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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The good, the bad and the f'ing ugly

I consider myself quite lucky in life, despite things that have been beyond my control.  Choices I have made along the way have not always been the best but have taught me important lessons that have helped shape me into the woman who stands before you today, although leaning slightly to the left (literally!  Ask anyone who knows me).

I love my parents, accept their views on things that do not coincide with mine no matter how difficult at times, consider them some of my closest friends and know I can depend on them.  I have two brothers whose strong opinions, values, morals and way of living their lives have influenced me more than they probably realize and for this, and many other reasons, I love them and respect who they are.  I have more cousins than I can begin to count and all I can say about most of them is THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FAMILY!  Yes, I did say "most of them" because as we all know, family is family and we can't always get along just because we share the same blood.  But for those who I am so fortunate to call my family AND friends, they are priceless to me and their children (who, for Hispanics, are nieces and nephews) are ones I carry in my heart each and every day.

I'm not one to have friends just for the sake of having friends, so the ones I have are TRUE friends in my life and ones I know I can count on when I need them most or, other times, just because we want to catch up.  My best friend in the entire world has been in my life since the 7th grade and I hope we will be best friends forever, which I feel is a very distinct possibility.  Unfortunately, she moved to Iceland (her mother is Icelandic) when we were in the 8th grade, but this did not stop us from continuing our friendship through letters and visiting one another later on in life.  But to look at us, you would think we were complete polar opposites.  Me, being overweight and having dark, curly hair while she is far more svelte and has straight, dark blonde hair.. yet we were sisters from the start!  I have a few other good friends who I care for very deeply and the good thing is that they live much closer than Iceland!

Ahh, how could I forget to mention three of the most important ones in my life?  My little girls!  Yes, my cats are three precious little gifts in my life that I am thankful for, which I tell them each night before going to sleep.  Hey, I never said I was completely sane, did I?

OK, so those were all the some of the good things in my life.. but life isn't always wonderful and I believe I've had more than my share of heartache and heartbreak.  I've been a very angry, overly emotional, sad, hurting, depressed person for as far back as I can remember but it wasn't until I was 20 years old that I was diagnosed as Manic Depressive (now called Bi-Polar), but I wasn't in complete agreement with this diagnosis.  I had all the lows, but none of the highs, so it didn't make sense to me.  A few years later, I was re-diagnosed as having Major Depression, which I feel was the right diagnosis and was able to receive the correct medication for my condition.

One year after the Manic Depression thing, in May 1990, I began having trouble with my eyes, mainly the left one.  A couple months before this, I had gotten new glasses and was confused and scared as to why I was almost blind in this eye from one moment to the next.  I was told I had Optic Neuritis (after being told I was probably diabetic, being that I was overweight.. had the glucose tolerance test and I was NOT diabetic!).  Well, this was not to be the end of my problems for the year.

During the next few months, I had two complete separate episodes that affected my legs.  By that time, I had already seen an opthamologist for the eye problem and then was sent to a neurologist for reasons I didn't quite understand at the time but once the leg problems kicked in, I was seeing the neuro more and more often.  On November 12, 1990, I knew the answer to what was happening in my body and why I was barely able to walk.  I had MS.  Multiple sclerosis.  And I would have it for as long as I lived.  I was only 21 years of age.  FUCK.

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