Thursday, November 10, 2011

Carnival of MS Bloggers #101

Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.

Unexpected Surprises

by Laura of Inside MyStory

Have you ever done something that you felt was a pretty useless effort but you did it anyway because it was the right thing to do, never dreaming that you would get a better outcome than you should dare hope for?

Fourteen years ago I took the time to plant three white pine saplings in the back yard.  These were those free trees that are given to school children to take home and plant as part of Arbor Day celebrations. Trees is a liberal use of the word, they barely looked  like  trees, they were more like a piece of greenery that could be used in a floral arrangement than something that should be planted; a  little tuft of pine needles on the end of a stick. The fine roots at the end of those sticks were barely visible.

Rather than ignore them in their sad state, wrapped in a plastic bag, I followed the attached instructions and dug shallow holes in the back of my yard  for these three sticks.  Much to my surprise, all three of them took root.  Had I known they would actually grow, I would have planted them differently, but I had assumed they wouldn’t thrive in my care and dug three holes about three feet apart .

A few years pass, and to my surprise all three sticks survived but  I had  planted them too close together, and told a good friend to come and take the small one away to her yard, to give the others the room to grow.  She made the move while I was at work, and to my dismay she had taken the wrong tree.  Instead of the runt of the group, she had removed the middle sized white pine, a tree that had already grown to  a height of over 6 feet.

That middle sized  tree didn’t survive the shock of the move to her yard and quickly lost all its needles and was once again just a stick, just a lot taller than its humble beginnings.   The 2 foot runt was still in my yard, in the shadows of the biggest tree, which was quickly hogging all the sunlight and water.

Looking out in my yard today, I can still see that runt, struggling to grow in the shadows of the other sapling, which has now reached a height of almost 40 feet and is a magnificent specimen.   The runt is merely a dwarf version of the big tree, and has the same perfect shape in all of its now  8 foot glory.

They were the same when they went in the ground, planted in the same location, and given the same care.  I could not have projected this surprising outcome or tell you why one thrived while the other remained fairly static.

I didn’t expect these sticks to grow, but it provides me a reference as to how sometimes I go through the motions anyway of what is expected, and I end up being pleasantly surprised.

Looking at these two trees remind me of why I continue to take my daily disease modifying drug.  I’m not sure that those daily injections will ultimately make a difference in the course of my disease.  But I keep planting that needle, just in case I’m wrong. And I’m open to being pleasantly surprised.

from Travelogue for the Universe

from the clinic,
nearly left it
on the table,
by my diary,
of my shots
i have had
4 years
but the letter,
had a feel there,
out of place,
i had a
it was not a simple
but a message
my study
end soon.

I told
my patty,
my sweet voice
who monitors
it was
being told after
4 years
that this will all
She said,
everybody felt
that way.
Seemed like I was just getting used to it,
having more faith that this is the right
Knowing the
has a lot to do
and politics,
is right up there too,
and when we feel
it is because
stay tuned, you know as much as i do.
will find the results of my study in January
and discuss next steps.
4 years no exacerbation,
hope they keep me on what i am on,
whatever that turns out to be.


by Diane J Standiford of A Stellarlife

I used to think secondary progressive MS was the worst thing that could happen to me. I mean, after all, if you start at relapsing remitting, the progression to secondary is the end of the line---all downhill from there. Well, that may be true, but I'm not living it yet. In fact, I feel better than I used to.

Back in 1990, after my initial diagnosis, my hopes were on being that 50% who never would rely on a wheel chair. It seemed, for 15 years that I had made it! But, alas, here I sit, power chair at my side---always. Oh well, you takes your chances. I refuse to accept the whole "secondary progressive now you are just a downhill headed snowball" thing. Um, I don't roll like that.

In truth, some functions have come back that I thought were gone forever. Plus, there is a certain tranquillity with not waking up each day and finding a relapse starting. As my neurologist asked me 5 years ago, "When was your last relapse?" I couldn't remember, in fact, without all the blog and Face book reading I do, I'd probably have to really think hard to recall what they were like. Much of the uncertainty of MS is now gone. Here I am. Being 54 leaves me with more health issues to worry about than MS.

Like cancer. Had it once, don't want it again. Liver problems. Had them once, don't want them again. Diabetes runs in my mom and a brother (both of whom I look just like), don't want that.

Then there is mom's Alzheimer's---like a shadow that I see every so often, hanging around...certainly don't want that. My point is that MS has crept lower on my health concerns list. Secondary progressive can do that for ya. It has shown certain limitations, but I will always continue to try and erase those. Bottom line: there is so much more I CAN do than I can't do. My focus is clear for the goal of quality of life.

Back in the '90s, I was working at a job I loved, walking hills of Seattle every day, driving, but my quality of life was pretty sucky. I would never have admitted that then, because who KNEW where I might be in 10 years, but now I can say---it was really difficult.

I feel bad for people diagnosed with MS so early now, I do. Those years BEFORE my diagnosis, almost 8, where today a MRI would have pegged me, were terrible and scary. But they passed and newly diagnosed people now seem so freaked out! (As I would have been. I would never have gotten my job with the city that afforded me such great health benefits. I might even have headed back to UGH Indiana. So MANY things I never would have felt able to do, chances I would never have taken.) Without a CURE, early diagnosis just seems more of a trouble maker.

If I found out today that I will get Alzheimer's---what good will it do me? NONE. I already play all the brain strengthening games, eat the healthy foods, exercise; not a future I'm worrying about.

Secondary progressive MS. SPMS. There are worse things to have.

This concludes the 101st edition of the Carnival.

The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on November 24, 2011. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Tuesday, November 22, 2011.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Even though I had already read all of these, it was really great to read them again. Great stuff.