Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireworks. Celebration. And My Little Dog, Too.

I wrote this post as a submission to Grand Rounds, so it has info most of you are already familiar with but I had to fill in for strangers who might read it. The theme was "Celebration". I don't know if my piece will be chosen for this week, but the topic inspired me. :)

Fireworks. It felt like fireworks going off in my arm, hot, exploding white light.

I hit the cement patio like a meteor, my foot caught in a noose of loose wire that I never saw. My face was cut by my glasses, my hands were scraped and bleeding, as were both knees, but it was that arm where the fireworks were bursting repeatedly.

That was two years ago. I shattered my shoulder in that fall and have had three surgeries to repair it, including a partial replacement. But my arm still, for the most part, hangs painful and essentially useless at my side. And no one can figure out why.

Multiple Sclerosis is considered the most likely culprit for the lack of healing and constant pain. I have been diagnosed for five years now (a 50th birthday present!). And because of the mystery that is MS, an accident most people would have recovered from long ago continues to impact every aspect of my life.

MS has left that life, formerly organized, prosperous and going nowhere but up, in shambles. It cost me my career in executive health care. A widow and now unemployed, I cannot afford to maintain my beloved home, a charming Craftsman cottage, which is crumbling around me. Everyone I know is losing patience, constantly pressuring me to give it up. I am barely scraping by. I am a nurse and I have a Master’s Degree, but I am sewing to make ends meet, like something out of a 19th century novel.

So what do I have to celebrate?

I am still here, that’s what. I rise up from each blow and figure out what I can I do next. I keep reinventing myself. It can be almost a weekly occurrence, but hey, flexibility is my middle name. I am no Pollyanna. I do not accept that ridiculous deception that MS is a ‘gift’ that has helped me to stop and smell the roses. It is a cunning, vicious thief that has stolen so many things from me I cannot even make an inventory.

But what is left is precious. And that is what I acclaim. That I can continue to enjoy my beloved children, my adorable grandson, my wonderful, giving, loving friends. There is my sweet dog, who gives me unconditional adoration. There are the many rewards I get from writing my blog, such fun and so sustaining. There is the breeze that comes through my bedroom window in the early morning, cool and promising. A moment like that is a gentle fragment of bliss.

I soldier on. I will not profess it is easy to maintain, it's not, it's hard as hell. Some days, I can't get there. But I keep reasserting my maxim and working to internalize it. I read, recite, repeat: Life is good. Love it. Be grateful.




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16 comments:

The Mother said...

Kudos, Marie. Keep slugging.

Marie said...

Oh, you are such a wonderful, affirming, loyal reader!! Thank you so much. Praise from you is especially meaningful to me. :)

Jen said...

You are my hero. I am so glad you do not accept your MS as a gift, that in and of itself makes you a much stronger person than most. You are willing to fight for your happiness and that is incredibly impressive and inspiring.

Marie said...

Jen, what a beautiful comment. Thank you.

I am not a big hugger but you readers are such remarkable people. I wish I could hug each of you for your wonderful, sustaining comments. xoxo

Pricilla said...

Beautifully written. Life is the gift. Strength is the gift.
Never the disablitly

Lisa said...

A LOT of people could learn from you and how to handle their trivialities of so called ailments! Thanks for this timely post.

Marie said...

Thank you Lisa!! Thanks very much for stopping by and thank you for your supportive comment. :)

emily said...

Very inspirational! always look at the bright side because there are more things that matters most.
Thinking of the best way to secure your homes. Check this site out. best home security system

Jackie Fox said...

Wow. I just learned about you through Grand Rounds and if that's a compilation of earlier posts I'm going to have to go back and read more.

I'd kill to have written your fireworks analogy. I'm sure I can't completely imagine what MS feels like, but you made me feel like I could.

You're a warrior and my hat is off to you.

Marie said...

Pricilla, how did I miss your comment!? Thank you so much, I love that statement "strength is the gift". It is. It is a gift. I am lucky in so many ways.

Emily, thank you for stopping b and leaving a comment.

Jackie, I have to say, I was pretty proud of that one. lol But that is really what it felt like, like an explosion inside. Or like what I would imagine getting struck by lightning would feel like. Horrible. That fall was the beginning of a nightmare.

I am so grateful for you generous comment!

FishHawk said...

"Nourish" has been included in a special edition Thinking of Christmas Gifts in July Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new customers here.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2010/07/thinking-of-christmas-gifts-in-july_09.html

Marie said...

Thank you Fish Hawk, I am so flattered!! Thank you for being such a faithful reader, I am so grateful for that! :)

Anne said...

This was so inspiring. I am impressed with how you continue to soldier forward, appreciating what you have through your adversity.

Marie said...

Thank you so much Anne! I am really grateful for your kind words!

I love your blog! I was a small town mommy once too, but they have all flown now. So your stories make me nostalgic for when I still had four lively and fun characters keeping me hopping. :)

Becky said...

Your blog is beautiful and real! I look forward to following and learning more from you.

Marie said...

Thank you Becky!! Thanks for reading and thanks for your sweet, kind words!