Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Song...For When I'm Afraid.

I get a little scared from time to time...ya know, with all the changes that ms can throw at me?  Or how a phone call can come that stops my whole world for a moment?  While my health might change by the hour, or life by the minute, there's one thing that never changes.  And that gives me comfort:-)

MS...You Really Do Care:-)

It's really something how, over the past couple of weeks or so, I've wondered where ms has been.  I've missed it tremendously!  I've longed for its return!  Okay, no.  None of those things are true.  Not even a little.

I've been fighting to keep my stress level at a low roar, because I've not wanted to wake ms.  But even the thought of, "I need to calm down, or I'll start feeling like crap" is stressful.  So I went for groceries.  Not to relieve stress, but to have more to eat than a roll of toilet paper. 

I found myself zoning in and out of retro'ing, which was triggered when I spotted a box of Sugar Daddy candies!  And just like that, I was taking mental time travels.  I landed somewhere around 1978, when I'd stand on the front of the grocery cart as Mom pushed, jumping off to grab my 2 cans of Hawaiian Punch:-)  What a beautiful mental vacation it was.  In 1978, I didn't have bills to pay, or...more accurately, not be able to pay.  I had a healthy Mommom - not phone calls from the neurosurgeons or nursing facility managers, giving me bad news.  I didn't have sickness and fatigue.  What's that on the bottom shelf?  Green Hawaiian Punch?  Orange?  In plastic containers?  WTH?  Just like that, back in 2010. 

I totally rocked the little duplex cart like I always do.  As I walked my prized score down Victory Lane, quite proud of how much I was able to stack and stuff into my little cart, I battled the overwhelming urge to give a "prom queen waive" to the other customers.  You know, "elbow - elbow - wrist - wrist - wrist".  I'll tell you who I impress.  The male customers.  Men LOVE to stack and situate and stuff things into carts.  I've even received compliments.  Mmm hmm.

I proudly walked out of the store and toward my parking area and breathed deeply.  Real life was back, but I was counting blessings.  I had a week's worth of groceries, and that's a blessing.  I was going home to my kids, and they're a blessing.  I was going home, and a home is a blessing:-)  But as I was counting blessings, I couldn't find my car.  I stood for a few minutes, retracing my steps.  Surely, I parked in this section.  I always do.  It's a compensation method I've been using for years, because I used to lose my car all the time.  I stared out across the entire lot.  Heeeeeere, my car...  Nothing.  It's really not out there.  It's not anywhere.  Oh no.  At some time during my trip to 1978, someone took my car?  How can that be?  I began to tear up a little, but then I thought, "Wait.  If someone took it and it doesn't turn up, no more car payment!"  I went into my purse for my phone so I could call my Mom to come pick us up.  "Us" being me and my groceries.  On top of my phone was an unfamiliar key ring?  What the?  Ooooooh.  That's right.  I haven't had my car in a week.  Because it's a mechanical hot mess and I don't have the money to repair it.  So it's sitting.  I'm driving Mommom's low-to-the-ground, convertible sporty car.  And there it is.  Literally right in front of me.  Thanks, ms!  I always appreciate the cognitive flatulence!

I had to carefully restack everything from my cart into her much-smaller-than-mine car.  Bending, twisting, neck turning, restacking.  I was as flexible as the Tin Man.  Creeeeak, griiiiind, creeeeeak.  Got it all in!  And then the soreness began. 

As I was driving home :::bz:::

Ugh. Vibrations are so annoying. Location? Pelvis. Yes. Pelvis. I turned my head to look for oncoming traffic and felt it more noticeably. :::bzzzzz:::

By the time I got home, it was constant. And strong. And pelvic. :::BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ:::

See, this is why ms amuses me.  People who share of their vibrations openly express frustration and hatred toward them.  "I can't stand this vibration in my leg!"...or back...or arm.  Either I'm the only one, or others are too embarrassed to share that their vibrations occur in their torso, lower abdomen, or pelvic areas.  I'm not embarrassed, on account of...I don't choose where they happen, ms does.  How can I be sad about life when my body is going BZZZZZZ?  Simply stated, I can't.  Aw ms.  You really do care for me:-)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Know I'm Getting Older...

There are several things I'm noticing about myself.  And these things tell me?  I'm getting older.  I don't mean the 6 week hair coloring schedule...which should really be 4 weeks, but I can't afford it.  I mean real signs.

Last night, I woke up with chills.  Again.  My Wondertwin Powers have morphed from about 2yrs worth of "monthly migraines" 6 months of "monthly wake up feeling like I'm having heart attacks" the past 2 months of "monthly wake up freezing to deaths".  I've worn my husband's sweatshirt, old sweatpants, and work socks to bed.  I keep a large, fleece blanket next to the bed, in case my arctic wear doesn't do the trick.  Like monthly clockwork, I woke up around 3am with chills so vibrant that my teeth were chattering.  Even the 2 fleece blankets weren't enough.  Even the work socks didn't contain it.  So I'm left to long until I hit the hot flashes?

I've always looked forward to the start of each day.  My joy could be attributed to coffee, which sure, I still enjoy quite a bit of!  But lately?  It's Bayer baby aspirin.  Orange chewable.  Ever since the one episode of fierce "monthly wake up like I'm having a heart attack" symptoms and resulting hospitalization, I take one a day.  But sometimes, I forget if I actually took one or not.  So I take another.  Or maybe it was the first one.  I'm really not certain.  What have I become? 

Today is a beautiful day.  The fall leaves are radiant!  The sun is shining!  The air smells like fall!  I noticed all of that as I was hanging towels out on the line.  Like older folks do.

After hanging the towels, I considered going out for a walk and having some prayer time.  Instead?  I went to sleep.  For another 4 hours.  With the electric fireplace on high.  The house was already at 70 degrees.

I forgot I haven't shaved my legs lately, on account of it's not spring/summer anymore.  Yet another thing I like about fall.  Not having to shave bi-daily.  How was I reminded of this detail?  My legs are itching.  Yep.  Time to shave.  My grandmother told me months ago that I'd get to the point where I really wouldn't care about shaving.  I'm not there yet, but can see how that might happen.

I took my daughter and her classmates up to a birthday party.  It was 45 minutes away.  Four 12yr olds and my 11yr old son.  My kids sat in the 3rd row of seats.  Her classmates were in the passenger's seat and the back 2.  And the classmates didn't stop talking.  For all 45 minutes.  "I want an Ipod!"..."I already have that, I want and Ipad"..."I have a Droid, but I got it wet, so my Dad's getting me the new Droid!"..."yeah but the new Iphone is better..."...all the while, texting.  Texting on phones more expensive than mine.  "Oooooh you have a tv in your car!".  Me, silent.  Because what I wanted to tell them was...I haven't used it since 2006 when we drove 15hrs one way to St. Louis.  In fact, I'm not sure I recall how to make it work.  I'm sorry, but I'm old.  I don't believe in having to entertain you every moment your eyes are open.  How 'bout you look out the window?  That's what I had to do when I was your age.  I didn't have a cell phone, because they weren't made yet.  And there were no tv's in cars unless someone had stolen one and threw it in the trunk.  Or maybe bought one, I guess it didn't always have to be stolen.  Heck, our tv didn't even have a remote.  I was the remote, as well as the rabbit ear antenna fixer.  Dad would say, "right there!  Right there!" 

Anyway, I looked in the rearview mirror at my kids.  Peaceful little smiles, looking out the very back windows at the beautiful fall colors and blue sky.  Totally.  Quiet.  They don't have cell phones, or I-whatevers.  Sometimes I wonder if they feel like they're missing out.  Other times I don't really care, because it's all just too overwhelming for me.  I'm old now, remember?

Lastly?  Cats.  Four of them.  Laying on my computer desk and next to my chair as I type.  My husband calls me "Cat Lady".  Between the cats following me all about and the nighttime arctic attire?  I'll betcha he's feelin' like a real lucky fella!

All the while, ms is saying, "see that?  It's not always all my fault..."  My apologies, ms:-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Need A Code Shirt. Or Hat.

I think I covered "invisible symptoms" before, right?  Like how I feel more than blessed that you can't see how I feel?  But yet...sometimes I wish you could see how I feel?  There are stati on Facebook all the time about this or that group of folks don't want a cure, they want acceptance.  Well I'd like both.  A cure and acceptance.  But at this point?  I'll just take the acceptance.  So I got to thinking, after talking with my boss tonight....we (ms'ers) need a code shirt.  Or something.

Because if I were using a walking aid, no one would expect me to lift, drag, and arrange a heavy 10'x4' folding mat, an awkward 8'x4' mat, and a smaller and much more easily managed mat.  By myself.  But weakness and fatigue can't be seen.  No one would expect me to vacuum my classroom.  Because they'd understand that I don't vacuum my house.  My kids know it's their job, because they've grown up watching all that is me.  All I have to say is, "hey guys, it's lookin' like the house needs..." and they say, "we got it, Mommy."  My Lord, thank You for them:-)

Also what folks can't see?  A sizeable serving of emotional lability.  Though can you classify it as such if it's essentially a sad situation that you've not allowed yourself to feel, and so it comes rushing forward like a flood?  Well, I'm blaming ms.  Because clearly...I'm always quite in control of my emotions.  The thing about emotional lability's exhausting.  I was exhausted when I woke up this morning, then came the EL.  I'm at the point where my eyes burn.  I'm stupid tired, which is the highest form of tired.  What better time to compose a blog post?

People can't understand what they don't see.  I appear lazy.  Or crabby.  Or worn out.  Wait.  That one's true.  Maybe even the last 2.  But definitely not the first one.

If they could only understand the effort it takes me to do a simple thing, like get myself dressed and out the door.  Or to read with this left eye that still has not bounced back to full font view.  Or to try to maintain a pleasant and patient demeanor when I'm feeling nerve pain from my ear to my cheek.  Face cheek, not the other kind of cheek:-)  Or to experience a bout of crying, interrupted by laughter when nothing is funny...then have an immediate craving for sleep.  If they could understand, maybe they would reach out to me and say, "is there anything I can do to help you?" rather than arguing with me about something stupid, which would ordinarily make me angry.  The trouble being, getting angry requires energy I don't have.  Sorry!  You'll have to choose another day to argue with me.  I'm runnin' on empty...and Dunkin'...which doesn't seem to be working as of late.

So anyway, I'm thinking we need code shirts.  Here are some ideas:

"Today I Do Not Feel Well.  Please Be Nice To Me."
"Today I Am Full of Hatred.  Please Stay Back 500yds."
"Today I Am Crying For No Reason.  Please Walk Away.  Slowly."

And if I'm not donning one of these delightful tees, then you can expect me to be the whirlwind I usually am.  Kay?

It's hard when you don't want to play the ms card, yet it's sometimes just the simple reality.  Keyword:  Sometimes.  It's not every day or even most days.  But on those few days?  Yeah.  I want a t-shirt. 

I took a picture of the sky today, because I think of God every time I look to it.  There was something in today's sky that assured me God knows exactly how I'm feeling, and He's got it covered.  I still need the t-shirt, but only for everyone else:-) 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Inner Brat

I'm compassionate and nurturing, really I am.  My heart is usually always in a place to reach out, to empathize, to support.  But I do have an Inner Brat.  I dislike my Inner Brat.  I got to thinking that, if I reveal it, maybe it would leave me.  Either that, or it would overtake me.  That's what it did today.

My Inner Brat dislikes when someone complains about the things I deal with on a daily basis.  Like how my husband has carpal tunnel and it was acting up.  Here's how not to be a loving wife...

Husband:  "I really don't know what to do, my wrist is killing me"
Me: "is it hurting that bad?"
Husband:  "no, it's just that these 3 fingers (gently rubbing other hand over dead fingers) feel like they're asleep"
Me:  "well, try a contrast bath...take some ibuprofen...maybe it'll help."
Inner Brat:  "I'm trying to stay quiet here..."
Husband, after coming downstairs from bed 4x:  "Oh good, I found Biofreeze.  I can't sleep with this, it's really bothering me.  Should I put it on my wrist, my elbow, or my neck?"
Inner Brat:  "when will people realize you're not a doctor, you're just a biller?  Tell him to put it on his butt..."
Me:  "if it's hurting that bad, run up to the ER and get something for the pain."
Husband:  "it's not the pain, it's just that these pins and needles in my fingers are killing me!"
Inner Brat, flailing arm high:  "oh please...PLEASE call on me!  Ooooooh!  Me me me me!"
Me:  "Biofreeze isn't going to bring the feeling back into your fingers, hon."
Husband, giving me his sad eyes:  "Well, I mean, I can put it on don't have to..."  yet holding the packet out to me.

Wondertwin Powers...activate!  Form of...Inner Brat!!!

Me, visibly annoyed:  "okay, that's good.  I mean, I'm trying to read here.  I deal with that sort of stuff on a daily basis.  Ya know?"
Husband:  "I'm not complaining or anything, it's just really annoying."
Me:  "yeah, I know it is."

That was AWFUL of me.  This is a man who drove to Taco Bell at 1am on countless occasions to score me pregnancy grub.  The man who stood behind me, held me tightly as we overlooked the lake in Ohio on a trip to the Cleveland Clinic for my 2nd opinion...and he didn't throw me in.  I can't be sympathetic to his numb and tingly fingers?  I dislike you, Inner Brat.  You = bad. 

So I'm going to go offer to put Biofreeze on his wrist.  Not his butt.  Because NO, Inner Brat!  I will not let you be the boss of me!  And I'll also apologize for acting as if there's only one person allowed in this household with nerve inflammation and paresthesia.  Though I wish it was just me.  That'd be so much easier.  Hey, maybe I could put Biofreeze on my head!  What could happen?  Hmm...

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Running Career Is...Over?

Yes, you heard it first.  My running career just may be over.  Well, I was told it should be over.  And that it never should've begun.  Whatever...

I hadn't been feeling well.  The back of my neck felt as if it was filled with warm marshmallows and my lower back was aching.  I could feel that my body was in a state of inflammation, one which the usual anti-inflammatory foods I ingest in large proportions just wouldn't touch.  So I bit the bullet and scheduled a session with my cranial sacral therapist. 

I am a HUGE fan of cranial sacral work when done by this therapist.  There are several schools of thought where c/s is concerned, and I respond immediately to this particular treatment as delivered by this particular therapist.  I drive nearly an hour to these appointments, but they are worth every mile...and every penny.

It's always great to hear, as he's getting a baseline for what's happening within my body...

Him, after assessment:  "okay, so what did you do to yourself?" 
Me, trying to see just how good he is:  "I dunno, what?" 
Him, proving just how good he is:  "well, you've got this tightness here in the occiput that originates riiiiiiight (finger at my right knee)."
Me:  "well, now that I think about it...I recently took up running.  And I..."
Him, interrupting:  "you what?"
Me:  "ya know, running.  I decided to run."
Him:  "oooooookay?  Have you tried walking?"
Me:  "yeah, but my friends run."
Him, not listening to me:  "how about swimming...swimming is a great workout and there's no impact."
Me:  "I always wanted to try that, but my friends run and I wanted to run with them."

(yes, that space was left blank, because he did not respond.  No fair to use "pretend you're sleeping" on me in a conversation!)

After 75 very exhausting minutes of work (for my therapist), my body felt completely at peace.  That might sound a little funny.  My body is kind of like, feisty junior high girls.  Always itchin' to fight, having to be held back and restrained, but breaking through once in awhile to throw down!  When you think about it, that's probably a fair assessment where autoimmune disease is concerned.

So my session was euphoric like always and I got to see some awesome folks...because I so love everyone at this center.  I thought about his advice the whole way home.  Maybe taking up running so that I could exercise with my friends wasn't quite the best strategy.  Maybe I'll just be the "call her whenever you need her" friend, the "have a piece of cheesecake" friend, or the "let's meet up for coffee" friend.  Truth be told, I never felt God's presence when I ran like my friends said.  In fact, there was nothing heavenly about how I felt while running.  Heavenly exercise for me would be, oh I dunno, none?

I so need the cheesecake...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Running...Second Attempt

Initial attempt at running?  Bad.  Very bad.  I woke up the next day in misery.  My running friend said, "you know that you have to keep up with this since you started it, right?"  Ugh...

My legs have been hurting so badly that it's been hard to ambulate.  I utilize a series of sound effects each time I stand, step up, or...well...move in general.  My legs are stiff, amazingly sore, and really, really angry.  My shoulders hurt, especially in between my shoulder blades.  My neck feels hot and swollen inside.  Essentially, my body is wondering what in the heck I'm thinking!  I really don't know the best thing to do with such a bodily revolt, because I've never been this sore in all of my athletic days, nor in all of the ms days I've experienced.  This soreness and stiffness far exceeds anything I've ever felt.  I know that my daughter and my running friends say they love that time, because they spend it with God.  Heck, I can pray in the bathroom with less distraction!  But I didn't want to give up so quickly.  I thought about it most of the day.  What to do?  Well, I could drink extra water.  Maybe chew a baby aspirin.  Should I rest until I'm no longer in pain or try to be a tough girl and get back after it?  Then an old phrase came to me out of nowhere...

"Drink from the dog that bit ya"   Hmm.  I recalled that one from working at Mommom's bar in college.  But could it ring true for vigorous exercise?  Eh, figured I'd test the theory.

I laced up my "running" shoes, grabbed my capri sweats from the clean laundry basket, threw on a comfy t-shirt, tied the hair up, and began to jog to the end of the road.

O...M...and G!!!!!!!!!  PAAAAAAAIN!!!!!!!!!!  Stop! Stop! Stop!  Omg...omg...walk...walk it out...where's the guy who keeps stabbing me in the thighs, shins, and calves with the hot poker thing!  Because I seriously want to kick him in the things the squirrels were throwing at me from above.  Acorns.  Oh behave...

Began to jog again, from this telephone pole to that one.  :::thud thud thud:::  OW OW OW!!!  Okay, seriously stop.  Reached for cell phone in pocket of capri sweats.  Began to dial husband to come pick me up about 3/10 of mile from home.  Thought about it,  Squirrels laughing at this point, screeching and communicating in a series of clicks and grunts.  Pretty sure I heard, "10 acorns says she drops before she hits the corner!" and another squirrel said, "I see your 10 acorns and raise you a walnut that she lands in the ditch."  I openly scoffed at their insensitivity, put my phone away, and told myself I got this.  GAME ON, SQUIRRELS!

Jogged again.  Flaming, stabbing sensations at decibel 10 in thighs, shins, calves...tripped but didn't fall...shoulders started to burn...began to stagger like a rabid animal.  Noticed the squirrels staring intently as I wobbled by.

You don't see them in this photo, but they're watching...waiting.  Screeching, acorn throwing squirrels.  Oh yes.  They're out there.

Before I knew it, I was 1.75mi into my 2mi run/walk. I ran intermittently for at least half the distance, because I decided I'd just go until I collapsed. Stupid? Yes. But I've done it before. The collapsing, not the running.  As my dear friend/chiropractor always said, "what could happen?"

The leg pain and stiffness actually lessened...sort of.  They traded places with my left eye.  Bring on the blurries!  So I took a picture of that, too.  What, it looks blurry?  Yeah...I did that on purpose for effect.  Thought it would be authentic!


I was thinking of emailing this to my neurologist and saying, "hey, can you shine your magic light of ocular wonder into this picture and tell me if my optic nerve is inflamed?  It would be much more comfy for me than having it done in person."  I opened up nice and wide, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

So yeah, running experience #2 in the books!  Legs are still burning 6hrs later, neck and shoulders still sore, and eye still a bit blurry.  But I take joy in the fact that I just cost a group of squirrels a portion of their acorns. 

Me - 2  Squirrels - 0.  Until we meet again...

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Tale of Two....


I went for a run today.  Yes, me.  The person with ms who, to this point, has been UNable to exercise briskly.  The most I can muster?  Walking.  And not too fast.  What happens is...I lose feeling in my legs afterwhile and that's simply not conducive to safe exercise.  Last time I ran for exercise = 1993.  Last time I exercised briskly = 2000.  So why try in 2010?  Because my friends are running and hey, I'd like to be with them!  I'm already the go-to-the-beach friend, the call-whenever-you-need-to friend, and the always-ready-to-eat-cheesecake friend.  I wish to expand my resume to...the running friend!  Plus, I was once told I couldn't run on account of how my legs shut down.  I'm nothing if not the gonna-do-what-you-say-I-can't girl:-) 

I stood at the edge of my driveway with my "running" shoes on.  Envision using quote finger signs as you say it.  It's comical, because I bought them years ago for the look of them, not at all for the purpose.  They were as practical as the clock Flava Flav wore around his neck.  They had blue trim and, since I continue to dress as if I'm a Geranimal, I needed them for when I wear blue sweatshirts.  I was also donning my capri sweatpants, which my husband despises.  He says, "wear shorts or sweatpants...those are ridiculous!"  They tie at the bottoms of the legs.  When I wear them out on a weekend trip to the grocery store, I occasionally have to stop and say, "honey, pants are untied."  That gets him every time!  He's threatened to burn them.  I told him that would be rather unwise, seeing as how he sleeps and I do not.  Just sayin'.  I completed my look with one of his XXL long-sleeve t-shirts.  In a word...fierce!  And so I was.  Fierce.  Then I began to run.

Allow me to speak to my fellow sturdy girls for just a moment.  Sure, we've got the sports bra to help us keep ourselves together.  But I realized only a few feet into my run that I'd benefit greatly from sports underwear.  Over the past 11 years, I've formed a smaller buttock above the one I grew up with.  And when I was running, the acquired buttock was smashing into the existing buttock.  It was a tale of two buttocks, and it was quite painful. 

As if that wasn't enough, I got that ice cold sensation in my throat that one gets from sucking air as to prevent cardiac arrest.  All this in the first 1/10mi.  I stopped.  Hands on hips.  Bent in half.  Thought about how it was I got through all the running I had to do in college field hockey practices...with my goalie pads on, running through the streets of the town in 90 degree weather.  And all the "punishment running" my college softball coach put me through.  Surely ms couldn't be as tough as that, right?  Nah.

I decided that I would continue on the 2mi route, even if I had to walk 1.5 and run the .5.  So that's what I did.  I ran from one telephone pole to another, then walked, then ran...until I could no longer run.  Somewhere around halfway through, I felt as if I traded my capri sweats and "running" shoes for:

In a word, it was awful.  The only thing that kept me moving was the cornucopia of songs that played in my head.  Lady Gaga songs.  My feet hit the road with the same force of the beat in "Bad Romance".  BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM...I so need a walkman if I plan to make a habit of this.  If they still make those. 

Then came the left eye.  And it looked a lot like this:

Thankfully, I was able to walk...verrrrry slowly...back home.  My thigh muscles went away completely.  I had a hard time picking my feet up to step into the house.  For the next hour, I lacked the ability to move my feet up and down in that typical pivoting motion that I've always taken for granted.  My feet slapped down as if I was wearing these:

But I did it. 

Even if it only amounted to a cumulative .5mi or so of running, it was .5 miles I didn't try to do yesterday.  Distances, poor form, and ms aside, I gave thanks to God for each painful step I took.  Tomorrow is a new day...and a great one for giving this another go! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just Call Me...Forrest in Gump. 

Many of my closest friends, coworkers, and bosses are runners.  My daughter is on the XC team.  My son chooses sports by the amount of running required...and will pass up sports on smaller playing fields.  Not enough running. 

The last time I ran for exercise was probably 1993, back when I was playing college sports.  It was always a punishment, especially in college...sometimes resulting in post-run spew.  My coach loved when she ran me to the point of vomiting, because she was sensitive like that.  "Run to the water tower and back, Tina" (the water tower looked like a marshmallow from where we began, that's how far away it was) or "run around the fieldhouse until I tell you to stop, Tina" or "just start running, I don't care where the hell you run, just get away from me".  Awww, were such the beacon of loving tenderness.  I think of you often, like when I'm making a mental list of people I'm sorry I didn't punch in the face prior to coming to Christ.

So I asked my daughter what she liked about running. "I get to be with God, Mommy." Hmm, I'm listening.  I so want that time with God, but when I try to get in that zone, a dog will need outside, a cat will walk across my lap, or a bill collector will call.  Without fail.  Plus, the last time I tried to run for exercise, I lost feeling in my legs, couldn't keep my feet moving in the right pattern, tripped, and fell.  Hard. 

Last night, I was in the company of a very dear friend, who also happens to be a runner.  She's one of those genuine friends who asks how you're doing and pushes through the trademark "fine, and you?" response.  I shared that our basement flooded with about 2' of water, causing us to incur more financial traumas, our house smelled of mucky groundwater despite the hours of cleaning, and my eyesight has gotten a bit worse over the course of a couple weeks, instead of better.  I have to close my left eye in order to read.  Bet she wished she'd have left it alone, right?  Because I'm depressed right now.  Highly.  Or would that be "lowly".  Depressed and afraid.  But just her asking...and sticking around for the answer, not rushing me along or exiting stage left...meant the world to me.  I believe God reaches out to us through others, and this is just one of the many times He's worked through her:-) 

We eventually got to talking about running and I said I'd love if I could do it.  She extended the invitation to run with her and another mutual friend.  "But I can't run."  The conversation continued.  "I wish I could run."  And yet more conversation.  "Maybe in a year, I can build up to being able to run further than just..."  To which she said, "okay, I'm holding you to that."  Crap.

So here I am, mentally preparing to run.  Looking outside, I see a beautiful sunny day...trees are changing colors...there's a brisk breeze...all the makings of a 1000 piece puzzle.  But the road says, "I'm just as abrasive and unforgiving now as I was the last time you tried that.  And now, you can't even see 100% out of that pretty little hazel eye of yours!  Don't worry, silly lady with ms...I'm here for ya, stones and all!"

Stupid road.  Don't you know if I'm made to feel as if I can't do something, or as if a task is too large for me to tackle, or as if I'm trapped in some touches my inner Freakshow button?  And I'm going to fight that much harder?  But don't think I'm not considering putting my son's hockey helmet and pads on, in case I trip and "attack the road" again.  I wonder if that would bring about the following call:

Operator:  "9-1-1, what is your emergency?"
Citizen:  "um, there's a woman running down the road in a hockey helmet, elbow pads, and shin guards.  Oh, and she's wearing sunglasses.  I think she's escaped from the asylum.  And I'm concerned for my children."
Operator:  "we'll send someone right out, sir.  Stay with me on the line, and remain calm."

My dear friend, Debbie:  I'm off to begin my training so that I might someday run with you.  MS is busy with my eye right now, and with depressing the heck out of me.  That should mean the legs are free to do as they wish.  I love you for always taking the risk of asking how I I REALLY am.  Yesterday, I prayed and asked God to let me feel His presence.  Thanks for being the "light"  He chose in order to show me that...He's with me. 

Game on, road!