Monday, July 19, 2010
Emily used to love broccoli. It was my "go to" vegetable when I thought she needed something green to counteract the orange hue she so often had from too many carrots and sweet potatoes. I bought and steamed a few crowns feeling smug about the fact that my little girl LIKES a green veggie. She liked them for two weeks. Next it was corn. Couldn't get enough. When I served corn a week later, however, it may as well have been dirt.
It's not just Em's eating habits that are unpredictable. One week she can't bear to leave the house without Peter Rabbit. Suddenly she's lost without (of all things) a yellow plastic fork! Then there's her behavior... Don't even get me started.
My MS brings an even more daunting level of unpredictability to my life. For those of you unfamiliar with the disease, consider this MS 101... Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). The body’s own defense system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS vary from one person to another.
A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post that touched on how well-meaning, yet misinformed friends and family often make insensitive statements. So true! Upon diagnosis, reactions from others varied significantly from the friend who became terribly upset at the prospect of my death (MS is not a fatal disease) to the one who shrugged it off and said, "Well, I'm sure you'll be fine. You look great." She can't see my symptoms. I get that.
She's not the only one who assumes I can do things I probably shouldn't. I push the envelope too often and find myself with legs that buckle under me or a body that feels like I just finished a full day of skiing (I wish!) I think I try to do as much as I can before anything new crops up. The thing is, though, it might not! Ever! That's just how unpredictable MS is. More likely, however, I'll be faced with further symptoms that will force me to adapt to a new "normal." I don't know what the future holds, but I'm hoping the new "normal" will at least include a child who eats what I serve for dinner!