“I Hate This Thing…” Part 2

This thing is MS, Multiple Sclerosis. Since the first installment of my journey, back in October 17th 2013, I still have no reason to like MS. But it has taught me many lessons. Many of which life has tried to teach me before. I either wasn’t listening or failed miserably in learning.

The first and most important lesson is patience. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those incredulous “I want it now moments”, just not nearly as often. The patience now a days is related to non-monetary things. I have to depend on others for most of my daily needs, so patience is more than just a virtue I have learned to live with, it is a way of life.

There is a “slap on the head” understanding of patience when you need help with almost everything. Daily wash up, toiletry help, getting meals- even a much loved cup of coffee, standing…well you get it.
Not to mention the OCD I use to be so proud of. Everything has a place and don’t think of moving it.

Everything organized and clean was my motto.

Now patience has to be my mantra.

“I Hate This Thing!”

Second is being able to ask for and accept help. No… would you, could you, just “I need help”. This may come easier for some people, not me. I loved my independence. I took for granted I could live by myself, take myself places like doctors’ appointments, and even get myself up when I fell.

Now I barely stand and walk. My right side has slowly been getting more useless. And then there are so many new smaller symptoms. So, there is no getting around asking for help.

I had to move in with a sister almost 2 years ago. Now help from a caregiver during week days and my sister nights and weekends is part of my new normal. Always asking for help.

“I Hate This Thing!”

Third is really finding happiness in all of life’s little things. And the big ones. It is so much easier now then say 5 years ago or when I was first diagnosed. Years of therapy and the right mix of medication has made a world of difference.

Asking or seeking out these things was once hard. Yet once I did get them, the depression fog started to lift and it gave me the opportunity to live my life again.

The bouts of uncontrollable crying have really stopped in the past year. I look forward more than backward. My fear, what ifs and why me are still there but on my back burner now.

What kinds of “little”, but really big to me types of things I cherish now?

I enjoy my nightly calls with my best friend of 43 years. She has blessed me with these as a terrific way of making me feel still included in her life.

I love my cat. She was a rescue my sister and niece gave me to keep me company and help my mood.

Taking a shower in the shower wheel chair, going outside, breathing in fresh air, reading, listening to music, being on my laptop communicating with old and new friends, being blessed with family that make me smile, having a caregiver that treats me like an old friend and a sister who bought a house with me so I could still feel independent, who cares for me (and my cat) without reservation (well most of the time, ha ha).

Okay, I have more happiness then I could ask for. Still…

“I Hate This Thing!”

As you can read I have come a long way in 2 years. My MS is not me, but what I have and have learned (okay about 80% learned) to accept.

Using patience, asking for help and finding happiness in my now normal is where I am at in my life.
My next thing to overcome?

Not saying “I am sorry” all the time before asking for help. Saying “I can’t”, when I really mean “I am not able to right now”, but will try again!

Working on these two things is even harder than you think for me. I always have had that “need to apologize” attitude. Even for the things I have no control over. And the “I can’t”, is from my overwhelming feeling that the things that trying to do things that are basic, like walking, should be easy. So, when I try to get up and go, the words that come out of my mouth are “I can’t”.

I feel good though with the progress I have made thus far.

Still, we all know “I Hate This Thing!”

This thing is MS, Multiple Sclerosis.

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