Sunday, July 27, 2008


Finally, my body is over the worst of the steroid side effects and I'm am starting to feel "normal" again. For me, IV steroid treatment simply kicks my behind. Now, I'm left with the residual heartburn (on a scale of 1-10 it's now a 2 where Friday it was around 125) a little GI turbulence, FATIGUE and the introspective thoughts that dance in my head. Piece of cake!

During my journey with MS, one vital lesson that I have learned (and it was actually the hardest) is the following: While my body takes the time it needs to heal after an exacerbation, my mind also needs time to come to terms with the exacerbation and do some healing. (Why does your mind need to heal you ask? Think about it for a minute. One day your "OK" the next your leg doesn't support your weight, your vision is blurry, and suddenly your slammed with the fear that THIS is the exacerbation that takes your mobility, your vision, etc.)!

The body part is easy. It heals or not, automatically on it's own. No extra action or effort required on my part. The mental/emotional healing, well, let's just say in the past it was easier not to deal with it. After all, takes work, forces me to face fears and doesn't allow me to deny what occurred/is occurring with my disease. It took me awhile to learn how important it is to do the work of the emotional healing. It was far easier just to ignore the FEELINGS I would have during and after each exacerbation. I would just move forward, one foot in front of the other and go on. Yet, I really wasn't "going on". Not dealing with what was happening was denial, plain and simple. It then made any "bump in the road" all the more difficult to deal with instead of easier.

As a result, I learned that it's only when I face all the emotions and fears that raised their ugly head that I REALLY heal and begin the process of moving forward and re-claiming my life. While it may appear to be easier, NOT dealing with the emotional aspects of MS will actually hinder physical healing and well being. It also makes it MUCH more difficult for those who love and support you to help and understand what your going through. After all, when I erect emotional barriers because I can't face MY fears, how can my loved ones help me? That barrier I erect trying to "protect" ME from my fears also keeps those who love me at a distance. Not to mention not turning to God and asking for the support and guidance I need. So, in effect I'm cutting off my own sources of help and support. Not too smart.

So today, as I spend time realizing that I'm feeling better and a bit stronger. As I realize I have in fact, come out the other side and the exacerbation is behind me, I will spend part of my day working towards the process of emotional healing. Facing the fears that whispered in my ears. The voices of the whispered fears with this exacerbation, at times, were as loud as to be shouts. While they are no longer shouting, the faint whispers are still there. Stirring up fears of "next time". THOSE whispers are the ones that if allowed to continue and aren't silenced create the barriers and impair healing. So, today I will face those whispers. Confront them head on and silence them. I will tell the fears that yes, in all probability I will have another exacerbation at some point in time, it may be mild, it may be worse. I may also NEVER have another. I will silence the whispering when I tell them that I refuse to live the DISEASE as I choose to live my LIFE and embrace the joy of each day and experience.

Take the time to silence the whispered fears in your journey as well. (No matter what your "journey is" be it called MS, Cancer, Depression or personal struggle). Embrace the joy you see in each day, take on each challenge knowing that ultimately every challenge you weather makes you all the more strong. When you overcome a challenge and silence the whispers of fear, take the time to savor the feeling you have at the moment of realization, "I'm on the other side. I made it across." Know that each day is a fresh start filled with HOPE. Hold on tight to your Faith, your beliefs and the love and support of family, friends and even complete strangers.

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