Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Just a One-Hit Wonder

If you are on my Facebook page, this is old news to you. If not, I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This is on the heels of positive lupus antibodies in my bloodwork (ANA is positive and anti-RNP is positive). That is on the heels of a separation and move several states away. That is on the heels of the death of my beloved daughter. It's been a tough year, folks. (Image from here).

But you know what? I am a survivor. I've been in training my whole life for this kind of pressure. From the time I was a young child, I was in the midst of chaos, but I survived. Since 1994, strange things have been going on with my health, which doctors could not figure out. I've had every "possible" diagnosis under the sun, only to end up being told I had fibromyalgia. There are lots of other diagnoses long with it, which I won't bore you with, but that was the reason I was given for the pain.

This year reminds me of 2006, when I went through the loss of my mother, two neck surgeries, and many hospitalizations. Maybe it's because the 6 is like an inverted 9 and vice versa. Maybe that's the root of the problem. I'm hoping '10 brings a different kind of energy. I'm praying and believing int hat.

Most of the lesions are in my frontal lobes -- the seat of personality, learning, cognition, speech, and stability. Perhaps that is why I have craved learning so much in my later life; I've been compensating for damage that is being done to my brain. A neurologist (and several psych teachers) explained "neuroplasticity" to me in relation to brain damage. The brain is a marvelous organ, if you use it, and can create new pathways around damaged areas. To that end, I intend to keep learning, reading, and growing.

My partner Denise and I are practicing Spanish together. Some people who rent from her are Mexican and speak a little English. They've all done well in communicating with each other for the past four years, but it never hurts to learn a new language and grow your brain and its pathways. So today we've been working on some specific terms that helped her communicate with the young man who worked on the roof at her rental property. "Aplicar mas fino, y seco, y otra mas fino". In a rudimentary way, that's saying, "Apply a thin layer. Let it dry. Then apply another thin layer." He spoke pretty good English, but I could tell he appreciated us trying to converse in his native tongue, and it was fun. I took two semesters of Spanish but have forgotten most of what I learned then, because I haven't used it. Doing so will help my brain build new language pathways, and it will help Denise, as well.

I'm hoping that at 47 years old, my brain is still very plastic, very adaptable. I need for it to be. I need to make new pathways around these darned lesions that are scarring my brain.

I'm being referred to a neurologist in Atlanta who is supposed to be quite good. I asked the doc to send me to the neurologist she would go to herself, if it were her who was the patient. Denise also knows this doctor, so I am confident that I'm going to get great care. While I don't relish the thought of giving myself injections to treat the disease, I am willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy.

If you're the praying type, please add me to the list. If you're not, please send Reiki or other good energy to me. I believe that it all helps.

Wednesday, my son and his friend will be coming into town for an early Thanksgiving. We're so grateful they can do that, because I need to be with him right now. Not only did he lose his sister (and best friend) earlier this year, but he is now dealing with my diagnosis. After Stef's funeral, he told his father and I that we had to live extra long lives to compensate. I intend to do just that.

It is time for me to retire for the night, but I hope to start visiting blogs again soon.

Peace - D


Cloudia said...

You are in our hearts.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Mike Golch said...

You would think that you would be getting some good news for a change.Sorry to hear about the M.S. You are in my prayers

Maggie May said...

Oh no......... That is not fair.You have been through too much.
I thought MS was discovered much earlier on.

Some families seem to attract this type of bad luck. You seem to be one of them and I am the other.
Sorry to be so cynical. that is how it seems sometime.
If you don't know what I mean......... see my latest posts.(The one with the tree trunks and the one with the child's drawing.)
I will pray for you & you can pray for me. How about that?

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

I'm sorry to hear this m'dear but your positive attitude is sure to stand you in good stead. I'll include you when I'm sending Reiki and send positive thoughts too. x

Jo said...

I'm glad to see you are blogging again. I have to tell you, I have never met a stronger person than you. My gawd, you have been through so much this past couple of years, but you have also been blessed too, so sometimes the balance sheet evens out just a little bit, doesn't it?

Hilary said...

Sorry to hear of this diagnosis. Sending best thoughts.

Leslie: said...

As I told you on Facebook, my SIL has recently been diagnosed with MS, too. I cannot imagine the stress you're under with now, after having just lost your daughter. But it sounds like your determination will just get you through. For myself, I'm terrified I'll get Alzheimers like my mother and continue to do word puzzles like crosswords, etc. to keep my brain focused and working. I also took Spanish this past summer to upgrade it from my 4 years in high school and university and now have one student I tutor in the language. It's so important for us to keep our brains active because then our physical selves will also stay young and healthy. God bless!

Mental P Mama said...

This is heartbreaking news...but I already feel good about your Atlanta doctor...sending prayers your way.

Syd said...

I'm sorry to hear this news. I hope that the neurologist will help. I like your positive attitude. You're in my prayers.

Sarah said...

adding you to the list...

Blessings to you.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I am so sorry to hear this news, yet I can hear the determination and positive attitude in your words. Sending you lots of prayers and positive energy, I believe in both too.

Ruth D~ said...

I didn't know. Damn it, Doris!