Saturday, November 24, 2012

Learning: Gleaning the Past

I have pictures of my parents and grandparents in my house. Hanging in the living room, stuck to my refrigerator, leaning on my dresser, in photo albums and on my computer. I've had a life time of access to them and hold many dear memories. Memories of which I can glean through. Memories that I use to see me through hard times.

You see, I have watched them go through hard times.

Life ebbs and flows. Life sees it's good seasons and bad. We all live it. None of us are strangers to life. We all know.

I remember, when we were little they would shelter us from those times of distress. We didn't know of their difficulties at the time, they let us grow first. Now we know in part and I remembered the grace by which they moved through those times.

As I grew older I was allowed to know pieces of their troubles. As I grew older I had better understanding. I look back and I marvel at some things. "They went through that?" "They stood strong through that?" "I remember then. They were so kind to me then. They helped me then."

They are and have always been examples for me. I hold fast to those memories and try to emulate them.

When I was a teen and into my twenties I would hold up my little finger and grab it with my other hand just below the first knuckle. I would show that much of my little finger to a friend and say "See that?" Then I'd say. "If I have that much of my mother's strength in me, just that much, I know I'll be o.k. in this life." And it is true, I believe it.

That's what looking back on their lives does for me too. I glean the examples they showed. The faith and the strength they showed as they walked this life. They were soldiers, mechanics, ranchers, farmers, pastors, pilots, operators, moms, gardeners, and housewives. Pray-ers, teachers, care givers, and the best examples.

I know it is by design. We are meant to look back. The Bible itself shows us this truth. It holds the greatest examples for us to live by. Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Up Out of the mud.

A few days ago I started having a feeling, a picture in my mind, of a person, myself, coming up out of a mud pit. Kind of like Martin Sheen in "Apocalypse Now". Totally lying under the mud and then rising up to breathing level with my face finally exposed. I've been here before I thought. I know what this is. I've been grieving and I'm coming out now, to some degree. This has happened to me before. Some 18 years ago when our youngest son was diagnosed as a diabetic. At that time it was not the loss of a child but, the loss of our hopes for the future of the child. A mourning that encompassed the whole household. A family changing event. Then and now I hadn't realized I was in mourning until after 6 months or so. I had this same feeling, picture in my mind. Being under the mud of grief and finally rising up to breathing level. During those times I remember the process being longer and hard to stay up out of it. Now I hope I can stay up and fare better. Having experienced this before, it being on familiar ground. Then like now, it wasn't until this feeling, this picture, that I realized I was in full blown grief. Wow, I'm grieving. I'm grieving. The last few visits with my neurologist must have hit me harder that I thought. I do know now that my dr's words. "Your medicine isn't working for you as good as it should." caught me off guard. I don't know why really. MS is MS. It's progressive. It doesn't go away. My last MRI in March had several new lesions and she said good control would be only one, possible two new ones in a years time. There was an active one and that was of great concern to her. On to a new medicine for me. The transition has gone very smooth, I think. Though a few bothersome side effects tag along. And I have been under the mud. I can look back now I realize that I have been covered by it. Cocooned as it were. I am thankful for the process. Some things are meant to be mourned. I am always amazed that I don't realize the feeling until it lifts. That I don't see the mud until I am at breathing level. I am thankful for the breathing time now. Hopefully I can access things and get this life moving better. Most days, My son and I listen to the radio as we drive in the car. We listen to Air 1. It's uplifting to both of us. Lately, they have been playing a song about healing and what if the healing doesn't come. "Even If" by Kutlass Sometimes all we have to hold on to Is what we know is true of who You are So when the heartache hits like a hurricane That could never change who You are And we trust in who You are Even if the healing doesn’t come And life falls apart And dreams are still undone You are God You are good Forever faithful One Even if the healing Even if the healing doesn’t come Lord we know Your ways are not our ways So we set our faith in who You are Even though You reign high above us You tenderly love us We know Your heart And we rest in who You are You’re still the Great and Mighty One We trust You always You’re working all things for our good We’ll sing your praise You are God and we will bless You As the Good and Faithful One You are God and we will bless You Even if the healing doesn’t come Even if the healing doesn’t come

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Excepting weakness - in myself and others

One of the hardest things for me to except since my diagnosis is my weakness. All of us have times of weakness though out our lives but, until ms arrived I've been able to push through these times and muster on. Priding myself in the ability to "punt" through any given situation. Sort of a "get it done" mentality. Well, Now, some times it just doesn't matter what my thinking is. "Get it done" most times just doesn't get done. And I have needed and am needing to except that fact. It's been a complicated factor and a humbling one at that. I've always thought of myself as a strong woman not really needing help to accomplish this or that needing done. "Pilgrim's Progress Part II" by John Bunyan has many good examples to us. I don't know if I agree with all the things Bunyan has written but, I believe there are many Biblical Truths in Pilgrim's Progress. I've always liked the characters Feeble and Ready-to-halt. They are two traveling together towards the Celestial City. They may not be as quick or able as Christiana but, they are helping each other and excepting each others help through their journey. I've identified with them because of my special needs son. Now, more so because of me. He has been a wonderful help lately. I rely on him and he me. We may not be traveling as fast as others but, that doesn't mean we're not walking. And excepting the fact that I'm weak (hopefully) and excepting the weakness and the strengths of those who are walking this life with me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meeting my new neurologist.

It was over due. Not because of anyone's fault, just the way it worked out. I had been referred to a different neurologist by my current neurologist. He had given me the choice with an added "she's a ms specialist" and "we're lucky to have her here." I was and am grateful he passed me off.
Due to other circumstances,our meeting had to be postponed 2 different times for two months. Last week our meeting happened.
I really like her. She is a "ball of fire". The information she was passing on
to me came in like a "fire hose".
I always take my hubby to doctor's meetings for support and to help me remember
things that were said. I was really grateful for him again this time.
It was so nice to hear so much about what I could expect. I know that may sound funny but, I haven't really had anyone with this much knowledge or information about this huge part of my life now. I'm delighted to have her in my corner.
After a long talk about all sorts of stuff she gave me the standard checks. I don't know what all of them are called but, touch this, do this, walk heel to toe, can you feel this, finger to nose, touch fingers to finger, tuning fork vibration, and on and on. After all this kind of stuff she says "you're doing excellent". That was so nice to hear.
We reviewed the slides of my first MRI. Then, she continued to get me set up for another MRI, expressing the importance of seeing what changes have occurred since that first one over a year ago. Also, that it could tell us if my DMM (disease modifying drug) is doing a good job for me.
Suffice it to say I am happy with my new neurologist. And am looking forward to the next visit.
We'll be having another peek at my brain.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Hubby Really Cooks!

I'm trusting all had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you all a Happy New Year.
Our Christmas was guiet but, grand.
As a gift, Christmas morning, my husband, Gregg, made Eggs Benedict. This is the second year in a row for this special treat. I was and am always grateful for his expertise in the kitchen but, Eggs Benedict with it's creamy hollandaise sauce is a Favorite (notice the capital F) Thank'ee my beloved.
For the passed year Gregg's presence in the kitchen here at home has been more prevalent. Gregg has had the job of line cook at an national chain restaurant for many years. His major complaint of our little kitchen has been it's lack of commercial equipment and counter space. Though that is still the case and not about the change soon, he has been working in this kitchen a lot lately. I am very grateful when ever he steps in.
It usually works like this. I get going in the kitchen to start dinner around 4:30 in the afternoon. For years our dinner hour has been between 5 and 5:30 so, when that hour approaches I start knocking around in the kitchen.
I've never been a great cook but, know how. I come from a long line of great cooks and know how it should go. However, being me, I prefer to be anywhere else. Since ms entered into my life I have become more domestic. And the tasks of kitchen duty are less displeasing to me than before. I even, dare I say, don't mind doing dishes now. Strange. But, this task now has an appeal to me. It has become a thing I can do with out much difficulty and that makes it a good thing.
Back to my cooking. Now days I don't mind so much puttering around in the kitchen. Again I'm not a great cook and I have a limited amount of dinners that come out of my efforts. I have over the years pared down the types of food that gets prepared. When the kids were little I would prepare multiple dinners. To my praise or condemnation. I raised two picky eaters and was more concerned about getting food down them then maybe I should have been and too concerned about having a variety of recipes to try out. I don't know. Anyway, now I have learned what meals here will net at least a 66% acceptance rating. Meaning at least 100% of the food cooked for any given meal will get eaten by at lest 66% of the people served.
This probable sounds crazy. And probably is. But, like I said, now, this is how the meals go. New recipes only get tried by other households. If for some reason we get to try those meals and they are liked, then maybe they become a recipe used here.
Back to my kitchen. It's 4:30 pm and I'm starting a standard meal that has the chance of meeting a 66% approval rating. So moving around the little kitchen is at hand. Now depending on the afternoon I'm having dictates what transpires. After awhile of knocking around a bit, I will employ a new helper in the kitchen. It's a chair. It's my old oak office chair that was in the living room at a computer desk for years. It has been allocated to the kitchen to assist me. If during my kitchen duties I grow tired of standing, which happens quite often now, I have a seat on this old friend. It is on rollers so I can scoot from cupboard to frig to sink and so on. Tho' it is too low to work much from, this chair is a great addition.
Towards the end of the cooking time Gregg steps in and helps me take up dinner. Again, I am grateful for this help and the hug he always brings. The meals turn out better every time. :-) Which is a win, win for all involved and sometimes even a win, win, win, 100% Dinner gets served.