Friday, December 21, 2007

4 Days 'Til Christmas!

Ruby and Zane count the days until Christmas which I absolutely love. Well, Ruby counts. Zane says, "The next day, then the next day, then the next day, then the next day?" which basically amounts to the same thing. I love their excitement about Santa and seeing friends and family. They make me love Christmas.

Today was a better day although I'm pretty sure I am either having a relapse or I'm still in my first one and it's getting worse. It hurts when I have to lift my arms for any reason (e.g., sliding the shower curtain open). It's not just my armpits anymore. It hurts from my shoulders all the way down to my biceps. I'm typing while laying down on the couch with my laptop on a pillow on my lap so my arms are barely lifting off the keyboard. The kids are watching Fetch until bath time.

I'm also still having the vision trouble while walking. I'm fine sitting still or driving but when I try to maneuver around a store or in a crowd, I can't see very well. It's like my brain can't navigate walking and seeing at the same time. I went to Building 19 this morning before my afternoon of working at home, and it took me twice as long as usual to get through the store. It's disorienting and I feel bad when I bump into someone or get in someone's way. I think about the woman in TJ Maxx with the white cane with the red tip on the end. I don't WANT to be blind, but I wish that people could see that I'm having trouble with my vision. I feel like my symptoms are invisible to everyone but me which is kind of crazy-making.

I'm reading a book called MS and Your Feelings that's written by a therapist who has MS. It's really good. It's kind of like a 4th step inventory guide for dealing with MS. After reading the first chapter, I know that I am FAR from total acceptance of my illness. It is still such a huge part of my life, my thinking, my conversations, and obviously, my writing. According to this author (and I tend to agree), acceptance will mean that MS is integrated into my life and not taking it over. I will be able to live in the day, making adjustments for how my illness affects me right now but not worrying about the future. I will simply trust that I will be able to adapt to changes if and when they come.

I know, with all my heart and soul, that I am going to be ok. I believe that because I have gone through a lot of different periods in my life when I was terrified about something and I was always ok. The really, really hard part is adapting that trust to my day-to-day fears. Yes, I will be ok in the long run. But how do I fend off anxiety today about how, when, and in what way things are going to work out? I let go of the big picture but I hang on to the details for dear life.

I heard someone say recently, "Let go or be dragged." I really don't need any more rug burns on my psyche. So how do I let go? I'm praying a lot and putting things in my "God Box" (made from a tin that used to hold French chocolates) so it should start working any day now, I guess. Practice, practice, practice.

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