For Fairness Sake

For Fairness Sake

What is fairness? Equitable living…favorable chances…justice…? What role does fairness play in this world; in this life?

Many often say, “It isn’t fair.” This statement so commonly heard, yet unexplained. What is it that isn’t fair? Is it life itself?

I believe that the world works in a very specific, though unpredictable, way…most of the time. Day-by-day, very little seems to change. But after some time, you look back upon a completely different time and recognize all the changes that have befallen; and very little is the same. For this reason, I believe that the world works as it does; because there is structure.

Of course we have choices; each one leading down another road. So to say it is “unfair,” I feel would be wrong. There’s always opportunity to make a difference…to make a decision…that will turn the sails of life. Though, these opportunities also sway the direction of the lives of those around you, and so on…the cycle continues. Like a game of dominos, life goes on with the choices made and we say, “It isn’t fair.”

The reality of it is that sometimes life isn’t fair. We get dealt a poor hand and see the doom it will lead to while others are dealt the lucky hands, destined to win…how unfair. Honestly, the facts of the poor hand vs. the winning are true, but definite they are not. It may just be that one time of chance. When one must lose some to gain some – a balance scale that’s not yet broke even. So, this is why I believe life seems unfair at times. The world must balance the countless decisions made, and some draw a short straw in the mix. But drawing the short straw is not always the worst scenario when you look and realize all that you’ve been given…all that you have…and all that you can do with that mini drink stick. You purchase a smaller beverage, but have room left for that chocolate desert you’ve been wanting.

Anyways…that’s just a simple analogy for something much more significant. I will not say that I feel my life is always fair, but I really hope to change that. So I’ll take a knee for the time being…to recognize the advances of others and appreciate the otherwise unnoticed components of my life. I’ve definitely been dealt fairness before in this life and will not let myself be defeated now that I’ve been handed this heavy weighted MS.

It’s all about balance. And the more you focus on defeat, the more help you give the world to defeat you. Why live a life that’s completely fair 100% of the time, when it’s in those unfair moments you really challenge yourself and push for equity?

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And I Get Up Again – Sorry, Not Sorry

When I look in the mirror, I want to love what I see. When I get up in the morning, I want to be grateful for another day. When I get out and walk around, I want to be proud of what I did. I want to be me and, for that, I don’t want to be sorry anymore.

Sometimes I just settle, as a floor board in my own home; a page to be written on in my own life’s book. I settle, at the mercy of others – saying sorry for things that are out of my control…for my existence in that particular moment. Why do I let myself be supressed, like my life is worth less than the next when I know that it is not?

“Never apologize for being in someone’s way. You have just as much right to be there as they do.” – anonymous

Of course I don’t want this to be taken out of context, where some sort of ugly dis-cooperation manifests. But, I do want to take this tool and fix what I’ve let be broken that has caused my loose use of the word “sorry.”

I cannot blame my MS for my poor self-esteem or my need to just give in and let others be comfortable. I care so much what I am thought of. I care so much for the happiness and convenience of those around me. I care so much that I forget to cover the hole in my floor, so that I may walk comfortably without falling down; falling behind. Though I cannot blame my MS, I can say that having it hasn’t helped build my confidence and self-efficacy. The struggles I deal with on a daily basis are not welcomed with open arms…

  1. My reflexes are obscure…slower, you can say…and I have a difficult time “acting fast,” especially under pressure.
  2. My coordination is poor; resulting in miscalculated movements and/or actions at snail speed to compensate.
  3. I have this wonderful spell of vertigo when I try to move quickly or get too warm, which leaves the world spinning around me.
  4. My left thumb and index have tendency to tremor, making it increasingly difficult for me to securely hold onto well…anything.
  5. I’m different…I’m special…I don’t do everything the way that everyone else does, because I have MS.

These important points contradict a lot of what society has made life about…of what society has become, in this day and age; fast-paced, convenience, low wait-times, quick fixes, accuracy, perfection…the list goes on. I can say that I am far from perfect. Though I should use this phrase with caution. If I say it as a means to put myself down, shame on me. If I say it because I am unhappy with my performance, shame on me. But, if I say it to humble and lay out my strengths, no shame shall I have. For if I lay out these strengths to walk upon, less will I fall. And, if I should fall, I’ll have my strengths around me to help me back up.

I don’t hate a lot….if ever…but I do hate feeling like I’m letting someone down just because I am me. Because, when I don’t feel that pressure, I do love myself.

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I do love all that I have to offer this world. If it be patience, let the world see me move. If it be gratitude, let the world see my fall. I love all that I am. So, I’ll get up again and say sorry no longer for doing what I can…for doing what I am able.

Oh My Shifty Eyes

Oh My Shifty Eyes

Oh My Shifty Eyes

On any casual afternoon, I walk through the store and scan the items displayed. There’s one of particular interest, yet the focus isn’t there. I try to decipher what’s written beyond the blurwhat does it read?

I can feel it almost every time it happens. When my eyes start shifting, such miniscule movements that are so untameable. I blink repeatedly, squint to narrow my periphery, and walk a little closer. Yet I’m forced to look away, walking away, and hope for better success the next time…

As usual, my neurologist tells me to look at his finger and follow it as he moves it swiftly from side-to-side, up-and-down; holding it at the end of each direction. However, in this last visit, he asked me if I could feel the bouncing. I DID indeed! Then he said it wasn’t as bad as it was last year…hmmm, interesting. He said, it’s called nystagmus. A loud bell went off in my head! Nystagmus. I’d learnt about it in school – when the eyes oscillate, involuntarily – an association of some neurological disorders…to put it briefly. HA! I love it when I understand what my neurologist is talking about! AND, this…this eye-shifting beast, nystagmus, I then realized had been bugging me for years. I thought it was just a concentration issue; cog fog. Which, it may be as well. But, it all finally made sense; like puzzle pieces fitting into place.

So, why does it all make sense? For some years, I’d find myself beginning to read – perhaps an article online or my book I really wanted to finish – but I lacked the visual focus. It was like I couldn’t concentrate on actually reading the material, but it wasn’t exactly concentration-related…I don’t think. It was my eyes! Because they didn’t want to focus on the words – like they kept going cross; slipping on the words and smudging them into a blur. THEN, it became a concentration issue. So exhausting trying to get these tiny, powerful sensory pieces to cooperate that concentration just goes “out the window”…out of sight, literally.

I remember when I used to be able to voluntarily shake my eyes…kind of strange, I know…and laugh at my older sister because she couldn’t cross her eyes. How odd to be so proud of these abilities. And now, it’s as though all of my flashy eye tricks have come back to bite me – now that they just wiggle whenever they want.

Interesting to hear my neurologist say that my nystagmus isn’t “as bad” as last year…but, I definitely second his opinion, personally. Because, fortunately, I have noticed an improvement in my concentration/eye focus. And I am very happy with this change! Though, I can’t say that I enjoy when my eyes start doing their shifty-jig; screwing up my vision and ability to complete a tiny paragraph…or even do some basic grocery shopping.

Gladly, I can still use my eyes – even when they’re bouncing – it just takes a whole lot more patience. Patience that I am 100% willing to work for because I now understand why. Because now there’s been a shift in my sight of this disease. How empowering knowledge can be.

Tired, Yet Restless

Tired, Yet Restless

Tired, Yet Restless 

One year ago, the sleep-filled nights and days of sole productivity were few and far between. I’d go to bed late and wake up early; 6:30 am latest. Even on the days with no agenda…no need for early rising. And, on these days, I’d sit; waiting for the energy to hit me – for the coffee to “kick in” – and give me motivation for a productive day of ideas and completed tasks…anything.

Now I think about all of this waiting I did and have been doing; waiting for energy, waiting for a job, waiting for the next day…waiting, waiting, waiting… and, to tell you the truth, I cannot pin point what exactly I’ve been waiting for that’s so detrimental to consider my days worthy.

Okay, I DO know some of the things that have kept me up or woke me too early for grace. One, is the biggest complaint of MSers…and I second this complaint…fatigue. I’m tired AND restless a lot of the time. Naps don’t help, coffee doesn’t really help, and not all days are equivalent; not at all predictable…except that there’s a GOOD chance I’ll be tired at some point. Two, is pain. What an uncomfortable feeling pain is. Changing positions over and over without really any immediate relief – and then I have this mental battle about pain killers; not wanting to be reliant on them…especially if they don’t really address the issue at hand – which may just be all in my head. Three, is treatment. What is my neurologist’s plan? Are the risks/side effects going to present themselves? When will these risks outweigh the benefits? What do I want? Another moment of truth is that I don’t really want to be on treatment my whole life…to be dependent on something so expensive; not just economically, but also physiologically. However, I like being on treatment because I’ve been able to do better and feel better and worry less about another awfully debilitating relapse.

So…now that I have those three points open…I’ll address what I want to do about them; and I’ll start by grouping them together as one unit. Because, they really are a package deal; I don’t get one without the other, AND they are all related to my MS.

About two weeks ago I had an appointment with my neurologist. I actually quite enjoy the visits; the coordination, walking, sensory and strength tests that he goes through. Every time I end up laughing at some point during them…even though I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s his demeanor; his casually comfortable approach to his routine. “How ya doing, kid?” “Walk around for me, kid.” It really helps me stay calm about an already stressful, lifelong situation. Anyhow, because treatment was on my mind, I asked him what his plan was. You see, the risks that worry me are serious – dangerous – and I am already at risk. But, I have been doing A LOT better…NOT that I’m better of course…and I’m still in the safe-ish zone, so he wants to keep me on it for at least another six months. Until December, this will be the plan.
I also told/asked him about my interest in natural methods. He wasn’t opposed to the idea…phew…but wasn’t eager to jump on the band wagon either. Unfortunately, I knew this would be the likely response. Naturopathy and medicine don’t often collaborate…to my knowledge anyways. However, I have been doing research on natural methods of handling my MS. There is SO much information out there! Diet. Exercise. Herbs. Oils. The list goes on…of course. But, from it, so many options that can be combined for a common goal; optimal health and wellbeing. I’ve read a number of stories of people who have MS and are living symptom free. I read their approaches – all natural – and am intrigued; curiously motivated to try these methods for myself. However, one concern holds me captive to waiting…waiting for my MS to be predictable, waiting to be at a stage in this disease that I no longer need treatment. Because, at one point, these people decided to stop treatment and rely entirely on these natural remedies and lifestyles. How terrifying.

Due to the fact that I want to be able to do the same, I’m making that my goal. I already lead a fairly healthy lifestyle; but of course there is always more than I can do…more that I’d like to do. Therefore, I know there will be more waiting…more fatigue…more restlessness. But I would like to start. I’ll be in touch with a naturopath and talk about my options – learn from them – and gain insight into what my body needs. I’m tired of being tired. So, restless, I’ll be. Restless for better. Restless for health. Restless for wellness. To face symptoms few and far between would be a time worth waiting for.