Monday, October 12, 2009

When Sharing Is Good

Just got another ms magazine today. It's been a long day and it was the last thing I felt like reading, but I did it anyway and I'm thankful I decided not to shut down just yet!

There's an article entitled "Should I Tell My Employer I Have MS?" It reads...

Things to consider: Once it’s out there you can’t take it back. Your employer can have preconceived notions about MS and wrongly decide you will not be able to handle your job or additional responsibilities. You may try to educate your employer but may find they are not interested or open to the information.

I had that happen at the big company I worked for when I was dx'd. I remember calling a meeting between my 2 supervisors to inform them. I came in the following day to find that my accounts had been reassigned to other reps. I saw the writing on the wall and decided I wouldn't give the company the pleasure of dragging me through their line of corporate port-o-potties, so I left to work for dear friend/chiropractor. 'Course, I didn't have to tell her...she already knew! I worked there, free of ms judgement and self-consciousness, until God decided it was time to move on.

The door was opened for me to work as an educational therapist with children who learn differently. Worked for me, because I have much in common with every one of my students. Short attention span? Check! Emotions that swing from high to low and everywhere in between? Yep! I'm just older and know how to keep them hidden! Got all the head knowledge but have trouble getting it to paper? Sometimes, sure. But let me tell ya, my students are absolutely brilliant...every single one of 'em. They bless me more than I could ever bless them. And I'm forever thankful that ms moments never affect my work or my own children. It's like ms knows those are 2 areas that are off limits!

Today was In Service and I had to give a presentation to explain what I do all day long. Hate those. I'm outgoing and all, but standing up in front of people and speaking takes me right back to those stupid oral book reports in school. It was also one of those days where I couldn't quite articulate as well as normal, and was even stuttering. So I told myself to chill out, it's a Christian school and Jesus would not let them laugh at me. I have ms for goodness' sake! Who could mock the lady with the holes! I put all this pressure on myself to pull off a perfect speech and stress is NOT a friend to ms. In fact, the more stressed out I get, the more I stutter and have trouble articulating. You see the cycle here, clearly!

I preempted my presentation by running to the bathroom and took the opportunity to pray for God to give me the words. When I walked back into my classroom, bundle o' nerves and a million random thoughts running through my head, the first thing that came out of my mouth was something to the effect of, "I apologize in advance, I'm stuttering today". Nice job. Way to blow the speech before it begins.

But you know, it actually was nice. I was instantly comforted by everyone's smiles and was able to joke it off when I did stutter or found it difficult to piece my thoughts together in just the way I'd meant to. How blessed am I to work with an amazing group of people who love me, holes and all, just as I am?

Just As I of my favorite hymns. While God isn't someone I can physically see or reach out and touch, I do encounter Him on a daily basis. He shows His face through the kindness and love of others. When someone gives me a basket of food, some homemade chicken rice soup, a supportive smile, a loving hug, or a kind offer to help me out...I encounter God at work. I give thanks on a daily basis for my employer, because I have full confidence in the fact that, if the going gets tough, the tough will be fully supported. That is, if the tough can put their pride aside to allow themselves to be helped. Ahem...seems like the shoe is a perfect fit!

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