Not today

I think I don’t want to have MS today. I don’t want to take my injection today, because really, are you sure it is anything more than glorified water? And I’m tired of asking for help all of the time. “Will you help me in the bathroom?” or “Will you drive me to the store?” or “Can you help me get dressed?”

Because that is what my MS has done to me… turned me into a grown-up child. And today, I’ve decided I don’t want to deal with it. I just want my life, my future, my dignity, and my privacy back, which means I don’t want MS today. Truth be told, I don’t ever want to deal with this horrible disease again. And I don’t want Dan to ever have to deal with it again either. Same goes for Sue, Diana, Judy, Wanda, Ron and the other 400,000 Americans dealing with it too.

But life doesn’t work like that. Which stinks! Really, it does. So, I’ll be strong and push on like always, but I had to get that off my chest.

All better now… if only it was that easy.

So, where have Dan and I been? It was a crazy November. Crazy busy, and crazy in a good way. Here, I’ll ask him to share some highlights:

Indianapolis celebration
Finally, two months after our book, “Despite MS, to Spite MS,” was printed, schedules worked out and we drove five hours to Indianapolis for a weekend and celebrated our publishing debut with the designer, Stacy, and his family. Stacy was the best man at our wedding six years ago, and he carried through with the plans he and I made when we worked together at Central Michigan University: If I ever wrote a book, Stacy was going to design it. And he designed it better that we ever could have imagined it! What made this trip even sweeter was we celebrated with Stacy and his family the reality that they received long-awaited approval for adopting a daughter from Samoa. A great weekend celebration with the greatest of lifetime friends …

Metro Detroit presentation

A week after celebrating in Indianapolis, we had the honor of serving as the keynote speakers at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter’s annual meeting and brunch in Warren. Driving about three hours down to Metro Detroit on Friday evening, we finalized our PowerPoint and practiced our presentation that night in the hotel. While we were quite prepared, nerves and anticipation kept us from getting much sleep. It was one of the biggest events we’d ever spoken at! By Saturday morning, the adrenaline that came with speaking to more than 200 people overpowered our nerves and helped us to, as Jennifer says, “knock it out of the park!” It was amazing and we were so honored to have the opportunity to share our story and meet so many incredible people! And for as much as we heard that we inspired so many there, their stories inspired us just as much.

Iowa Thanksgiving jubilation

For the first time in our nine-year courtship, Jennifer and I made the nine-hour drive back to Iowa to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Guess we hadn’t ever thought about going back before because, well, it’s a nine-hour drive and I only have Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday off from work. It’d be such a quick trip, it just always seemed like it’d be too much. That was until there was Anna. Anna is the fourth of my brother and sister-in-law’s children who, as Jennifer wrote in her essay “Tick Tock” is her beloved goddaughter. She/we just HAD to see Anna again! And of course the rest of my family was great to see as well!

Indeed, it was the perfect time to truly give thanks for all our blessings, most notably our friends and family who make it easier to move forward with our life with MS.

In conclusion
After looking over Dan’s shoulder as he typed those past few paragraphs, I realize

1. Why I’m so tired and sleep deprived

2. I am so lucky to have so many incredible experiences

3. My MS, try as it might, cannot ruin me or my life. It is no match for my will.

But still, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with Multiple Sclerosis today!

4 Responses to “Not today”

  1. Judy says:

    Congratulations on so many fronts, the book, the speaking event, the family reunion and its celebration of new life, and, not least of all, congratulations on allowing yourself to express how you felt in that particular moment about MS. You honor us with your honesty.

  2. Brenda says:

    Thanks for being so truthful Jennifer, sometimes it is difficult to do that when so many people just want to see a smiling face with no venting!

    And as someone who was in the audience of 200+ I want say you did a great job with your “speech” and didn’t appear nervous at all. You showed us your heart and soul and we are thankful for that.

    People like you guys are my inspiration to keep going and not let this damn disease get me down.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the kind words and good wishes, Judy. And same thanks go out to you, Brenda. I really appreciate both of your support of my honesty. I, like you two, am doing the best I can.

    Enjoy the holiday season!

  4. Theresa Steele says:

    I hear ya loud & clear! Hearing the challenges of others helps me realize I have NOTHING to complain about! Praise the Lord for MS, it’s not fatal & it allowed me to meet some pretty cool Springsteen fans along the way:)

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