Continuing with the subject of how MS has impacted my life…
I find that the attitude is more important than symptom. My neurologist said that if I could learn, if I had a positive community and a sense of humor I would be just fine. I am a compulsive learner, stay away from negativity as much as possible and have is wacky, unstoppable sense of humor—until I’m out of energy and then nothing is funny. Image by Microsoft
I do not say “my MS” because it is not mine; it’s not a part of me, nor a part of God’s design for my life. It is an invader. It is the enemy of my soul and of my life. It is an affliction that I am to resist; in cooperation with God, I’m working to flip the results. It has become something like working with a partner you don’t like but are assigned to work with anyway, until the chronic illness can be pushed out of my life. That process of resistance is God’s workout room where He develops character. Developing spiritual strength and character is the process of “becoming sons,” ones who inherit (John 1:12).
Jesus paid for your son-ship and mine, but you and I are responsible to develop the character of a son. The attitude I am working on is humble submission to the Father’s sculpting hand, remembering always that the relationship with my God is more important, it is bigger than this “minor affliction.” If it is God’s decision to develop my character by allowing the enemy of my soul to take his best shot, that is His decision. My decision is to work with Him in developing character and not complain about the means He uses. I trust God’s judgment.
That’s not to say that I am always sweetness and light. There are days…
The last symptom I am going to discuss in this series is balance and mobility. Years after the attack I learned that the stiffness I have to deal with is a response of connective tissue to trauma. It thickens around the place of injury to help support the injured area. Interesting. My body has been stiff all over; walking feels like I am pushing against a wide rubber band! Then I found out that I really do push against stiffened connective tissue which is helping support me. So as I am pushing hard I easily spin out of control. And my vision doesn’t help by giving me several images to choose from!
Balance is tricky. MS has put a nasty wobble in my line dance. The legs don’t receive all the messages that I send them all the time, which results in a sort of spasticity. And due to the impaired mobility I move less, resulting in loss of muscle strength. I must be very careful when I move because my body may move but my brain doesn’t keep up…vertigo and I start to list hard to one side.
I have fallen a couple times and torn my knee. Once, I was sure I broke my foot; it swelled up like a club, all purple, but it turned out to be only a bad sprain. That always kept me off my feet and resulted in a break in the exercise routine—not good. When I walk I either take an arm or use my walker and for any distance we use a wheelchair. I wonder if any of those wheelchair groups do line dancing! That would use up my energy in a hurry.
I am looking for the gifts along the way, the nuggets of wisdom the Lord has hidden for me to find. Yes, there are many limitations; that’s my reality, but I have taken a stand to not dwell there. I am looking forward to the restoration of all things and for the day that I will stand before Father God who will remark about the amazing family resemblance. I want to use this disease to develop that likeness to Christ!