Friday, February 11, 2011

Another year, same disease, different outcome

It's always a week that sneaks up and seems to say "gotcha" without warning, so there's something about it. It's a week where I'm not in a good mood, and I feel down, until today, because I remember knowing, and knowing was better than thinking I was imagining things. (Quotes from "One Maker" by James Hersch)

I've had MS for 21 years, and 18 years ago today I was diagnosed with MS.

"Leaf falling, river running, flower dying in the fall."

I remember the neurologist said at one visit, "it's an exciting time to have MS ... (pause) ... I mean ..." We both smiled. As far as neurologists go, he was my favorite - maybe because he didn't specialize in MS? He diagnosed me with lovely MS, with my good friend Kelley there, as I was in school in Ohio. He let me use his phone to call my parents who were in Colorado. Thank goodness for all the people who helped at Kenyon - that is, the people who knew - I asked that not everyone be told - and that was honored. So the cross-country team, an econ professor, and the pastor of the small church there (and a few other friends). And I got better for awhile - I started to run again - I ran for about 6 more years.

"Dead of winter, spring's coming. Who can understand it all?"

We prayed - the pastor, his secretary, and me, in the basement, and I felt God and that everything would be ok. And the story repeats each year. God told me that everything would be ok. That's because God is there along the journey, which has seemed long.

"Time moving, earth spinning. Another new beginning."

"One Spirit in the world surrounds us.
One Savior with his arms around us.
One Maker with a promise for them all."

And I pause here for my statement - God doesn't have this grand plan so that I get MS and someone else gets abused and another mass killing occurs. Our God is a good God. God gave us free choice. Evil happens. God is with us along the journey. God does not decide who gets what, and who wins a battle, who doesn't win. God doesn't say Beth can have MS because Beth can handle it. But God is with Beth along the way, and it is by faith that I have worked through much of these past 21 years.

"One Spirit, one Savior, one Maker for them all."

Nothing seemed to help me, things somewhat slowly broke, and much went unnoticed by me and others who wouldn't notice certain things. And then came Ampyra - really the first thing to come and help me. Other things help other people and though happy for them, I wondered why nothing worked for me. And the journey continued. Ampyra doesn't work for everyone - I don't know how long it will work for me - but this year has been a different year for my MS.

"One Spirit in the World surrounds us.
One Savior with his arms around us.
One Maker with a promise for them all."

No one knows where a journey will lead. Every year this day comes and it's a reminder - "gotcha - you are mine." But this year perhaps I play a "gotcha." 8 months without an attack, even though Ampyra isn't supposed to stop those.

"Gotcha" - life is better.
"Gotcha" - I've come a long way.

There is still such a disconnect from where I came when this all started. I realize I have come so far these past 6 months (I actually have been learning how to crawl!), and yet, to the outside world, it looks like things are difficult. Sometimes things are difficult, but nothing like they were. And I don't know where they will go, but God will be with me.

18 years. 17.5 of those years spent with nothing but some small hope. .5 years of a turn-around. God there along the way, through good and bad.

"One suffering, one crying, One back against the wall.
One living. One dying. One learning how to crawl.
One given in sorrow. Praying for a new tomorrow."

"One Spirit, One Savior, One Maker for us all."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...'s hoping progress continues and you run again!