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…)
I am a west coast girl through and through. I have lived my whole life on one of the most beautiful islands in the world- go on google Vancouver Island, you know you want to. Growing up I was a mere 10 minute walk away from a quaint lagoon that was like a personal haven. I have frolicked in the ocean, seen dolphins, whales and seals – oh my! I have been boogie boarding and surfing in Tofino; walked on Long Beach and the trails. I have camped on the ocean front and in some of the most amazing Pacific campgrounds. I have been so spoiled that I don’t think I could ever live somewhere that isn’t close to an ocean.
The city I currently live in is aptly named “The Harbour City.” There is an amazing sea walk that spans several kilometres and showcases just what life in this city is like. I won’t say that living on an island is perfect. Trust me – it’s not. Yet, I wouldn’t change it for a second. Inevitably there are times when I have to leave the island and go to the mainland for medical appointments, which means at minimum an hour and a half ferry ride. One could take a more expensive option and take a sea plane and treat oneself to some amazing scenery. However, I don’t like such confined travelling so I stick to the ferry. (more…)
Hope: A desire of some good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable; an expectation of something which is thought to be desirable; confidence; pleasing expectancy.
Hope is a simple word that is a mantra for many. It is lived, breathed, and believed in with every fibre of being. I can’t begin to tell you how many things I own that bear the word hope. Everyone I know is on the lookout for things that say hope or have hope embodied in them for me. They are things I display in my home with pride. I was given a gift that had the word hope inscribed on it shortly after I was diagnosed with MS. My parents gave me a St. Christopher’s medal on my twenty-first birthday with the word “Hope” inscribed on the back. It is a necklace I wear every single day.
The word hope is a word that drives me forward everyday. I live every single day with hope. Hope for the future, hope for a future without MS, hope for so many things. To me it’s not just a word. It is a feeling, a way of life, something that doesn’t always come easily – believe me. It has only been in the last couple of years that I have become comfortable with who I am and how MS is included in that. Like many of us with MS I try not to let MS define me. MS is a part of me but I am not defined by my disease. I fight my hardest to show people this. (more…)
Hi my name is Loribelle and I am hopelessly addicted to literature. In my head I can hear you say “Welcome Loribelle.” I know crusaders aren’t supposed to reveal their weaknesses, but I just couldn’t help myself. I fear this will be a lifelong addiction. There is no hope for me as I sit in a room surrounded by books. No, I am not in a library just my apartment which may at times look like a library. My addiction is sprawled out for all to see. Eeek, what is this crusader to do? If you haven’t figured out my complete satire of this situation, let me please let you in on the joke!
I have been reading my whole life. I could read before I even started Kindergarten. I don’t say this to be boastful; I am just letting you in on when my addiction to literature began. One of my sisters is 10 years older than I am. So when I was little, we would spend hours reading. She and my mother taught me, with great patience, how to read from an early age. My mom would work with me to make sure I pronounced each word correctly. I am so grateful they gave me that precious time to develop a life long love of reading. I would look forward to Wednesday’s because that was the night my mom would take my sister and me to the library in town. I was ridiculously proud of my library card! What 6 year old wouldn’t be right? I devoured my elementary school’s library with passion as well. I remember getting an achievement at the end of the year for checking out and reading the most books. The prize was a $25 gift card to a bookstore in my town; it was as good as gold to me! My reading took me on so many adventures! (more…)
I have a question for each of you. A question I am sure we have all been asked at some point or another. If you could change anything in your life, would you change the fact that you were diagnosed with MS? Logically most people would say “yes” without a shadow of a doubt, without a moment’s hesitation. We all know the cruelty this disease can inflict. We know that life with MS is a roller coaster. Knowing all of this, would you change it?
My life has without a doubt been changed and affected by MS. I learned that I had this disease at the tender age of 20; an age when most people are in college deciding what career field they want to be in. It’s not typically an age where one has to decide what treatment path will be best suited for their life and disease. I’ll admit that I was envious of my peers at that age. My primary worries weren’t what party or movie I was going to see that weekend. My thoughts were consumed with treatment options, how to finance said treatment options (they aren’t cheap), and tests I’d have to undergo. If you’ve been following my blogs you know that I placed my college aspirations on hold for several years and jumped head first into the MS world. (more…)
Today I am going to write about something other than my experiences with MS. Today I am going to share with you a story of a devastating tragedy that stuck members of my hometown. I am sharing it with you because I want it to put us all into action. I want to inspire you to put pen to paper. I first wish to extend my deepest condolences to the Amann and Hicks families. The loss of their angel Jaedyn is heartbreaking and I know words are of little solace at this time. However, it is my hope that each of you that read these words takes action. Help us prevent number 95 from ever occurring.
On July 4th, 2012, on the Watson Lake Secondary School soccer field in the Yukon Territory, 5-year-old, Jaedyn Amann Hicks was struck in the back of the head by the crossbar of a poorly maintained, unanchored, collapsible soccer net at approximately 5:00 PM. A fellow playmate, aged 3 years and weighing roughly 30 lbs., merely leaned against one of the upright posts, causing the buckling action that led to the net’s collapse. Despite the best efforts of the medical team, Jaedyn succumbed to her injuries and passed away at approximately 8:00 PM. (more…)
Recently there has been a flurry of information being conveyed to the general public about the disease Multiple Sclerosis. Part of the reason this information has been given to the general public is because a relatively high profile celebrity has been diagnosed with MS. A lot of people will know that I am of course referring to Jack Osborne. He is the same age as I am, a mere 26 years old and we both have MS. People are shocked, that this disease has hit such a young individual as Jack is. They don’t understand how it happened, they want to know specifics. Unfortunately as we all know in the MS world the specifics are complicated.
I applaud Jack for his courage and bravery in disclosing his illness to the public. Most of us are keenly aware of how difficult sharing our diagnosis can be. Personally it took me years to be able to speak open and freely about my diagnosis. I commend Jack for being able to speak freely in a relatively short amount of time. (more…)