Tag Archives: wego health

When Multiple Sclerosis and Lent Collide

Adding God to the MS balance beam

 

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Due to Holy Week Services (and, let’s be honest, the WEGO Health awards ceremony- yea!) I am posting this week’s blog a day early. Also due to Holy Week, this blog has a spiritual tint to it. I hope though, that even my non-believing friends will enjoy it from the aspect of how it incorporates another one of the elements of living with multiple sclerosis.

And really, how can you not believe in a higher power? I mean, God is freaking awesome! The sun, the moon, the Earth, the oceans and on the eighth day he created the Rolling Stones! How can you not love the creator of all that!! For me, Jesus is my God. Only someone that cool would be capable of creating Keith Richards and keeping him around past his over ten lives thus far. But no matter what you believe dear readers, I wish you great health and many, many laughs always….

 

I think I messed up the Lent thing. As a Christian, I was excited about the approach of this time of year. We use this time to grow closer to God with prayer, almsgiving (does trying to make people laugh count as almsgiving?) and fasting.

My goal was to take advantage of this opportunity. I saved change to put into the little cardboard box that was our church’s mission project to support Catholic Relief Services. I even put in quarters. When it was time to turn the box in on Palm Sunday and it seemed a little light, I even took some change out of another jar where I had been saving for my Lions Club.

 

Speaking of my Lion’s Club, I also fed the crew of a local Habitat for Humanity project in our club’s name. I didn’t have time to get fellow Lion’s to help me but that was ok as it was supposed to be a small crew.

The numbers increased however and thus it was that my fatigued MS self was slapping together ham and cheese on a windy morning for hungry construction workers. And unfortunately, as far as I could tell, not a one of them was single! (Not that that had anything to do with why I was there of course, it was about almsgiving.)

When two fellow Lions asked me to help them clean the God given beach, I did put a stop to that. Really, how much almsgiving can you do???

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For the prayer portion of Lent, I obtained many books about Jesus and set to grow in my relationship with Him. It worked; I have enjoyed a lot of what I read.

But here is where MS screwed me up. My brain takes much longer to process information. So, while I was reading all of these great spiritual works, I was taking up a ton of time in my already pretty crowded with exhaustion, day. That left no time for the things I should be doing for my general health.

Suffice to say, what I wound up unintentionally giving up for Lent, was working out with my Wii Fit. Officially, I gave up casual reading for Lent in favor of more involved spiritual material and was planning on curbing my sweet tooth. But before I realized it, I was fasting on getting exercise and I am not sure that counts.

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With MS there is so much you should do and so little energy to do it in. With Lent, there was so much I wanted to do and only forty days to do it in. Ok, technically, you don’t have to stop the prayer, almsgiving, fasting routine just because Easter arrives, but having a time table sure helps to keep you focused.

That is when I figured out where I went wrong. Focus is the key word.

There are always going to be more things I want to do and more things I have to do and I will always have to walk this MS balance beam of energy supply. Some days I may do it well, other days not so much.

But if I put God first, maybe I won’t have to balance Him with other things. Not even with MS. Maybe Jesus is the balance beam of energy. With Him first in my world, everything else will fall into place, even my Wii Fit, after it gets over being mad at me. Perhaps I will bring it an Easter basket….

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Here is the other thing I learned, as it says in scripture, “it’s never to late to start all over again.” Wait, maybe that isn’t scripture, maybe that is Steppenwolf. I will have to check my notes. I have also really been into 70’s music lately.

 

The point is, everyday you just have to give life your best shot. Wait, shot is not the right word. Jesus is all about peace and love, not violence-no shooting…

Ok, let me try a third way. We are humans and as humans we are total screw ups. But screwing up isn’t always bad if we can learn from our mistakes and keep our focus on what is right and what is good for us.

And, no matter how hard you try, you can’t use Lent as an excuse for not exercising!

 

(Check back in April for a “get fit” plan progress report!)

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Flipnastics, Again

Incidental MS sports

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Thank you to WEGO Health for making me one of the ten finalists for their Hilarious Health Activist Award! It is so fun and exciting to be nominated and I am in amazing company!

Yesterday a handsome FedEx guy delivered an unexpected package. The handsome FedEx guy should not be confused with the handsome UPS guy who delivers my drugs and who didn’t show up last night- hmmmm…..

Inside the box was another box with ribbons and a bow and inside that was fun party goodies to make a celebration out of the awards ceremony this week. Stay tuned! Win or not, I was thrilled to be nominated which came from readers (and the people I bullied into nominating me,) so thank you!

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If you are a regular reader and the following post seems familiar, your brain fog is not acting up. March has been a little insane so I thought I would re-post the very first blog I ever wrote. If your brain fog is acting up, you likely won’t remember reading this the first time. So conintue on to see how how multiple sclerosis has made this normally clumsy girl super agile….

Like with everything else related to multiple sclerosis, it makes no sense that this disease would turn me into an Olympic worthy gymnast. It makes no sense as my whole life, I have been an athletically challenged klutz.

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I still remember clinging for dear life to the neck of my 3rd grade gym teacher as she tried to get me to flip over the uneven bars. Those things were high! She might as well have been telling me to jump off a water tower. With my panicked cries and the limited breathing my clutching her neck was causing, she finally put me down and let me skip that exercise.

Entering into the middle grades I thought I might play basketball. My grandfather had loved that sport and really, how hard could it be?

My two memories of participating were of confusing the referees and saving a crucial game in an embarrassing way.

In the former, I was on the bench where I spent most of the games when the ball came right at me. I caught it and was quite proud. It was a good catch and I thought everyone in the stands would cheer. But apparently, as I learned, catching the ball when you are not on the court is not the way to play. Fans jeered and the refs got into a debate on how to fairly resume the game.

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The latter incident consisted of an exciting match-up against our arch rivals and I was actually on the court, defending an opponent. I managed to keep the high scorer from getting the ball when a throw bounced directly off my head. I was dizzy and mortified as everyone laughed, but we won. I will take credit for that win, thank you very much.

I’m not sure how far back you can go in blaming MS for your clumsiness but as I have learned to do with many things MS, I will blame MS for everything. Weird then, that through the illness I have picked up some incredible gymnastic feats. For example, I have become an excellent flipper, the 3rd grade trauma non-withstanding.

Two years before my diagnosis, my then boyfriend was visiting and wanted some ice cream. As he only wanted a little, I got a mug down from the cupboard. Everyone knows that even if you fill it to the brim, and go back for seconds and thirds, ice cream served in a mug instead of a bowl has far less calories.

The quart of cookie dough was frozen solid and I didn’t want my new love to have to wait. And I hadn’t yet learned the trick of running the metal scooper under hot water. Nor did I believe the trick about microwaving the whole quart for a few seconds.

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I struggled and struggled with the scoop until I formed a perfect ball of creamy sweetness. But I couldn’t get it out of the container. I pulled and pulled and the scoop of ice scream suddenly flew out of the quart, rose several feet in the air, did three flips, and landed dead center in the waiting mug. Amazing!

That was a 9.987 for difficulty and a 9.998 for execution. Hey Dorothy Hamil, take that and the silly haircut my mom made me wear in the 70’s-ha!

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(2013- added note. I have shared this post with many, many people and no one caught that Dorothy Hamil was actually an ice skater not a gymnast/flipper. Go figure! Maybe no one caught it as it was all MS people with brain fog I was sharing this post with. I only figured it out now as she is on this season’s Dancing with the Stars. And now, back to blog.)

 

But no one saw it. All my date witnessed was me laughing hysterically and trying to explain the reason for the giggles while also trying to breath.

Recently, I was putting on mascara. Quite a brave feat for some MS’ers as my sister Laurie has stabbed herself in the eye with the wand on many occasions. I was feeling brave though so I confidently applied my make-up.

Suddenly, the wand shot out of my hand, rose three feet in the air, did three flips and then wrote out my name on my back and on my floor. 9.854 for difficulty, 9.8675 for execution.

Ok, so maybe it is a stretch to say the wand spelled out my name. But as I looked at my left shoulder in the mirror, the splashes of brownish/black took the rough form of a “y” and a “v”. Where the wand landed on the floor was a circle blotch “o”. Perhaps I have to keep working on that move to get the spelling of my whole name.

So maybe we are onto something as MS has made me good at several sports, not just flipping. There is the sport of Falling Down Gracefully Without Getting Hurt and the Dancing Rhythmically Down the Bottom Portion of a Staircase if you Miss a Step or Two, sport.

The staircase event is a little dangerous and I, for one, need some work to compete in that arena. And maybe protective gear.

But I have also almost perfected the Elegantly Gliding Around Your Floor When You Spill Something Slippery On It competition (2013- ahhh,  now we actually get to Dorothy Hamil).

Many MS’ers do okay in the balance beam events as long as spectators realize that the balance beam is actually the ground.

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How come these feats of wonder aren’t worthy of a medal?

How come we are only able to compete in them when we aren’t trying to?

How come we aren’t being filmed at the time or witnessed in any way when we obtain the perfect aerial feat?

It really sucks when you have this talent but no one is around to view it or believes you when you describe it.

Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s MS, of course it sucks.

To see all the WEGO Health Activist Award check out their Facebook page.  To learn more about them, check out their website,  www.wegohealth.com

 

 

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