Monday, September 26, 2016

New Path in Life - New Challenge

Beth (left) and myself (right) at a CPSA convention

I have been trying to decide whether or not to let people know what is going on in my life. I don't believe in completely opening up my entire life online, especially on Facebook and other assorted social media sites.  But, often God leads us down a path we did not expect. One that He knows will be very difficult, perhaps even painful, but the end result may be that we are able to help others who also are going down a similar path in their lives.

I don't know where God is going with this new path. I'm not sure how I can help other people, but if God wants me to help others He will provide a way. I do, however, know one thing: God has never let me down and I know He never will. There's a reason for everything that happens. I may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I know it's there. And I know that with every step I take, God is walking with me, holding my hand all the way and leading me safely down this pitted and booby-trapped road. He will lead and guide me and I trust Him with every fiber of my being.

So where in the world am I going with this?  Well, here it is: Nine months ago I was diagnosed with MS, or Multiple Sclerosis. MS is an incurable disease of the central nervous system, but fortunately there are treatments that can help slow down the progression of the disease. So when I was given my treatment options, and yes I was allowed to choose my treatment plan, I chose the one that seems to have the best results in slowing down the progression of the disease with the fewest side effects. It means giving myself a subcutaneous shot three times a week for the rest of my life, unless, for some reason, the disease progresses to the point that I need to switch treatment plans. I'm hoping that won't happen.

Look Into My Eyes
After my diagnosis, I went to many bad places. I’ve had my crying spells and pity parties. I questioned God. "Why me?” I asked. “Haven't I been through enough in my life?" As though that's actually a valid question. We all have terrible times we go through in life but that doesn't mean we get an exemption from anything else bad happening to us. Then, I made a decision.

I may have MS, but I don't have to let it control my life. I still work at my full-time job at Monterey Mushrooms. I still do housecleaning and mow the lawn (though all of you who know me also know just how much I dislike housecleaning and try to avoid it like the plague). I still help people move furniture and I still try to exercise, though, to be honest that last part doesn't happen nearly enough (and to think, I used to be addicted to exercise!). I try not to think about whether or not I should do something based upon how my MS may affect me. I just do it. The only exception is the heat issue. Simply put, I melt in heat and humidity. Seriously. I melt. I think it's mostly because I spent half my life up north. I grew up not far below Canada. I LOVE cold weather, snow, and ice! Well, it seems that heat can exacerbate MS symptoms, so sometimes I do think about that if I have to do something out in the heat. Mostly, I just live my life and see what happens. Just like the Christie Lane song, "One day at a time, sweet Jesus." 

The most common symptom of MS is fatigue and sometimes I have that in spades! Many of the medicines used to treat MS cause fatigue, which is a double whammy. The medicine I chose does not cause fatigue and that's one of the reasons why I chose it. I get tired enough just from the MS itself. Honestly, fatigue is my biggest battle right now. Well, I do also have a serious lack of focus and I can get distracted more than a teenage boy with ADHD. That all means I need to be more organized, take good notes, and jot things down on the calendar. Uh huh. I’m working on that calendar bit too.

I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but I haven’t even mentioned my art yet. Well, here it is: I am trying to do my art, but if I were honest with you I’d tell you that it’s not easy. Remember that lack of focus and getting distracted bit? Add to that the fact that I’m post-menopausal and you’ve got a whole new ball of wax to deal with. I’ve now got projects started in clay, watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, and three in graphite, plus a statue I am working on. I get started on one, then pause for a day on it and get started on another project, and then another, and………well, you can see where this is going. I don’t get a whole lot done, but really I’m trying. If I could just stop getting distracted………… wait, what was I saying?

Now that all of that news is out in the open, onto other news. I do have a new camera, thanks to my wonderful husband, so I can take some more photos to post here. I do intend to get more artwork done, that is actually completed. I’m hoping I finish them before my mind wanders away and can’t find its way back. I have a LOT of plans, and I may even get some done before too long.

So keep me in your prayers, but don’t overly worry about me….and if you happen to find some extra energy just hanging around looking for something to do, please send it my way.

Pinky & Rosie

Morning Devotions