25 September 2012

Have you ever seen the Disney movie, Monsters, Inc.?  Can you place the scene in which this image appears?
This is the scene where the monster "Randall" is choking / fighting Sulley. Randall is invisible, and Sulley is waving his arms around desperately trying to get Randall off of him & get rid of his invisible attacker. 

Multiple sclerosis is a hell of a lot like Randall in this scene. We can't see it - we never know when it is going to attack, or what part of our body will be caught in its evil grasp. Other 'invisible' illnesses are like that too - you just never know. 

If you recall - also in this scene of the movie, Mike comes in and is talking with Sulley - and Mike can't see that Sulley is being attacked. It takes a bad throw of the snow-cone ball to make Randall visible to Mike & eventually help Sulley overcome his attacker.

This fights right into the people that are in the lives of the person living with the invisible illness.  They can't see what is going on - and a lot of times they just don't get it - they don't understand that we can't always plan ahead - or drop things for a last minute party/gathering. People cannot see the fatigue we battle. People cannot see the weakness we endure. People cannot see the energy just getting dressed can consume. People just don't understand (easily) what they cannot see. Hell - I'm living it & I don't always understand it. What I wouldn't do for a friend to throw a ball of snowcone & make the enemy appear so I could finally grab hold and fight it back.

I write all this to say that you never know what someone else is dealing with - what just being where they are at that very moment might be costing them. If you know that someone is living with a disease/illness that you can't see - do all that you can to be a little more patient. Understand that sometimes, they just want someone there to hold their hand in silent support... and maybe throw a snowcone at them every now and then. :)

Snow cone anyone? I swear - its lemon!

24 September 2012

Happy Monday all. I hope this is the start of a good week for everyone. What is something your working on? Personally I mean? I'm trying desperately to become a braver person. I get so frightened of disappointing others that I find I sometimes give in a bit on what I really want or need - just in order to try to make sure they are pleased. I need to work on that. Suggestions?

22 September 2012

This morning I am sitting outside my daughters martial arts dojo where she is currently training for her black belt test that will take place in early December. I'm enjoying the warmth of the cool morning sun on my skin and a cup of coffee before I go inside to observe.

The students training here range in age from about 7 up to their early 60s. My daughter is in class with the adults for this portion of her training. She has been training with this academy for almost 4 years now and will continue until she tells me she wants to pursue something else. Personally, I think this has been one of the best things we have done for her. The physical and mental exertion of this sport has built her self esteem and I've enjoyed watching her turn into a very mature young lady. She turns 13 in October and sometimes even now I have to remind myself that she is still very young. She's had to deal with a lot and has picked up a lot of slack at home when I'm not feeling well. I truly am very proud of her.

What was I talking about? Oh - yeah!

Time to go inside.

Watching them move in sync is like watching a well choreographed play. It can be mesmerizing and the sounds of the sticks they use in their practice is reminiscent of popping corn.

I have to admit there are many times that I get envious watching them out on the mat. They move with agility and grace gained through hours of practice.

One of my biggest challenges with MS is balance and coordination. Something you need for most activities - which can hinder a lot of people with issues from pursuing physical exercise.

It's almost like we can get caught in this evil catch22... We want to have the balance and energy we need to exercise but we need to exercise in order to achieve the balance and it's proven that through exercise we will be given more energy.

So what do we do? Start small. (I'm talking to myself here too.)

I've started taking walks around the block. Slowly sometimes and sometimes using my husbands arm when I am having a bad balance day and am too stubborn to break out the cane again.

I watch in envy at the number of people that bicycle around town where I live... So (laugh if you will) but I bought an adult tricycle! I will be able to go for a bike ride without the worry that my balance will disappear when I'm out. It may sound silly, but it is extremely powerful to be able to take a bike ride with your kids. Something lots of people take for granted.

Little battle victories (like finding any way to be active) in this daily fight against MS can make winning the war that much easier.

21 September 2012

A friend gave me this magnet a while ago. I think of her every time I see it on my fridge. :)
Every now and then, something happens in life that makes you reevaluate everything that's going on around you. I recently had one of those days - and I would be lying if I said I wasn't still reeling from it.

Sometimes my MS is like that too. I can be going along just fine and almost able to forget it is something I have to deal with and accommodate for - and then BAM! I get hit with such a strong reminder - its almost like dealing with the diagnosis all over again. Does that make sense? I guess as long as we continue to fight - continue to get up when it knocks us on our backside - we are going in the right direction.

So - here's to each one of us - that gets knocked on our arse by life - that continues to get up and fight for the next day in the hopes that it will be better for us and those we love.