem. I can even now imagine the wringing of hands and woeful moans of anticipation.

The diagnosis came back...positive. I had (and still have) multiple sclerosis. There was much back slapping and congratulatory hugging in the doctor's break room that day. They now had something to work with. News hit my street back home and the neighbors began baking banana bread for my return.

"Oh, my, Lisa. Let me know if I can do anything." 

Don't you just love this generic sentiment? 

Sure, there are a lot of things you can do for me. Clean my behind when I cannot make it to the bathroom. Inject that needle in that hard to reach location on the back of my arm for today's Beta Seron injection. Carry that hot cup of tea to me so that there is something left in the mug after my tremors deposit the contents all of over the floor on the way to my carefully arranged place on the couch. Carry my baby up those stairs for his nap and explain to him why his mommy can no longer hold him without fear of dropping him on his fragile little head. (Someone once told me that it is impossible to drop a baby. That person evidently never met MS.)

After it became apparent that my condition was not going to advance in any weird, news-worthy way, fewer and fewer people offered to help me. Fewer and fewer folks  dropped by for a chat. My phone stopped ringing and my "friends"  found comfort in other scandals. If I wanted banana bread, I would have to rally and do it myself.

So, that's what I did. I rallied. I baked banana bread and I got on with life. Oh, and I moved away from that neighborhood.

My MS is never going away and it is never going to get better. This news is only intriguing for a second or two. I understand that now. I really didn't then, but my journey has been a true learning experience.

I look at my life then, fifteen years ago, and I look at where I am today: In a smaller house (hallelujah), retired, very little social interaction outside the house, NO un-invited advice. I control my life, for the most part. In the words of Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman), "I decide when. I decide who." And I do.

I like this newer version of myself. MS is not going to take away my desire to live a full life. I have seen that happen, and I bet you have as well.

It's all  in the attitude, folks. I plan to get earn an A in that department. What about you?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Riding the MS broom

Do you ever feel like the ultimate witchy woman? That is actually a rhetorical question because I know you do. We all do whether we mean it or not. And guess what? We have a right to feel that way. Our brand of broom is a touch one to ride. That is why I truly believe that our supreme master, who ever/whatever that may be, doesn't throw us more than we can catch.

MSers (I read recently that this is an inappropriate way in which to refer to individuals with multiple sclerosis. The source of this judgement obliviously does not live with the disease. MS Warriors are far less offended by such a label than that.) are strong individuals who thrive on finding a purpose, a solution, a balance.

We are dependent on our co-pilot Common Sense. Care Givers are a beautiful addition to our lives, but many MSers (I did it again!) are not fortunate to have someone to clean our broom and dust off the daily spider webs that clutter the  cognitive mess of our brains. I learned that long before MS becam…

Yoga Burn gives new incentive to my morning routine.

I am not one much for online shopping indulgences, but a couple of weeks ago I allowed myself the rare treat of purchasing the Yoga Burn program advertised on Face Book. This morning I completed week one of the monthly scheduled routine and I even took time to meditate under the guidance of Yoga instructor Zoe Bray Cotton.

Laugh if you must, but I really, really, enjoyed the meditation exercise. I realize this is a solitary activity and I will never practice this in front of husband and/or son. 

I felt wonderful afterword, though. So at peace and relaxed. I always knew I was a Zen Goddess at heart.

What I really love about this program is that it "is a comprehensive online yoga course directed toward women only."  The older I get, the more I appreciate anything to do with "for women only". Weird, huh?

Zoe' voice is so very soft and inviting. As she leads me through my morning poses, I really feel as though she is my new morning bestie. Of course, I have only comple…

This Writer's Euphoric Journey

It is November and that means National Novel Writing Month. I participate every year. As always, I am behind on my writing goal for the month: WRITE 50,000 WORDS  IN 30 DAYS. 

With only two days to go, I still need 10,000 to finish. 

So...I will see you here again on Wednesday or at the end of my journey of 50,000 words. Until then, breathe.