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?

Lisa






Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Sea of Orange Hope

With a forecast for rain and cool temperatures, many felt the 2018 Walk for MS might be a sloppy mess; but when I arrives in Morgantown, West Virginia, I found an optimistic, celebratory atmosphere that no storm could dampen. Clouds dispersed and skies cleared, knowing that the heavens  could not compete with the storm happening on the ground at the  Waterfront.







The true champions had arrived and their name was Warrior.



Tents were erected, tables arranged, team shirt distributed, books stacked, (I got to share I Have MS. What's Your super Power? !!!!)






acknowledgements made, participants in place, and the walk began,






















with Team Tiffany in the lead. My new MS friend, Tiffany Albright, is an inspiration. she single-handedly recruited an amazing team of walkers that outnumbered any other congregation in attendance. Her numbers were amazing in monetary contributions and the enthusiasm of her teammates was more than inspiring. 

Event though I did not personally join the walkers, my day was fu…

MS and Exercise

I don't know about you, but sometimes (most of the time) the motivation to exercise is just not there. And that is just plain crazy.

I am more than aware of the positive effects of daily exercise. I always feels better, both physically and mentally, after taking time to stretch, bend, and force my body to meet the challenge of movement. My biggest issue is the accountability. Exercising alone means no one can attest to your commitment. Unfortunately group gym, spa, or class situations are not financially nor logically an option for many of us.

And sometimes, like this morning, it is even an effort to fire up the DVD player in order to access one of my many yoga videos. Even though that cute little blond instructor coos encouraging words my way, her interest in me is purely superficial. We know nothing about one another. 

According to healthcare.com the following chart shows the seven best exercises for living with MS. They are easy, doable and require no equipment or additional cost.…

Aubagio Followup

WOW!

Last evening I attended an area meeting to learn more about Aubagio, one of the three oral MS medications on the market. General MS physician Mark Hospodar provided the informational portion of the session, complete with a slide presentation full of facts about multiple sclerosis. It was very basic and mostly repetitive for those pro-active MS sponges. Not mind-blowing stuff, but pretty heavy on the importance of medicating upon diagnosis.
Enough to convince me to take a closer look at my own choice to remain MS drug free.

It was an intimate group of approximately a dozen women plus the doctor. Very relaxed, informal, and free of judgement. We were all there for the same reason with the same goal in mind: to discover the "wonder" drug, or at least something closer to a promised remedy. (In addition to the fantastic Italian cuisine at Muriale's Restaurant. Yum!:)

We heard from Aubagio veteran, Renee, who told her journey with her initial diagnosis s well as her life with …