My sister has Multiple Sclerosis and over the years, I have been extremely sad to watch her health deteriorate. She has gone from walking, to a cane, to a wheelchair and now, to spending most hours of the day lying down.
Until a few months ago, she could use the internet to communicate with others but now, she only has the energy to use her right hand in the early morning hours.
Today, when I talked with Debbie, she told me how difficult it is for her to have limited choices regarding what she can do in a day.
After I hung up from the call, I went through my usual period of thoughtfulness and sadness for her. Then I started to re-focus on the positives rather than the negatives in her life. Here is the list that I was able to compile:
1. Deb has a very supportive husband and son
2. The community has been very kind and help out in practical ways. Sometimes a family will deliver a meal. One lady visits every month to give Deb a manicure and have a visit with her
3. Deb enjoys watching curling and football. Modern technology allows her to view games that a few years ago would be impossible to watch.
4. Communication with friends can be by mail, telephone or internet
5. Deb knows her limits. She does poorly when she is too hot, too cold or too tired.
6. The Multiple Sclerosis Society responds quickly to concerns. Last year, for example, she had a horrible itching spell. The Society researched and, after discovering that only 15% of MS patients develop this, were able to suggest a medication - which worked.
7. Deb has built a good relationship with her physician. He takes her calls and does his best to treat her symptoms.
I know that in each of our lives, it is easy to focus on problems. Having Deb as my sister reminds me to focus on the things for which we can be thankful.
Where do you have control? What choices can you make? Are there things that you CAN do that you have forgotten to acknowledge?