Dawna Austin
Everyone has their own preferred method of escape from reality.  Mine (other than chocolate covered espresso beans) just happens to be movie theaters.  Where else can you go for 2 hours, escape to a world other than your own and temporarily forget your problems?  But I get ahead of myself.. I'd better start from today's beginning.


I had a fairly rough night last night .. not much sleep.  My entire right side of my body had decided to run another marathon of sensations and it felt electrically charged, but in a different way than in the past (during other MS attacks).  I'd love to describe it to you .. but it's something I cannot put words to.  The only thing I can describe is that my shin bone ached big time!  By morning, however, I was tired from not sleeping well and from all the nightmares involving pain (of course) and then realized that my left arm was numb to the touch as well.  This is a NEW symptom which I had never had before.  My left fingers previously were numb, but nothing else was wrong on the left side.    


Seven Zero Zero  .. that's what my son calls it.  It's the time the little kiddies are allowed out of bed.  If we didn't have that rule in place, I'm sure they'd be up with the birds at 4am!  No thank you.   So seven zero zero hit this morning and like it or not, another day had started.  Today is Sunday.  I had planned on going to church today.  I hadn't been since March due to the huge MS attack I had on April 1st.   It's been a rough few months.   So what was I going to do today?   I really really didn't want to go.  Physically I felt horrible, and emotionally:  completely drained.  I just wanted to crawl in a hole and die (okay maybe not literally, but it was tempting).   After much arguing within my being, I decided to drag myself out of bed and go with my family to church.  

Wow.. it was MUCH harder than I thought to actually be there.  As I sat there, and the people sang, I struggled within myself to try to join in. It didn't help that I didn't know any of the songs.  Not ONE song!   (How long had I been gone anyway?)  So, I just sat there, and held Julianna, trying my best to enter in.  I found myself looking at all the people there.. knowing that a lot of them had healthy bodies, and were able to do whatever they wanted.  There I was again, feeling sorry for myself.   It's something I struggle with so often -- envying the abilities of others.


I felt like a fragile vase, with hairline cracks all over it, just waiting for a single "tap" to set the complete breakdown in process.   Yes, and here it came.  Someone coming to ask me how I was.   I decided a long time ago to be honest with people when they asked me that question.  So instead of saying "fine" and holding it altogether, I decided to say, "really crappy", and there it was.  The waterworks flowed freely.   I again wondered why I had come.


Looking back, now I know why I had to go.   While I felt like a broken person, one that wanted to hide from everyone, I realized deep down that it is the connection with my fellow believers that really helps uplift me.   Their encouragement in the faith, their prayers and hugs -- the feeling that I'm not alone in this walk is what I needed today, and it's exactly what I received.  While I still didn't get any type of overwhelming feeling of His presence (I rarely do), I did feel that He sent people my way to pray for me and encourage me.  I left feeling not so alone, and a little stronger emotionally.


The afternoon was filled with other obligations that made the day fly by, which I think was good for me to keep my mind off myself.  It was then, just after dinner, that I thought it would be nice to take my son to see the movie "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time".   What a great way to finish off my busy day -- a time when I can jump into another world and have a little break from my reality.   It's funny how the weakness that we have permeates into every aspect of our lives -- we try to escape it, or believe that we can overcome it, but it always seems to rear its ugly head when we least expect it.   I was fully expecting to leave the movie and feel relieved that I had just escaped for two hours, but rather, I found myself pulling the storyline of the movie into my own life.


In the movie, they have the ability to use the "sands of time" to go back and change history.  Ooooooh (I thought), wouldn't it be great to go back in my past, and find that "trigger" that started my MS?  I could change it .. I could stop it ..  If only .. 
And that's exactly my problem .. the "if only's".  I seem to be stuck there sometimes.   All the famous people that had difficult lives and were known to have amazing character (like Mother Theresa)  -- one thinks of their life situation as "romantic".  "How wonderful to be such a great person and live through such adversity".  But, once you are in that "character-building" adversity, it's not so glamorous.  I find myself fighting it all the way, pouting like a school girl as to why I cannot do this or do that, instead of focusing on God's purpose for this bumpy road I'm on.   Even tonight, I was talking to Kirk and in that conversation saying "what if this is the valley, and from here it only gets better".  I'm hoping so much (once again) that my health won't get any worse.  I guess that's why when it DOES get worse that I have such a hard time coping with it.  I still struggle so greatly with why the Lord would want to put me through so much.. at the detriment of my family (and believe me .. the worse I get, the more things and people in my life get strained).   Maybe I struggle with control, the control of wanting to know the future perhaps.  If I ONLY knew that I would get better tomorrow, I could do today.  But, I won't know.  My arguments go round and round.  When will I learn?


As I sat here typing this, I felt a pain in my right forearm, so I rubbed it, then noticing a small lump in the vein on top of my arm. Oh great, something new??  Who knows what that is, but I guess it's something else that needs to be checked.   I've heard of blood clots post-procedure in your neck, but can you get them in your arm?  Hmmmm 


My body continues to throb but I feel a bit more encouraged today.   What would we do without the encouragement of friends and family?  They play a greater role than they might think they do.    I am so glad that I pushed through my insecurities this morning to get to a place where I received prayer, encouragement and hope.  To everyone who takes the time to encourage and uplift others in need -- thank you .. you are a great blessing to others!
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9 Responses
  1. bill harrison Says:

    Thx 4 the reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness in , what we perceive, terrible times of having MS.
    Keep the faith, it will keep you!
    ><>
    bill - BC1


  2. Dawna Says:

    Thanks Bill .. so encouraging to see your story on TV! I haven't heard updates on how you are doing .. do you have a site where you keep updates?


  3. cphag Says:

    Hi Dawna

    I'm so sorry to read about your bad luck with you MS and CCSVI.

    Have you tried Inclined Bed Therapy? It's really simple - just raise the head end of your bed by 15 cm. This has done wonders for my MS -it could do the same for you!

    It may not work immediately - in fact it may take as long as 3-4 months.

    Have a look at these links: http://andrewkennethfletcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/tracy-from-facebook-writes-about-her.html
    http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-8535.html
    http://inclinedtherapy.com/

    christian

    regards - Christian


  4. cphag Says:

    Hi Dawna

    I'm so sorry to read about your bad luck with you MS and CCSVI.

    Have you tried Inclined Bed Therapy? It's really simple - just raise the head end of your bed by 15 cm. This has done wonders for my MS -it could do the same for you!

    It may not work immediately - in fact it may take as long as 3-4 months.

    Have a look at these links: http://andrewkennethfletcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/tracy-from-facebook-writes-about-her.html
    http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-8535.html
    http://inclinedtherapy.com/

    christian

    regards - Christian


  5. LaVonne Says:

    You write beautifully Dawna, I really enjoyed reading this today.
    hanks for letting me in.


  6. Dawna Says:

    Christian, my husband just raised the bed about a week ago.. 4 inches. Not sure if that's not high enough, but didn't notice any difference. Will wait it out however to see if things get better.

    LaVonne, thank you for your lovely compliment! It made me smile :)


  7. Anonymous Says:

    We don't know each other, but we go to the same church. I found out about you through the prayer group I used to attend before a toddler kept me at home.

    I really appreciate your honesty. While I haven't dealt with such long lasting health issues, the past 17 months and counting have been spent dealing with life changing health issues caused by malpractice during childbirth and the wonderful wait to see a surgeon who could fix me that is our system here in CA. I finally went to the States for a chance at surgery to get my life back, and now just wait to see if healing will be complete through time and physical therapy.

    That whole adventure put me in a place with God and with others I never imagined. It's been a real time of wrestling and feeling alone. I can relate to what you said about seeing people at church and thinking they are all able bodied. For me, it was and is hard to see a new mom at church standing and walking normally when I was in bed for a few months and couldn't even walk properly. I actually get angry and envious and a bunch of other hard emotions. And it's hard to share honestly when people there would ask how I was doing.

    So with all this said, know that you will be in my prayers as you take this hard journey. One thing that has helped me this season is Joni Earickson Tada's book called The God I Love. It's her memoir that she wrote a couple of years ago, and I like it because she doesn't "blow sunshine" at you and isn't afraid to ask the hard questions that don't have real answers this side of eternity. I think that book kept me from totally losing it more than once.

    Sara


  8. Shannon Says:

    Dawna, About six years ago, I went through massage therapy training. One of our final projects was to give a report on two types of "alternative body works". I chose Rolfing and Reiki.

    I found a Rekei practioner in town (San Antonio, Texas) who is also a nurse. She invited me to one of their open sessions. I need to stress that I did not go in with an open mind. I kept thinking, "Reiki looks like voodoo." How can any problems be solved by another person waving their hands over another's body, and directing the bad energy out? Yet, I had heard that nursing schools give credit for Reiki, and NOT massage therapy, of which I heartily endorse. So, I went, and sat in the corner with my attitude. The lady in charge, one of several nurses there, asked if I wanted to lay on the table and be "Rekei-d". For the sake of my report, I did it.

    There were about three people over me. One was very serious, one was chatty, like we were at a quilting bee. The nurse asked me if I had sinus problems, that she felt static over my head. I told her that I'd had an on-again, off-again headache that weekend, but generally, no, I didn't have sinus problems. So, I left, feeling pretty smug.

    BUT, I had forgotten something. When I ate dinner that night, I realized that my teeth, that had been sensitive for months, were no longer! I had gotten so used to it, that I didn't even think of it when she posed the sinus question to me. And the word "static" was perfect for the sensation, like a shock every time I bit down. It had come out of nowhere, and I had it that morning when I ate breakfast. I could go on and on about my shock when I realized what had happened. The sensitivity returned a little bit two days later, but gradually disappeared altogether.

    Also, a friend had carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrist. I told her about my experience, and she happened to work with a man who said he could help her with Rekei, I can't remember the term, but he would do it from a distance, like at night, when they were both getting ready for bed, when things were quiet. To make a long story short, her wrist slowly got better. Now, that could be a case of the placebo effect, or a coincidence; it was getting better from her exercises, but in my case, I'm blown away that my teeth got better after months of shocking me after every bit down.

    I haven't had any other experiences with Rekei, but when you mention "electrically charged", I thought that I'd suggest finding an experienced Reiki practitioner and giving it a try. Nobody could be more negative and skeptical than I was, and I still am not sure what helped my sensitive teeth, but it sure is curious!


  9. Dawna Says:

    Sara, what a difficult thing you must be going through. The birth of a baby is supposed to be a joyous occasion .. it's difficult when what you come to expect, isn't quite what you had hoped for... esp. when it has lasting consequences. I too had a difficult experience with my last baby, and was away from my other children for a month after my daughter was born. Life is not easy. I pray that you recover quickly. I will look up that book that you recommended .. I'm sure it will be helpful!

    Interesting you mention watching other moms at church walking around with their little ones. I had a similar experience at church. Just when I think I'm getting better over the miscarriage I had in March, it seems whenever I see little babies, it just brings that raw hurt right back to the surface. I should be content with my 4 kids, yet I can't seem to shake that loss.

    Thank you so much for your encouragement Sara. If it's one thing I've learned over the past year, is that each person has something that they are dealing with, and I need to make sure I'm not myopic in my pain, but also realize others are hurting too... so I pray that the Lord truly meets you where you are .. and provides you with peace and comfort that only He can provide.