Chronic degenerative neurological disorder. Now that's a mouthful! But it's what rolled off my neurologists tongue at my last appointment. It's wonderful to have someone who gets it. It's also a slap in the face to hear it. Appointments are difficult mentally. They are check ups to see how bad you are doing, not to see how good you are. To make sure you are mentally stable as well. Don't worry I passed that part! Lol They look to see how much you've deteriorated, which is backwards of a regular checkup. Usually if you are sick you go to see if you're better. If your leg is broken you go back to see if it's healed. They aren't as bad as MRI's though. Because those are "the proof in the pudding" (no idea how that saying originated!) I saw my MRI for the first time at this appointment. Again....it's like a punch in the stomach. Just one more thing to make it all real, but there was an upside. It looked better than I expected. I had envisioned this to be riddled with white spots. But it was quite the opposite. Just a few here and there. Which makes you wonder how something that small can cause that much trouble? Kind of like a two year old! So tiny yet can be a terror at times. :).
Even those these days can be rough, I can say that overall I'm happy. I don't dwell on it as much. Don't get me wrong I still have moments but they are just that...moments. Not on average a long extended period of time. I don't always think about what I can't do. Quite the opposite actually, I tend to think I'm superwoman still. Which can be problematic. But I HATE absolutely HATE being TOLD that I can't do something. I need to figure that out for myself. Call it stubbornness or pride but I need to see it for myself. I can joke about my slurred speech, balance, or my handwriting now. It doesn't bother me. It's who I am. And at times it is funny! Sometimes not exactly funny, more awkward but that's okay. It's okay if you ask to help me write something, or carry something. It's been a humbling thing for me but if this is degenerative and chronic then this is here to stay and it's gonna get worse so the faster I accept my life the easier it will be. The happier I will be. I can't change it. My family can't. My friends can't. So accept it, embrace it and walk along side of it. That "it" being me. I'm going to do the best I can. And it's okay if I need your help.
What does that look like?
Patience. I had to sign a ton of papers at the bank for the new cafe. Not a simple task. Don't ask to look at them cause they all look different. Especially near the end!
Acknowledge. I had someone carry something to my van the other day. I said "oh I can carry that in my other hand." He said "I know" but decided to help me anyways. To acknowledge that they knew and understood was wow. I was actually surprised when he said he knew. Thank you Dwight:)
Listen and Support. I have a few friends who get it. Who don't offer all of their opinions but are just there for me. And they aren't necessarily people I see every day or even every week or month. They are easy to pick out. They are even the acquaintances who ask how it's going. Who sincerely want to know and listen.
There are three parts. The first was patience. The patience to read and hear about what I am going through. So if you made it through the first paragraph without rolling your eyes and thinking (here we go again). Congratulations. Lol To understand what is going on is important. The second was about acknowledging and accepting the fact. Even to joke about it. The third was to support. Whether it was by volunteering yourself in the MS walk this year (by walking or donating), by stopping me in the mall and asking me how it's going, or by being available for me to vent. All 3 are needed in order to really be there for any person who needs you. Love your neighbour as yourself. I needed to learn to love myself again before I could have compassion and love for others. And in that area I have grown tremendously but only because I've had to go through this myself. They say God works through the broken and in this case I was the one broken.