Friday, November 9, 2012

MS anniversary date rapidly approaching

MS has been on my mind lately.  Why, you may ask?  I believe we all have that one memory.. that one day which stands out above all others that we will never forget, no matter how much we wish we would or could.  That day, for me, will arrive next week.  Monday, November 12, will mark 22 years since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  It will also be the anniversary of having MS for more than half my life.  What's strange is that the number of years no longer matters to me, and this is a good thing.  I used to live in a state of depression for weeks on end (some years, it was months) and now, it's simply a number.
When I look back on the last 22 years, I try not to remember the young girl I was when I first learned I would have to live with this disease, but rather on how far I have come.  Nothing in my life has turned out the way I would have imagined but there are many things I wouldn't want any other way.

I am convinced that I would not have married when I did, had it not been for MS.  Yes, he was the wrong choice for reasons which are too numerous to count, but through that experience, I found I am much stronger than I could have imagined, I learned what NOT to look for in a man and absolutely most important, my three wonderful little girls came into my life.  For that last reason alone, I would marry that loser all over again as my life is wonderful and full of love because of my cats.

Sometimes, I ask myself if I would "take back" the MS if I could.  The truth is that at this point in my life, I don't believe I would.  The MS is a part of who I am and I no longer deny this fact.  I could live without the pain it causes but aside from that, MS has taught me patience, which is not one of my virtues, and how to stand on my own two feet, despite the many obstacles disability has thrown at me.  Am I saying I love my life just as it is?  Hmm, no, not exactly but I can't imagine it being any other way.  I do not, however, consider MS a gift.  Gifts tend to make us smile or squeal with glee, not burst in tears out of sheer devastation as our lives fall apart around us.  No, MS is hardly a gift.  MS is a day-by-day learning experience which, those of us who are so unfortunate to have, have no choice but to learn to make room for in our lives.
I have been so utterly distracted from my own pain lately, as I've been focused on Emmi Sue, that Monday's date almost went by unnoticed.  Wednesday, as I was marking the day off on the calendar and looking ahead to next week's appointments, I saw the date glaring at me.  When I see November 12, I automatically say to myself, 1990... the year of my diagnosis.  It's just an automatic thing to say, either in my mind or out loud.  It was a day when my entire life changed, though I didn't know how much it would be affected at the time.  Had I known I would still be ambulatory, 22 years later, so much stress, depression, anxiety and heartache could have been spared from that young girl, but that is one of the worst parts of MS.  No one can tell us the path our MS will take, no matter how brilliant our neurologist may be.  We simply need to live and learn.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reflections on Emmi Sue and her latest vet visit

With each passing day, Emmi Sue and I grow closer and closer to one another and being the way that I am, I've spent time reflecting on things and the truth is that of my three girls, I have the best relationship with my Emmi Sue, and probably always have.  She has always had a very spitfire type of personality, along with the sweetest disposition followed with bouts of extreme jealousy and anger towards her kitty sisters. She really is so much like me, yet much sweeter and more visibly vicious.  OK, vicious is too harsh a word for her as she has never harmed Allie or Jinger, but nor has she allowed them into her heart.  It's more of a tolerance, but I suspect she would miss them dreadfully if they were not around.
Mommy, Emmi Sue, Allie and Jinger.. a long time ago!
It's funny how Emmi Sue can be somewhat "catty" towards her sisters and soooooo ultra sweet to humans!  Almost every single person who has ever met her falls in love with how wonderfully loving she is.  It's simply her nature to sit on peoples' laps or want to be held, yet she understands what a stern "no" means, so telling her this will stop her from leaping onto anyone's lap.  Well, unless she's absolutely determined to eventually be on your lap!  She'll patiently wait until your guard is down and then you are hers!  Resist her charms if you can, but I doubt you'll be able to hold back from rubbing her little chin or belly.

So all of this leads me to the results from Emmi Sue's most recent veterinarian visit, this past Friday.  I had had a few concerns, including her eating a bit less than usual, having less energy, becoming startled far too easily once again, as was the case at the beginning of this battle with chronic kidney disease, and I was very concerned about all this.
I honestly could not be happier with our vet, Dr. Carolyn Ecker.  I showed up at our appointment a half hour early, which turned out to be a very good thing.  She had no patients ahead of Emmi Sue so she had time to look over my two pages of questions, concerns and supplement suggestions.  She even went as far as going to the computer and researching one of the supplements (I knew she wouldn't have heard of this one), so she would know what it was before agreeing or recommending something different.

I am ecstatic to say that Emmi Sue's blood work showed much improvement (yay!) and I will continue doing what I have been giving her, with a couple added supplements.  I am beyond happy with how Dr. Ecker and I work so well together, making a wonderful team in Emmi Sue's healthcare.  And to think the previous vet had given my baby 2 weeks to a month to live!  Emmi Sue is feeling quite well and her diagnosis was already two months ago.  This goes to show how much some vets know, and how much the love and dedication of a stubborn mom can do for her baby.  Emmi Sue is happy, purring her little head off, eating well again and she wakes me each morning by climbing on top of me and nudging my face with her cold, wet nose.  I can't think of a sweeter way to awaken to a new day! ♥
I have my three precious girls.. Emmi Sue, Allie and Jinger.  It doesn't matter what life throws at us or where we are, as long as we are together.