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!