Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Because You Can't See It...




Good or bad, quite often throughout an ordinary day, I will see an object or a common sight and I immediately view it as a symbol of something else or as an object lesson for this thing known as life.

While walking the other day, I snapped a photo of this piece of a tree trunk that had apparently been sawed off after the tree had possibly fallen and blocked the roadway during a storm or something.  I noticed that although the outside looked normal, the inside of the trunk was hollow, looking as though it had decayed from within...and I suddenly thought, it was "much like many of us humans" who, for various reasons, are walking around seemingly fine, looking and acting healthy and without serious problems or concerns...who are anything but that, in reality.

That's the way it is for those who have conditions or diseases (such as multiple sclerosis or MS) that might have few outward signs that are noticeable to others, but produce many "invisible" symptoms.  There are currently three main types of MS:  relapsing/remitting (symptoms come and go and sometimes are not completely resolved), progressive (where symptoms never resolve, keep accumulating, and severe disability usually occurs more quickly), and secondary progressive (when relapsing/remitting becomes progressive).  With MS, even though we might appear to be "normal" and can seemingly visibly function in our daily lives much like the average person, we experience symptoms are as unique as each individual (along with their severity and duration), vary from one person to the next, and can include the invisible constant, chronic, or intermittent pain; numbness, tingling, or burning sensations; electrical, vibrating, and buzzing sensations in various body parts; problems with sense of vision, hearing, taste, smell;  bowel and bladder dysfunction; vertigo and dizziness; cognitive deficits, memory loss, inability to recognize, understand, comprehend, process, assimilate, interpret, or respond to spoken or written words or instructions;  confusion, disorientation, feeling as if mind and body are disconnected; unimaginable fatigue...just to name a few.

And just as the outwardly appearing normal healthy tree that happens to be invisibly rotten or decayed on the inside and can thus be toppled by a mild storm or bump...those with MS can be devastated or destroyed by an ordinary infection, a common illness, a stressful event or situation...that is otherwise just a nuisance or short-term problem for most individuals.  Can you understand this?  We get tired from trying to constantly explain and remind family, friends, and co-workers about what is happening to us, and we often feel as if we aren't believed, especially when we "look so good ".  Perhaps we should check into getting a group discount on tombstones that are simply engraved with "See...I told you I was sick!"  Come on, it's okay to smile or chuckle.  If we didn't have a good sense of humor we probably wouldn't survive nearly as long as we do!  ;)


(copyright Photo and post by C.J. - please do not share or copy without permission)

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Object Lesson for This Week



The weather was beautiful this morning, with plenty of sunshine, low humidity, and a light cool breeze that was very refreshing and energizing.  I was well into my usual route when something in the gravel and dirt just a few feet in front of me caught my eye as the sun was reflecting off of it.  Upon reaching the object, I realized that it was a long silver-colored screw about four inches in length (pictured above).  I picked it up and carried it with me for fear of someone, possibly me, running over it and getting a flat tire from it.  I know, from experience, how easily that can occur.  Just a few days ago that very thing happened to me.  

I had been on my way to buy a few groceries and other supplies when I noticed that the "low tire pressure" warning light had come on (one of the high-tech features of newer automobiles for which I am thankful).  I checked the tires and all had below normal pressure, but one was particularly low.   So I stopped at a local station and put the recommended amount of air in each tire and when I started the engine again, the warning light was off.  This lasted for one day.  

When I got in the car the next morning and started the engine, the warning light came on again, so I headed to the tire store and asked them to check it out.  They took the car in and after just a few minutes, one of the managers walked out to where I was sitting in the waiting area.  As he approached, he held out his hand and said, "We found the problem".  In his hand was a metal screw, shorter but larger in diameter than the one pictured above.  He said that the tire was repairable and it was being worked on.  Okay, they pulled my car back out into a parking space, I paid for the repair, got in my car and ran my errands.  Since then, in the back of my mind, I often wonder how long that repair will last and I also have fears of the tires picking up another foreign object, going flat or blowing out, and I will be out in the middle of nowhere when it occurs.  I know, I can't let those kinds of thoughts and fears deter me from going places and doing the things I need and want to do.

That tire suffered an assault or injury and, although it was repaired and taken care of, and it might continue to serve its purpose well, it will never be the same as it was before.  It now has a "scar".  When I thought about that, it began to remind me of all the different types of scars that people acquire...from the visible physical scars related to accidents, injuries, physical abuse, surgeries, etc., to the invisible scars on our hearts and/or our minds from mistreatment, emotional or mental abuse, neglect, misunderstandings, loss of loved ones through death, and broken relationships.  Those invisible scars are often conveyed in a people's eyes, especially when memories of the past are brought to the surface.  And even when life appears to be "normal" for them as they smile, move on, get involved in their careers,  participate in family and social functions, and perhaps begin new personal relationships, their scars will serve as a reminder of past hurts and heartaches...and they are forever changed.



(Post and photo by C.J. - please do not copy or share without permission.)




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"The Title"

"That special 3-letter title that can evoke feelings of fear, uncertainty, inadequacy, responsibility, importance, purpose, wonder, awe, pride, compassion, immeasurable and unconditional love..."Mom".  My heart is so full of overwhelming love for my sons...my desire is and always has been been for them to be happy, healthy, responsible, loving, giving, compassionate, respectful, respected, successful at whatever they choose to do and be...and to always know that, no matter what, they will always be loved and cherished by me." ~C.J. 

 

(figurine is Willow Tree Mother & 2 Young Children - Susan Lordi - Demdaco)


(copyright Post by C.J. - please do not copy or use without permission)
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Easy?




"I don't recall anyone ever saying that life is or would be easy; 
 if they said it, they were either delusional or they lied. "   ~C.J.


(Post by C.J. - please do not copy or use without permission)

Why I Dread Questions and Avoid Conversation...




"I learn something new every day.  And forget five other things forever." 

This quote is from a poster I saw recently and it is so true for me, except now I quickly forget the "new" thing as well!  Brain fog, along with short-term and long-term memory loss, is one of the most frustrating problems for me, especially when attempting to interact or carry on a conversation.  It's all related to my difficulty in keeping up with the flow of conversation and "information in" versus slowed integration and processing of information by my brain, speech difficulty and hesitation, word-finding difficulty, and not being able to remember what was just said.  It all stresses me out and it brings me further down when friends and loved ones give me that "look" and impatiently say things like "I just told you that!", "Oh, you have to remember her/him/that!", "How could you forget_ _ _?!", "You have to know that...you took that class!", etc. etc. etc.

I wonder how much of this is caused by the MS, thyroid disease, other autoimmune diseases, normal aging process, hormonal or chemical imbalances, unknowns???


I tell you these things, NOT because I'm looking for sympathy or pity; I'm simply trying to make you aware and help you to understand what's happening, why I am the way I am and do the things I do...


(copyright  Posts and photo by C.J. - please do not copy or use without permission)