Dawna Austin
Walking down the aisle of the grocery store, it hit me.  I have MS!  Where did that come from?  Years later, the realization of this disease still hits me square in the face, just like that first day in my doctor's office where I heard the "I'm sorry, your spinal tap shows positive for Multiple Sclerosis".  Why is it that it still feels like a dream, rather like I am watching a movie of someone else's life?  "Surely, this cannot be reality".  Sadly, it is.

At times you settle into the normality of it all and plug along in your day-to-day tasks, adjusting your calendar to match your current strength (both physical and emotional).   I think that's when you can almost forget that this disease is tagging along for the ride -- when you stop thinking about it and go about your daily routine.  You move from task to task, focusing on all that needs to be done, and that is when those sharp realizations flash into your head of "Pssst, remember, you have MS".  Crap, I had almost forgotten to think about it .. thanks (NOT!) for the reminder.   You relish those moments that you "forgot" ... you almost feel normal at that point, like all those other blessed people walking around that you so desperately want to be like.   Don't get me wrong, the disabilities still reside within you .. you still experience them, but they almost become your new normal... to the point where you adjust to compensate for them and it becomes second nature -- you just don't think about them (momentarily).   

It seems that the more I try to find a solution for this wretched road I am on, the more my body seems to react.   I have tried several of the "injection" type of drugs that are recommended for MS.  Each one made me so very sick to the point of not being able to get out of bed.  So, at this point, I am not on any MS medication, and believe me, I am glad.  Last Fall was a very dark period of time for me physically due to the drugs.   I also took a Lyme test which came back inconclusive  -- neither negative nor positive (really?).  "Further investigation required", I am told.  This MS road is constantly winding and around each corner, you think you will find answers, but they are only one mirage after another.   Maybe there are no answers?   

I started feeling "off" every time I drank coffee, so I cut that out.  I loved that morning ritual of drinking a nice hot cup of coffee to start my day.  So many things I've had to "cut out" ... could I not at least keep coffee?  I don't eat sugar, gluten, dairy, preservatives.  The list goes on.  MS just seems to take and take.  On the other hand, it does give a lot too.   It gives me the opportunity to learn to receive (I'm not too good at receiving gifts and help).  It gives me humility -- I've had to learn to say  "I can't"   (I'm a slight over-achiever).   It's given me the ability to appreciate the smallest of things, and to not take anything for granted.   It's shown my kids that life is not all about "what you want" ... life is a road of good AND bad (I grew up thinking that as you got older, life got easier -- I was in for a rude awakening).   MS has given me eyes to see the pain of other people, rather than to just look away.  

So, what's happening right now?   I am not on any MS drugs, nor do I want to be.  The options are too scary and I've already written off 2011 with that "experiment".  I will continue to research ways to help my body heal as much as I can.  I will continue to pray for God to take this from me.  I will continue to pray that my kids can deal with the pain of how MS affects them personally. One - step - at - a - time.  I cannot even think beyond today.  If I do, fear lurks at my mind's door about what the future holds, and what it will take away.   




Today I choose to look at my blessings -- to focus on what I have.  I hear fear knocking at my door constantly.  If I even turn to answer, it will gain such a hold that it will be hard to recover from.  I will choose another door.





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"Need You Now (How Many Times)"


Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
'Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now