MS & I

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I thought it would be best for me to not only share my story when it comes to my struggles with M.S. but that this blog is therapeutic for me to put pen to paper and explain the emotional pain this dieses has caused me. I know that it is pathetic in a way that I still wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare about dancing.

When you have a strong passion for something it is hard to break away. Your heart, mind, and soul are engulfed in this passion. To be so in love with something that your spirit is stongly attached to it. You don’t bother with other earthly things because you know there is much more to yourself then that. My brain couldn’t disconnect from music and my body had to react. Hours of free time were spent using dance as an emotional release.

Embarrassment is an emotional state experienced upon having a socially or professionally unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. This definition is perfectly said when is came to my first hints of this dieses. Dancing became a chore, it was an overwhelming fear, and my body was not willing to listen to what my brain was telling it to do. My head was telling me to quite but my heart and soul knew that I wasn’t one to quit. I tried; I begged and pleaded with my self to be able to accomplish what I set out to do.

I was very aware that others thought I was making a small thing in to much bigger than it needed to be, that I was “milking” a miniscule problem. Or that I was faking something that would grant me some kind of attention. This made the situation become unbearable and I became panic stricken. The fears of the unknown lead me to poor health, dramatic weight loss, constant fatigue and the loss of consciousness. Instead of hours dancing I slept, I cried, and searched for an explanation.

Trips to the doctor seemed useless. My complaints of symptoms fell on deaf ears. They tried telling me that I had asthma, depression, anxiety disorder, anemia etc… The tests included everything but the one thing I was in need of…an MRI. They say that you are your best doctor and I was sure that I had some type of brain tumor, but doctors shrugged it off and thought just like the others, that it was all in my head.

Time went on and as soon as I could I avoided dancing. I had to watch fellow dancers go on to dancing careers and make something of them self. I sat back and tried to dance behind closed doors, but the struggles persisted.

I thought that after being diagnosed I would feel a sense of relief. That there was something neurologicaly wrong with me, that it wasn’t my fault and that I just could not help the situation. But I still have a hard time forgiving my self and wake up from nightmares about something I used to find joy in. because of this I still look forward to the day that I can run jump and dance, and make up for those lost times. To try and redeem myself somehow.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuesdays with Morrie...

I recently finished a phenomenal book titled Tuesdays with Morrie. The book is about a college professor who is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s dieses); a former student has created this relationship with his college professor and meets with him every Tuesday. After the student graduates and Morrie is diagnosed they continue their Tuesday conversations. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons. This is in the same family as MS.

The day I was told that my MRI looked like I had MS they had to do additional testing to make sure it wasn’t ALS. The main difference that I could see between ALS and MS is that with ALS I was going to die in a matter of time. I remember while going to get my chest x-rayed and a spinal tap, I cried the entire time, fearful of the fatal disease. While reading the book I couldn’t help but write some of my favorite quotes from a dying man who has a whole new out look on life.

“Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past, with out denying it or discarding it. Learn to forgive yourself to forgive others. Don’t assume that it is to late get involved.”

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted even when you know you should never take anything for granted.

“With out love, we are birds with broken wings.”

“We put our values in the wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives.”

“No matter where you live what we human beings have is shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential stretching ourselves into everything we can become.”

“By throwing yourself into emotions, by allowing your self to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’”

“As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. Its more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”