I found the courage to continue on this journey of continuing my education to give my career in SPED more options, and participated in the group interviews for the graduate school program I’ve applied to last night. I looked calm enough but inside I was a mix of nerves and excitement. It greatly helped that I’ve felt Gods presence and guidance in this decision and process all along the way. However, I’ve spent so many years putting others first , and putting my illness / health first that it seems selfish , or maybe even ludicrous to consider embarking on this challenging adventure. Not that being selfish is necessarily bad, as long as it is more about being good to one’s self , but I struggle with doing things that are of great importance for me that seem selfish as I tend to be more comfortable with giving then receiving. I can be selfish when it comes to wanting things fair, and I can be selfish on little unimportant matters such as the biggest bowl of ice team or first choice at choosing a tv show to watch with family, so I’m definitely human with flaws and weaknesses. However, I guess I fear letting others down, failure when the stakes feel high, and I feel the weight of the responsibility attached to it, even if it’s mostly in how I perceive it. When I got diagnosed I thought this type of opportunity was closed for me, that I could no longer be viable. My kind was toast. I had to relearn so much and accept so much that was unacceptable before in the form of limitations and expectations. I watched out my window feeling trapped and alone for months … heck I still do when the fatigue hits me as it can. So here it is the day after defying all the odds and pursuing the next step in a dream of mine when reality hits. I’m a mom first, not because I always wanted to be one, like some if my friends, But when you chose to have kids it is something the best parents do, they put those kids and the job as parent at/ near the top of their priority list as it comes with the job. That child didn’t chose to be part of your world you chose them so you owe them the best within it you can provide. Am so thankful SPU seems to know this , per things shared st the group interview, as does my work, which has shown me this truth each year I’ve been there. So today I took my youngest to the dr as she was complaining of fatigue, and just not “being right”. We’d noticed a sluggishness to her of late, and a desire to sleep more and do less, as well as being less sharp and reactive, but as she’s a super busy 16 year old hicap musician with an active 4-H project, we assumed it was related to burning the candle at both ends, yet after getting rest she didn’t bounce back as we expected. Now the story doesn’t have a terrible as of yet ending, but it does have a life as we know it must change this spring result – Mono. Am so grateful I listened to my child, and my head, and heart to get her checked out so that we don’t make false assumptions any further and not get her the care she needs. However, this illness can be very serious and greatly impact her already full life and schedule due to the fatigue she has. I guess this is where my MS is a blessing in disguise as our family understands fatigue and how it reveals itself and how to manage it. Funny how an illness can be a blessing, and a chronic one has the chance to do so many times before it takes you. I am thankful for this understanding and the fact that the illness that takes so much from me and my family gave back, even if for just a little bit. So Cassie and I are off to rent a movie to watch since it’s spring break, and maybe get a treat. A low key fun activity for 2 fatigued, but resilient women of faith. We know God has a plan for this just like he does for my continuing education , and for my MS. To Him be the glory, and may great things be done.
I wonder who created that phrase, Up and Adam, to express getting going after taking a break…. a rather odd choice of words and yet ones that roll off my tongue, particularly after a “lazy” morning in bed. I sometimes think about how my mornings have changed since being diagnosed with MS. Each year that goes by the memories of my life before it are more and more distorted and fading into the shadows. I know life wasn’t so hard, it was easier to “get going” and try new things, and not have to plan ahead so much. Les aches and pains, more strength and stamina… less pills for sure, no sweats and fatigue that deflates a person as quick as a popped balloon at the fair. I try not to blame it, nor talk about it, but in my mind I’m consumed at times by it’s shear presence as it slowly and insidiously changes me and my life, and how I navigate the world. I don’t want a disease to “win”, but sometimes in bed , when no one is looking nor listening, I find myself wondering what the next thing this disease,that is slowly eating away at my body and my mind, is going to take. It has already taken so much, trapping me in my home and a predictable life, where sleeping in isn’t actual laziness but instead is the necessary rest required to allow for normal activity such as going to work or church. I don’t blame God, if anything I blame myself for not relying more consistently on God through this time. And so here I sit resting ,watching 80s tv shows and watching the world go by out the picture window … thinking I should get up to start my day, but knowing I’ll never accomplish everything on my “to-do” list as my MS will cut it short whether I rest or not. But the only good defense is a stellar offense, or so I’ve been told, so I rest here a minute more having taken my large handful of Meds and very strong mocha and am now waiting for them to kick in, and begin the process of getting ready to get ” Up and Adam”, as I so often heard my Mom and Dad say… and start my “stop and start” day that will hopefully bless God, and not be overly sabotaged by MS. Life is still good, just slower and less bright and cheery, until my crazy world makes me, and you laugh once more….( case in point, as I write this Tiny the lamb is chasing Rasta the cat though the house… a funny sight indeed, and sure to make one smile, and a story for a different entry on a different day… catch you then!)
We were an interesting sight to behold I am sure. There I was awkwardly pushing, pulling, and shoving the cart full of grass hay to feed my eldest college attending daughter’s pushy sheep their much desired supper. The front field was so muddy from all the recent rain I wore my clodhopper rubber boots over my church clothes and an old plaid shirt held together with only 1 button. Meanwhile keeping right in my heels was Tiny, our little 15 pound 4week old bummer lamb in her pink heart patterned onsie holding up her droopy diaper being worn since she had just come out from having some inside the house time. The hungry sheep trying to get to the hay in our cart were a mottly crew in and of themselves, with 3 recently shorn, and looking fairly naked and chubby, being well fed and lazy, and 3 still wooly but bedraggled with hay and debris from the field haphazardly sticking out of their wooly hairdos. I tried to walk swiftly leading my parade of odd looking farm inhabitants in order to finish the job before any one tripped or got stuck in the mud. The faster I went though the wilder and more desperate the others became. Suddenly a few of the motley sheep crew noticed the weird looking pink covered creature in their midst. Surely that pink little one following like a puppy wasn’t really one of them… or was it? They suddenly surrounded her sniffing and looking and baaing… trying to determine friend or foe, wondering what had invaded their space and dared to distract them from their yummy supper. Just when they were about to give up the investigation Tiny realized I’d gotten a bit farther away from her then her comfort would allow and she mustered up her little voice and her get up and go, and jumped forward to dash toward me calling for me in her little baby voice. Such commotion caught the lot so off guard they jumped back, knocking their heads into each other and each dashing away in different directions throughout the field, so sure some big scary thing was threatening them in their own home. As I turned around to watch this interaction, Tiny proceeded to jump toward me with youthful excuberance right into the mud… splat! Having filled their mangers I scooped her up before she got stuck or more dirty then she already was and headed toward the gate, chuckling at the odd picture we made…our own little crazy version of a modern farm family living, laughing, and working hard trying to enjoy life while just getting by.
This spring I am getting out of my comfort zone and learning more about technology with the help of my daughters. Not that I have been living under a rock and can not do anything on a computer, but that my skills are still considered basic, at least by me, which wont work with my new goals of graduate school for teaching SPED students. Since being diagnosed with MS I have tended to take the easy, sure thing, safe route , so afraid of failing or seeing the changes MS has caused to my body and especially to my mind. I limited myself, grieving over the changes in my life and resistant to embracing the new me that I hadn’t chosen. I feared seeing myself in a mirror as I thought I’d be a shadow of my former self, especially with the memory and fatigue problems MS has caused. Having to second guess myself and what I know and can do…having to relearn so many things including aspects of speaking and walking. So here I go, I am pushing my boundaries and trying something outside of my comfort zone in order to reach toward my goals … today the lesson is, learning how to blog.