When you're me? This?
Exhausts you just to look at it. And it makes you feel defeated before you've even finished your coffee. Because come on, I know what this will feel like by the time I'm done clearing it.
And all of that? Put a lump in the back of my throat.
Clutching my coffee mug as if it would somehow hug me back, I told myself that I had to get to work. Stop it. Go get some arctic wear on. Get that mountain off the car. And get there.
Winter has always been a little more difficult for me, ms-wise, than summer. While both extremes are less than optimal, summer seems to be more of an "I could sleep. Forever" feel, whereas winter is a "stabby-pain-that-causes-you-to-jump, heightened tremors, and a double side order of visual disturbance and vibrations".
I was right. Cleaning the car off wiped me out. As all 5'1" of me pushed and dragged a shop broom across the top and sides of my car, I cried a little. I got mad at my husband. With every swoop, I complained to..the air?...how I shouldn't have to do this. I carefully stepped into his giant footprints as I walked around my car so I wasn't up to my stabby-ankles in snow. I yelled to the air, something about how I could understand him walking right past a laundy basket, but an entire car? No. I decided in my mind that there would be no excuse for this. "Just wait 'til tonight when he gets home"...that's what I promised myself. He better get ready to pack his bags for the guilt trip I was about to send him on!
No, wait! I had just 'resolved' to be more of a Proverbs 31 wife! I can't ruin that just 3 days into January, right?
:::wait for it:::
WRONG! Proverbs 31 says nothing of the wife having to clear her donkey of snow before she went to gather that wool and flax! Yep. He's goin' on a guilt trip...
And then my musings took a far worse turn. I told myself those awful things we say to ourselves from time to time. "No one cares. No one understands. When you have invisible symptoms, you're on an island-of-one." I was feeling ridiculously sorry for myself. And I cried. A little more than a little. All because of some snow.
"Pity party of one, your table is ready..."
So I drove to Dunkin' Donuts, because I felt like I was entitled to a chai after all that snow clearing business. My whole body was vibrating and the stabby pains I had in my face last night were cranked up to 10 and biting me in the ankles and shins. My right eye was doing this new thing that I'm kind of fascinated by. Each time I blinked, it was as if I had a water droplet in my eye...but I didn't. It was just a distortion that cleared when I blinked, then would become distorted again. Hmph. "That's interesting!", said self.
I waited in the drive thru line with what I estimated to be...the entire town. Finally, I received my chai and carefully placed it in my cupholder. My hand was twitching and the very last thing I wanted to do was spill it. I felt so happy in that moment. I mentally subtracted a few things I might say to my husband when he got home. I shifted my thoughts to my work day and began prioritizing my tasks. For me, running through a mental game plan is no different than waking up and running through the physical functions checklist...do I have good sight in both eyes? Eh, just one eye? Okay, great! And can I think straight? Yes? Great! Anyway, at that point, I was stopped at the longest red light in town and ready to take a sip of chai. I carefully removed the cup from the holder, took the lid off (germophobe, ms's fault) to take a sip and noticed...it was only half full.
Oh no. On came those awful feelings all over again! REALLY??? You shorted me on the very thing I just rewarded myself with? Someone has got.to.be.kidding.me. Is that why she was smiling at me when she doesn't typically engage with the customers? I'll bet it was! And I oughtta spin this car around in the snow and go back to ask for the OTHER half of my chai. I'll even say "please", because I'm classy like that! But. I knew that turning around and going back into the store - in my current emotional state - wouldn't be a good idea. I drove on to work. Crying a little, but at least the right eye had an actual reason for the distortion.
My mind was spinning in high gear as I drove up the road toward work. My pity party was in full swing when I noticed a man snowblowing the loooong walkway that runs along the front of our building and down a hill. He was bundled up - the type of bundling where you could only see a bit of a nose and eyes. The wind was blowing against him and the flying snow. I thought it was one of the young men from a plow crew, because who else is going to be out there in the blustery winds, right? When I looked closer, I realized it was...the boss.
For some reason, that snapped me out of my rut. I remembered how blessed I truly am in spite of this stupid condition. I have a boss, which means I'm blessed with a job. And I could go on and on about how that boss is always concerned with things like...the climate of my workspace, and all the other things that working with something like ms would entail. But he's a humble man and wouldn't want me to do all that ;) I've been blessed with such incredible bosses over the course of having ms. They have all been kind and compassionate. They are not just bosses, past and present...they are friends.
The thought came to mind that my husband was also out in this weather, working, before the sun came up. He may have figured I wouldn't be going to work this morning, which would explain why he hadn't cleared my car off for me. I remembered him getting up at 3am to be sure he got to work on time. He works very hard for us. For me. I thought of what it must be like to be him...watching me walk into stuff, drop stuff, and all that stuff ms does for me. I can't lose sight of the fact that medical conditions can often be harder on the loved ones of a person than the actual person.
The truth is...everyone cares. And I know that. But what a slippery slope that sort of thinking can be. I am so mindful of speaking positively to others, but I don't follow the same rule when it comes to myself.
Maybe that could also be a resolution? Yes, yes it could! And maybe I should also print out the full 31st Proverb and tape it to myself so I could refer to it often. Ahem.
We're all in this together, ms'ers. God bless us as we live each day to His glory...