Well, here in Michigan spring has finally sprung. All the nasty snow mounds that look more like dirt from a long winter of road grime are finally gone, the winter jackets are left in the closet, and we've even opened the windows a few times. It's funny really. I look at this change in seasons, and I can't help but see paralells to my own life.
In so many ways, I feel like I'm in my 'spring' of this journey I'm on living with MS. This winter was really, really bad. And I'm not talking the frigid temps and snow, either. I'm talking about myself. After years of mystery illnesses, people even thinking I was a bit nuts, and finally being diagnosed with MS in October... I sunk. I didn't just sink a little and bob around, I mean I went down like the Titanic. I have spent the better part of the last 6 months in quite the depression, not to mention in a state of constant fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of my own body revolting against me, fear of losing all that I love and hold dear because of this nasty disease. Every morning, I'd wake up and do a sort of 'body inventory'. Can I see? Ok wiggle your toes... can I stand? How's the arm, think ya have any small motor skills today? Hmm... I think that's some nerve pain I'm already feeling in that damn right leg. Quick do math- what's 8+5? Is your brain foggy? Think ya can speak without sounding like an idiot?
This...was me. And of course, some part of my body inventory would always fail the test, and I'd curl right back up and think to myself "maybe tomorrow I'll feel normal". Guess what? This IS normal. The normal I once I knew so long ago simply doesn't exist anymore. It's gone. Buh-bye. I finally realized I am never, ever going to wake up and feel 'normal' by healthy standards again. This sunk me into an even deeper fear and depression. I thought my life was over.
Funny thing about life, sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way. As most of you know, back in late February, I relapsed. Not to sound like a drama queen, but this wasn't a little flare I mean I really relapsed full-throttle. You're probably thinking right now "oh that's so awful". But you know what? It's not. That relapse really taught me something- it showed me just bad things could be, and made me realize how 'good' I was actually doing pre-relapse. It was truly an eye-opening experience. And just as my relapse finally ended- is when the long winter ended as well. So really in many ways, mother nature and I both came into our springs together this year.
I have to say, I am enjoying this spring like I haven't enjoyed a spring in years. I no longer do my body inventory every morning. I wake up each day and simply begin, and any symptoms I have that day will reveal themselves soon enough without me fretting over every single possible one. I see things, my life, so differently. It's not over- in fact there is so much left of it. I have the two most amazing children ever born. Some day they'll give the most amazing grandchildren. My life is far from over and I simply refuse to let another day pass me by while I withdraw into my own fears and depression. Yeah, I have MS, and it sucks big time. But oh well, whatcha gonna do? Let it beat me? I mean seriously, this ME we're talking about. My father once joked that since I was just a little girl, the quickest way to get me to do the exact opposite of what you want is tell me 'no' or that I 'can't' do something. Well guess what? MS isn't gonna tell me I can't either. I can...and I will.
So for the first time in probably years, I feel like 'me' again. I am getting out taking Josh to the park, going shopping with Morgan, laughing and playing with the kids. I mean, so what if I take longer at the cash register because my left hand doesn't want to work the zipper of my purse? People don't like the delay? Not my problem- they can wait til my brain and hand work things out. So what if I move a little slower when walking through the store? My daughter doesn't care at all- she's just glad to be shopping with me no matter what speed I move at. Or if I actually get a simple math problem wrong playing a game with Josh? He just thinks is great to beat mom! *laughs* He doesn't care it's because mom's brain is all foggy- he just wants to play with me. I guess what I'm trying to say is, those that love me, just want me. They don't care about anything else, or the condition I'm in, so long as they have me in theirs lives where I belong. Where I want to be.
And that is why I say this is the 'spring of my journey with MS'... because God did something really cool when he made our world. He made seasons. Winter can be so cold, and the world around us looks downright dead when we're in the depths of winter, but without fail just when we think the dreary frigid season will never end, spring arrives. And with spring, we are reminded just how full of life the world around is as things seem to be reborn right before our very eyes. Just like me, realizing how much life I still have left to live. I'm leaving all those fears and feelings of hopelessness in the winter and moving into the spring with fresh hopes for my life. The spring of my journey has come.
Be well all :)