I am a January baby. I was born in 1986 during a cold winter in Canada. Seriously, is there any other kind?! My mama’s due date was in December but I decided that didn’t work for me. Clearly I was a procrastinator even in the womb. It’s been 27 years and nothing has changed. I get things done, but usually at the last minute. I start my Christmas shopping months in advance in the hopes that I have everything completed by the time it arrives. Inevitably, there are still the last minutes shopping runs on Christmas Eve. I am just fine with my procrastinator label, most of the time. The one place I don’t think I am a procrastinator is when it comes to my MS. (more…)
I wrote this article a few months ago but hesitated in publishing it. I think I hesitated because if I published it that meant everything I had said was a reality. It is a reality. It is my reality. It is my story and my MS journey. Each day holds something different. It’s not easy and that’s okay. I have invited this community into my MS journey and I need to honour that connection by being honest about where I am at. So without further adieu here is another chapter in my story.
Tuesday of last week started out as a day with such promise. Sure, this crusader had to get up at an hour she would rather not see but it was a bright and sunny day! How could a beautiful day not be an occasion worth smiling or enjoying? However, by late morning those smiles would be replaced with a few tears and a lot of frustration. Still more surprising would be the end of the week. It would bring more love and support than a crusader ever could have imagined. (more…)
As I have said many times in my past articles, life is complex and complicated with MS. It’s a never ending rollercoaster ride that I am certain we would all disembark if we had the chance. The feeling of glee when flying along that coaster track never comes. It seems that the stomach dropping free-fall feeling is ceaseless. So with the happy moments of life with MS fleeting and rare, what is it that makes us smile when we want nothing more than to fall into a heap of tears at the end of the day? For me, it’s the small things. (more…)
There is a fine line between concern and constant worrying about a person with MS. I understand the feeling of helplessness that comes along with being an MS caretaker or spouse. I have a parent with a chronic illness and I have seen the toll it can take on family as well as a spouse. Believe me when I say I get it. I understand the need to want to help. I get the need to be useful and the desire to not stand idle while an illness ravages a loved one. Also believe me when I tell you that a person with a chronic illness or disease never forgets the fact they have one. It might not be in their every thought or action, but they always know. It’s in the back of their head. It’s a nagging thought in the middle of the day, night, week or year. A constant reminder, however noble intentioned, is not required. (more…)
Multiple Sclerosis; these are two words that changed my life many years ago. They are words I have come to terms with, which I live by and those I advocate for. I pray for a cure and seek a way to end MS. I let people in to my darkest hours with this disease. I have allowed admittance on to the MS roller coaster my life has become. I speak about my experiences so that the person who cannot speak about theirs knows they are not alone. I understand, many of you understand and we will fight to make sure someone else doesn’t have to understand. (more…)
In today’s day and age it is hard to find anyone who is not part of the Facebook scene. Among news feeds displaying friend’s latest accomplishments or moods there are often stories and pictures that are shared or liked. Most times I scroll by the pictures and stories without a second thought, but last week a story caught my attention. I am a sucker for a feel good movie, book or story. I am always looking for a story that renews my hope in the human race rather than one that has me fearing for the future. I am looking for that person who seems quiet, unassuming and seemingly ordinary. For in those people often lies the extraordinary.
The story that caught my attention was that of Dick and Rick Hoyt. This extraordinary story began January 10, 1962 when Rick was born.
I had a nickname growing up. It was Grace, because I didn’t have any. I was uncoordinated from the get go and it only got worse. My MS certainly hasn’t helped things. I have yet to find a surface I can’t trip on. I am a master at tripping on flat surfaces. Stairs are definitely not my friend, and heels? Forget about them! I prefer when my two feet are firmly planted on the ground in flats, preferably in fashionable ones. (more…)
The year 2012 has ended and a brand new year has begun. With the beginning of a new year we reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Something that helps me reflect is my personal journal. I am an avid journal writer. I try and write everyday, but sometimes I only get a few entries in during the week. At start of each new year I peruse the entries of the past year. The years 2006 through 2011 were certainly not my finest years. If I were a writer for a soap opera or TV drama, I would have had a wealth of plot line opportunities to work with. Sometimes it felt like my life was better suited for a drama film with a tragic ending. 2012 was the year I finally turned the corner. Yes, there were still moments of melodrama, but overall the ups far out numbered the downs. (more…)
The holidays are upon us. Shops are decorated, playing Christmas music and glittering with lights. There are crowds, carollers and an excitement brimming just under the surface. This season is bittersweet for me. I absolutely love the holidays and all the family traditions that are carried out. However, it was during this season that my world was turned upside down. If you have been following my blogs you know that I had my first MRI on December 22, 2006 three days before Christmas. I was then officially diagnosed with MS on December 29th.
I was on crutches that Christmas; I had been on crutches for months. Christmas shopping in a crowded mall on crutches was daunting, tiring and frustrating task. My friend was helping me shop one night when a teenaged boy kicked my crutch out from under me and proceeded to laugh as I inevitably fell. As I picked myself up I was mortified, but unhurt. I think my pride was wounded most. I couldn’t fathom why another human being would intentionally set out to harm someone. I had always felt that holidays were meant to bring people together and this belief was in danger of being cast aside. (more…)
Do you have a hero? A person you would like to emulate? Someone you look up to? A person who inspires you? This person doesn’t have to be famous or known world wide; they don’t have to be an executive of a fortune 500 company either. This person is just whoever you want to be or who inspires you. I have a person like that. I have someone that has many characteristics I would love to posses. Her name is Barb and she is my mother.
I am very close to my mother or mama, as I call her. I see her at least once a week and usually speak with her multiple times a week on the phone. She is my mother, my friend, my confidant and always in my corner. I feel extremely blessed to have this relationship with my mother. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now that you know the person who inspires me and is this crusader’s hero, I will tell you why. (more…)