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Thursday, March 29, 2012

MS.. I am stronger than my disease

My MS is active right now, causing my right leg to be quite unreliable for driving, so I depend on Dorraine to drive me to my chiro appointments, take me to the store and even help me with my girls on days they need to go to the veterinarian.  It used to aggravate me beyond belief that I could not drive my own car to take care of these things on my own but now I see it as a temporary setback, even though I do not really know if it is temporary or not.  For all I know, my right leg could be permanently out of commission and the next step will be to install hand controls on my car, or never drive again.  It's as simple as that.  But then again, my hands are not too strong anymore so driving with my hands may not be the answer either.  I may just need to accept that driving will not be an option anymore and just remember all the years of enjoyment I had when I could.
It's things like this that show me the extent of how much I have grown by leaps and bounds in these last few years.  I am not bitter that I cannot drive.  I am not sad that I may never be driving again.  I am also happy within myself about a great many things.  I am the first to admit that, back when I was dating and a relationship ended, I was almost desperate to find and begin a new one, not giving myself time to get over the last man I had been with or just heal.  Now, I find myself being the complete opposite.  I'm finding peace within myself, which I always had trouble doing.  I have added a wonderful friend to my short list of existing friends and I don't know what I would do without her in my life.  Dorraine helps me with things I cannot physically do in my home but she also gives me emotional support and understanding in a very compassionate way and always wants to know more when it comes to MS.  I joke with her that she's PAID to be my friend but nothing could be further from the truth.  We met because she works for Help At Home but we became friends because our personalities meshed just right.

There are many things in my life that are falling into place, despite what the MS has decided to do to to my body.  I guess you could say I'm laughing in its face!  I have always enjoyed cooking and now the most I can do is heat up a Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine dinner each night, add a half can of carrots to it and feast to my heart's content.  Yes, I know you can hardly call that "cooking," but when you know you can no longer prepare a meal, it's fine.  It's not as if I don't add my own seasonings to the food and make it my own!  I choose not to make a big deal about things that aren't terribly important and go with the flow as much as I can.
The same goes for dating.  Do you really think I have the patience to deal with anyone's crap right now?  I don't think so!  I am actually, literally, ridiculously happy with myself at this moment in my life that I will do nothing to change my current circumstances.  I am not saying, by any means, that I am content in having multiple sclerosis, because that would be utterly stupid.  But I must say that part of who I am is because of this dreadful disease.  I have MS from the age of 21.. I am 42 and will be 43 next month.  In other words, I know I have MS for half my life.  HALF MY LIFE.  It is part of what has shaped me into who I am today.  Much of my strength, my fears, my understanding, bravery, compassion, wisdom.. it all comes from a lifetime of having multiple sclerosis.  I still hate it, but it has given me a different outlook on life than I would have had without it.  I do not respect MS but I will give it the credit it is due.  I did not deserve MS but have done my best to make room for it in my life because I did not have a choice.  I am brave because being afraid was no longer an option after the first few years.. but yes, fear kicks in every so often and then I throw it out the window and remember I am stronger than fear.  All of us with MS are stronger than our disease but sometimes, need a little reminder of it.  So here is your reminder.  YOU ARE STRONGER THAN MS.  And most important.. YOU ARE NOT MS.  You have MS but it is not who you are.  It will do all it can to change you, and it will change you.. but only allow it to change you for the better.  We are in this fight together!

2 comments:

  1. You made me cry again. I get paid to clean for you, I'm your friend because I want to be.

    Dorraine

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  2. I know, sweetie.. and I'm so glad we met and became such good friends. I don't know what I'd do without you. You are truly one-of-a-kind. By the way, now I'M crying!

    ~~ Lucy ~~

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