denial Archive


Grasping For Straws

Grasping for straws

I consistently try to acknowledge that many people may consider me a best-case scenario for living with a chronic illness. Let me also openly say that my family and friends are of utmost support. It’s the never ending dependency on them that’s wearing me down. I want to go about life on my own terms. I want to go where I want, when I want and with whom I want. No questions asked. I realize that sounds like something my younger self would say, but that’s exactly what I sometimes feel multiple sclerosis has dragged me back to. The truth is that Nicole died thirteen years ago when MS entered my life.

I’m embarrassed to truly admit that I’ve only recently acknowledged to myself that I will never be who I use to be.

The dying optimist in me always thought that if I got on the right medicine, did the right physical therapy or perhaps the right diet that I’d somehow see a resemblance of my former self.

Yeah right!

I’ve been consumed with trying to dodge these nasty, hurtful bullets of MS. I’ve been hit a couple of brutal times leaving some long lasting scars behind. Scars I’m learning to live with. My dad’s doctor said in regards to my fighting multiple sclerosis, “It’s like grasping for straws”. Intellectually I understand this, as I am well aware there’s no cure, but what’s my alternative? I’m still here and insist on maintaining the highest quality of life possible for my family and me. But at some point I have to realize that chances are I will not dramatically improve physically. That’s a scary thought, though it’s not the case for everyone. The worse some will see is a limp or maybe not even that. Moreover, this disease has been proven to hit black women harder. The only thing that can continually morph into something better is my attitude and perspective. That in itself brings me a bit of much needed solace, in fact I wish the best-case scenario for all of you too.

I will always have hope.

So I guess opting to pretend my shenanigans will actually effect change in my outcome is a bit of denial mixed with hope. Each served in the right amount I actually recommend. Yes, I crave my old independence. I sometimes cry for it. I still morn the loss of it. But after I get a grip on reality and become grateful for what I do have, I wipe my tears, take a deep breath and then…continue grasping for straws.


When Nature Calls

I came very close to not releasing this post, due to its inherent personal and humiliating nature. But at the last minute, I put my big girl panties on and decided just maybe someone could relate and perhaps even empathize.

This past week we noticed a sudden decline in my health. The things that I had been able to do for a while, I could no longer do! Plus, you remember that entire post about me transiently losing the use of my legs? Well it is still happening. At times I’ve been extremely fatigued while other times I am as normal as I can be.

Now I know what was causing such a dramatic change in my condition. Have you heard of urinary tract infections (UTI) or bladder infections? I don’t tend to experience the typical symptoms of a UTI, instead my MS symptoms just get worse. This means I get extremely fatigued and have more trouble ambulating. The bad part is I know how UTIs affect me, but I totally dropped the ball on this one! I failed to see it coming, even though I was having to use the bathroom four times an hour! Guys, I can barely walk so making it to the bathroom in a timely fashion sometimes just isn’t possible! There were accidents to say the least. I mean embarrassing life changing accidents, as I perceived it.

The one that finally sent me to the doctor occurred at my mother-in-law’s house!!!!! I was mortified! Someone was in the bathroom so I ended up letting lose in my sister-in-law room!! AGHHHHHHHH!

How did I get there? Well, originally I thought I could hold it until the bathroom was free. If I had known Tommy was the one in the bathroom I would have banged on the bathroom door like a mad woman. As it was I didn’t want to make a scene. Ha! So I came up with the bright idea to look for a towel that could possibly intercept the impending flood. I frantically side stepped into his sister’s room. I was cupping myself like I could catch the urine as it flowed like a river out of me! Standing there gripping the wall for balance while holding myself I thought I was going to die of pure shame!

I finally yelled for Tommy. Both him and his sister came running in the room. They both started cleaning up the foul smelling urine.

“I’m so sorry.” I whispered to his sister.
“I’m so sorry.” I managed between sobs.

She smiled and said, “Nicole, I have a 3 year old. This is nothing.” I was immediately relieved but somberly  guarded and replied with a half hearted smile. After Tommy had completely fumigated the bedroom and bathroom, he asked me if I wanted to go to the store. I said, “Sure I need to pick up a case of Depends!”

Later when we returned I called my doctor. My mood was slightly lifted as I now had protection and was headed in the right direction. His sister knocked on the door, peeped in again and reassured me everything was okay.

I naively like to think that my mother-in-law didn’t have a clue of what had just taken place!

Sometimes denial works.


Serenity Prayer

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it. -W.W. Bartley

Praying Hands

Serenity Prayer

It just so happens that I am writing my new post on the same day of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This morning when I woke up I attempted to get out of bed, but unexpectedly slid to the floor! In the background my television showed continuous news coverage of the terror attacks from 2001. I usually use my walker around the house and my wheelchair only for outside excursions but today I have been using my wheelchair inside the house. If this is my only problem on 9/11/11 then I should feel lucky.

Of course, I didn’t welcome this “new normal”. Remember, it’s the period between the “normals” that is the hardest. I don’t welcome any of them. But who would? Who wants to be introduced to a “new normal” that excludes most things you consider normal? As a matter of fact, I saw my leg strength weakening for quite a while. I usually see these “new normals” peaking around the corner but DENIAL, my no good dirty bastard friend, keeps me stagnate.

Many days I prefer to crawl around the house rather than use my pimped out wheelchair! Can you imagine a grown woman crawling around the house? I would sarcastically, but proudly declare, “Crawling is a mode of transportation.” Not today. I have nothing in me to give. There is limited energy in the lower half of my body. And that’s tolerable, because after watching the 9/11 news specials and reports, how can I complain?

Throughout the day, I like to recite this adage to myself:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Which way would u select?

I can't change MS but I can control my acceptance and treatment of MS.