Posted by: sistermom1 | September 28, 2011

On the Mend

I am finding out much about myself through this healing process.  Learning more about myself and what I can accomplish through challenges. This detour is a major one.  Six years ago I had no idea what Multiple Sclerosis was, and how it impacts those diagnosed with it and their families and friends. like many people, I spent most of my time going through my list of to-dos, managing the politics of my worklife, and being concerned with how my kids were doing in school.  I have written before about the way I lived my life before my diagnosis — how busy and hectic and full life felt for me every day.  I thought that I appreciated the fullness of my life, but looking back I am not so sure that I did.   This is not about having regrets, it is simply something I am realizing lately.

Life remains hectic, but very different than it used to be.  I spend more time considering how I am feeling during the day — not in a selfish way, but more because I am responsible for managing my own feelings (physical and emotional) — it is not anyone else’s job.  (Not my mother, husband, or children, or even my girlfriends…)  Being fully responsible for myself is a shift — I have always been a bit of a princess, which for me meant that whatever was uncomfortable or difficult could be assigned to someone (anyone!) else. 

Unfortunately for me, the MS symptoms I experienced could not be delegated to others to handle.  Facing my own physical limitations and challenges was easy at first.  I could still walk on my own or sometimes with a cane.  I could still drive, and work.  I was still getting my nails and hair done regularly, and coordinating our monthly Moms’ Nights Out.  Within 2 years of my diagnosis, this all changed.  I have written earlier about my hip replacement and the following worsening of my illness.  I have not done many of the things that I used to define myself by since 2007.    As I look back, I realize how dramatic this change was for me.  It is only now that I am spending the emotional and spiritual energy on understanding what has been happening.

Being on the mend right now means that I am happily taking full responsibility for how I am feeling at any moment.  I call who I need to call to get things done, as opposed to holding my husband responsible.  My support team  continues to grow, and I am taking the time to build strong relationships with every professional I encounter — physical therapists, doctors, nurses, social workers, and even contractors doing work in our home to make it easier for me to get around. 

Another part of being on the mend is my feeling worthy of having what I need to make me comfortable in our home.  As I write this, I am using a hospital bed at night.  I just purchased bed rails to help me get in and out of bed more easily.  The contractors are here moving our laundry room back to the basement and installing a roll-in shower in a downstairs bathroom.  My husband is currently having a device installed in our mini-van that will allow me to get in the car without needing to stand.  I had no idea that any of these things existed — much less that we could purchase them.  I hate needing these things, but I feel fortunate that we are able to get them.

So now, here I am in yet another new stage of my life.  Being on the mend is challenging, but positive.  My physical therapist is coming shortly, and we have a strong, positive relationship. Our children are where they are supposed to be — both in school.  My husband is on his way home with the updated mini-van. I am starting to feel like I am worth all of the effort.  This weekend, we are attending a Girl Scout meeting, seeing a basketball game, going clothes shopping, and baking a chocolate cake from scratch (something I love doing).  There’s a lot to do, and I am getting ready to get it all done — with a lot of appreciation and even more prayers…..

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