Tag Archive | finding joy

A Day With MS

It’s been awhile since I talked about living with Ken’s Multiple Sclerosis, so for those of you out there who are serving the same sentence as Ken, I thought I’d share what happened this morning.

I didn’t hear him get out of bed, but when I woke at 6:30 a.m., I knew he was up because the kitchen light was on. I fully expected to stumble out to our little bistro to find him eating a bowl of cereal–his breakfast of choice.

However, he wasn’t in the kitchen. He was curled up in a ball, sleeping in the hallway. I wasn’t alarmed because this has happened several times. All of a sudden, a wave of fatigue hit him and he became too weary to go any further, so wisely he gave in, took a nap, and then woke up about a half an hour later. His little nap gave him enough strength to get to the couch to take a longer nap.

For those of you who don’t struggle with this mean disease, fatigue is one of the things you must endure. Ken fights sleeping at odd hours; I think he sees it as a sign of weakness and to give into fatigue’s demands it is difficult for him. So when I saw him this morning, I knew today would be tough. We wouldn’t be leaving the house today.

But that’s okay. It’s frigid outdoors again today, and this afternoon the Football Conference Championships are on television. As avid football fans, we’ve planned our snacks and look forward to an afternoon of hooting and hollering for our favorite teams. We have become expert at taking a small event and making it something special. The little things that come along have become special. We have had to slow down and search for happiness as we struggled through the bad days.

Looking forward is a much better than dwelling in the pass. But living in the present is where its at, even when the days starts with a nap on the floor.

A Search for Normalcy in a Sea of Sickness

Which wayLately, my posts have been rather mundane. I’ve even skipped a day or two because I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to discuss, and that’s a personal disappointment because it was my goal to write a piece everyday. I had hoped by now that I would have a huge following–but such has not been the case. So, what happened?

Life got in the way.

If you are one of my faithful followers, you know that my father is waiting to take his last breath. I try to see him in the hospital everyday, but even that goal has not been achieved. I know our time is short, but I also have my husband to consider. Sometimes he’s not able to walk and takes falls. It has become so often that we’ve made a joke about it. Remember when I told you about the Cool Runnings reference? And then there’s a dear friend who also needs someone to help him. He’s suffering the lasting trials of diabetes. He’s become so weak that he cannot drive, and about once a week he needs me to take him to an appointment.

So right now, this is my life. I’m surrounded by sick men, who need me in one way or another. Not my choice. Just my circumstance. I was raised to be in service to others, or so I was told by my mother. I guess she was right because as much as I’d like to run away and leave all of this pain and suffering in my wake, I can’t. I need to stay the course, live everyday to its fullest, and try to find the joy along the way. It’s there somewhere–it’s just more challenging to find it these days.

Yesterday I got a little piece of heaven when Ken and I went out for lunch. This time we opted for Applebeas, which was really more expensive then the $4 Senior Special at Burger King, but we hadn’t been out together like this since Valentine’s Day. So, we had the joy of sitting across the table from each other, talking about things that didn’t involve sickness. For one short hour, we stepped away from our normal surroundings of the living room and enjoyed each other’s company like we used to do when we were dating. It didn’t even bother me that I had to cut his chicken breast because the tremor in his right hand has become so severe. Our little impromptu outing gave us what we both needed–a little normalcy in what has become anything but normal world.

So when your life becomes overwhelming with defeat, remember you can still find joy in the simplest things. A lunch away from home. The beauty of Spring flowers. A phone call with a friend. Just step away from what’s bringing you down for a minute or two and your soul will be rejuvenated.