Reluctantly Learning Life’s Lessons

Lately, it has become increasingly clear that I am more and more dependent on outside help. By that I mean anything or anyone helping me beyond my ability to do for myself. It is a most unfortunate occurrence to have happened. I am, by nature, an independent character who likes to be in control over most everything.

Now, by most definitions of MS, given by experts and lay folks, it is its unpredictability and loss of control that describes the disease. No two people have it alike. The general course of it is offered by the way it affects the majority of people. It is a guideline by which professionals can offer help to those suffering from the disease. Clinically, they can say with confidence that the disease-modifying drugs can and do help most people .

Personally, I’ve seen the disease increasingly affecting me just in the last three years. Three years ago, I was working and walking. Now I do neither. Although I have made the decision to keep on with my meds, sometimes I feel they are not helping. Of course, without them I could be in much worse shape, so I will not discontinue taking them.

All of this brings me to the point of this post. Over the last three years I have seen my increased dependency on outside help. This is very galling to me, but I’ve had time lately to analyze this cruel twist of fate. Could this whole thing actually be good for me? I have to consider the positive side of the equation: those things that balance out the negative.

Yes, my life has slowed down considerably. But in this slowing, I am seeing things more clearly; things that blurred past me before i.e. my family, my friends, my pets, my neighborhood, my country, my world. I’m appreciating them all more now.

I know now about all the wonderful people waiting in the wings to help. Professional services like nursing care, aides to help with personal things if I am going through a particularly rough spell, and physical therapists to help me regain some lost traction. Even assorted gizmos are available to assist with making my life easier. Family and friends are there who offer, unasked, to visit with me and cheer me up. I realized if the shoe was on the other foot, I would be visiting and cheering for them, too.  I also realized I would feel badly if my help was rejected. So I vow to be more gracious from now on.

I have no proof that the universe conspires to teach us lessons, but circumstances evolve sometimes to do just that. Prudent wisdom advises us to be open to being taught.

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