Oh yeah – I have MS, that’s why…

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do. ~Eric Hoffer

Is it just me, or do you ever find yourself wondering: “Why am I so tired?”

Sometimes, believe it or not, that is exactly what I find myself asking. “Why am I so tired?” “Why can’t I focus?” “Why am I having so much trouble thinking?” “Why can’t I remember things?”

Then I remember. “Oh, yeah – I have multiple sclerosis…that’s why.”

As many of my friends, family, and followers know – I like being active (mentally and physically). It is hard to hold me still, especially if I am passionate about something. I work full-time (and I am an A-type high achiever); I swim competitively; I do yoga regularly; I volunteer my time in various efforts; I take care of my family; I help out friends wherever I can.

So when I have days that I simply cannot think, or pain flares big-time, or I am so fatigued that I literally sleep for 20 hours in a row or more…it still stupidly surprises me. I actually ask myself “why?” Then remember – “Oh yeah – I have MS.”

My capacity for forgetting seems to be limitless!

Yes, I work full-time – but from home, as a result of an accommodation agreement with my managers. Yes, I volunteer – but in a capacity where I offer my time, and it is not physical and I can do it from home or face-face.  Yes I am very physically active – but in a self-regulated and methodical way, and because it is a management tool that helps reduce my pain, which in turns helps reduce the fatigue. In other words – I have MS, and my life and how I cope is directly affected by that fact.

Now I consider myself very lucky because I am abe to be so physically active, and the docs say my MS soes not seem to be taking me down a path where that would change anytime soon. (Cognitively however…that is a different story for another day…) The very fact that I am so physically active, and often more physically active than my “healthier” friends, is the very reason that sometimes I can find myself wondering WHY I am so exhausted or in such pain, or so mentally fogged. I mean, I “look good for being so sick”, as some people would say. (That phrase irritates so many of us…)

And the one thing I do know, and never forget, is that being physically active is good for ALL of us, MS or no MS. The more active I am, the more active I am able to remain. (Though there is a critical tipping point one must be aware of for maximum benefit.)

And yet -The more active, engaged, and passionate I am in my life, the more often I find myself “surprised” by being taken down by my MS at various points. You see, the more I do, the more I feel i can do and am able to do with ease. I will be trucking along at what I think is a fine speed, then WHAM – all of a suden I can barely think, speak, move or keep my eyes open, and my pain is high, and brain fog thickens. And I still ask myself “Why am I feeling like this?”

Oh yeah – I have MS. That’s why.

At those points, I basically have no choice but to let go, and do what I must : sleep and recover. (The latest episode had me sleeping almost 30 of 36 hours. Whoa.) But giving in to the body signals for sleep is a good thing, even though today’s society can often infer a stigma of “laziness” on it. You hear it in comments like “Lucky you – you got to sleep the day away!” It is really not such a lucky thing…it is a matter of sheer necessity. And that is OK.

‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Namaste.

Carolyne

Happy 2014! Time to re-assess and re-new!

“January 1st is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley

Well, another new year is upon us. Wow – 2014…already?? How time flies… Time for a new 365 page “Book of 2014″, as Brad says.

I have always felt that this time of year is a good time to reflect, re-assess, and renew. It can take the shape of re-organizing a closet or a cupboard, to renewing a commitment, to re-assessing a goal or two.

I have to say that 2013 has not been my favorite year – but I plan to make 2014 a better one! You see, 2013 had me bouncing around a bit too much in terms of medication side effects, changes in my health, and menopausal symptoms and MS symptom flares and … well, you get the picture. Confusion was the Word of the Year for 2013 for me. (Though hindsight is as clear as a bell!) And I spent much of 2013 crying all the time – for no reason! I just would cry for no understandable reason…which turned out to be medication and symptoms side effects.  Between my seizure meds causing serious anxiety symptom side effects for months, and menopause bringing me a new meaning to the phrase “hot and sweaty” (dripping…OMG), I have found the process of aging gracefully to be a bit of a challenge in 2013. (I mean, c’mon, Mother Nature: whiskers, acne, return of bad cramps, and sleep deprivation? Seriously? Erg.) So 2013 was a very soggy year for me.

So I decided to look as what needs re-jigging for 2014.

One of my top personal goals for 2014 continues to be competing in Synchronized swimming by my 50th birthday. Since I am currently swimming with a team, this one is working well so far. Keeping up with a group of 20-somethings is tough, but I am doing it. It is not so much the physical part as the mental parts that are the biggest challenge. Remembering counts of music and how the routine’s choreography goes can be more challenging some days, and less so others…depends on my MS cog fog levels! But, so far, so good – MS brain farts and all!

Another of my top 2014 goals is to help people more…by blogging, by volunteering, by talking, by sharing and raising awareness of MS symptoms like seizures, and of living a full life no matter what. I currently guest blog at MSRelief.com, and I volunteer my time with the local university Health mentoring program, as well as other volunteering for the MS society and other local health societies. Where ese can I help?

And over all of this – my priority goal is to manage my health well and maintain a quality life balance for myself and my family while I fulfill my personal goals. But as you know by now, I am not one to go slow or go small, eh?

My wish for you all, as you write your own 365 page Book of 2014 is for a great quality of life, good health, and personal balance.

If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star. —P. T. Barnum

namaste.

Carolyne

Stress, Swimming, Change and other Stuff

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ~Leo Tolstoy

I saw this picture online at the noted link, and it resonated with me in a very deep way. Why? Because of stress.

Stress, you question? Why would this picture move my mind to think of stress? It doesn’t – it reminds me that stress can become so “normal” that it can become a way of life that we don’t even recognize. It reminds me that there is more to life than stress – such as pure joy.

This picture reminds me that we need to always seek ways to let go of stress. For me – nature and water are typically stress reducers.

Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help us perform under pressure and motivate us to do our best. But for those of us with MS, symptoms can often be exacerbated by our own action or inaction in dealing with stress.

Personally, I seem to have a really bad habit of finding myself in situations of spiraling stress. Sometimes (too often, actually)  it takes a medical crash to make me wake up to the levels of stress with which i have been living. But I must say that as I get older and gain more experience with my personal MS course, I am slowly learning to start to recognize my stress levels sooner – and take mitigating action sooner where I can. I am learning to adapt and change.

This can be really tough when I am working full-time, trying to manage my MS symptoms, and trying to fulfill some goals. What I am learning now is to understand where the “stress line” for me – the line or edge that, if I go past it, will inevitably lead to a medical crash of some sort – whether it is seizures or multiple MS flare-ups. Often – the stress can be a product of my own making, truth be told. For example – when I take on too much at work, because I am trying to prove myself or ensure my professional value. I can end up cutting myself off at the knees because my body wears out, leading to a crash, and I don’t succeed as I expect. Or by trying to fulfill a goal such as swimming competitively in synchro with a team again, and pushing myself to reach my goal, even if it may not be the best fit.

The importance of being able to pull back, look at the bigger picture, see where the stressors are, and figuring out how to let go of the stressors that you can control…well, that is a special art, as far as I am concerned. And one that needs significant time to master! And I am in no way close to mastering this art myself, that is for sure! Though I am getting better at identifying the source of the stressors. Some I can control; some I can’t – it is situation dependent. The stress sources that I can control – well, I have to figure out how to lessen impacts on my health. That can take the form of pulling out of a project; adapting a routine, and/or removing oneself from toxic situations or people.

Finding the courage to follow through, however, can be a b@%ch, I can assure you! (This seems especially true of those of us who are over-achievers because we tend to not want to give things up easily!)

Obviously, we can’t get rid of stress completely. This is especially true  when you have a disease like MS - because the very nature of an unpredictable illness like MS means there is always a basic level of stress that will be present. The constant changes that can come with MS, such as not knowing from one day to the next what part of you may or may not be working as you expect, can create a constant low “stress buzz” that niggles at the back of your mind for various reasons. That’s why having a stress-mitigating tool – such as exercise, yoga, or meditation – becomes ever so important for us.

For me – those tools come in the forms of swimming, walking, yoga, crafts, and good friends. I can’t change everything – but I can change myself. I can adapt. I can let go of the stress…or at least some of it!

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Namaste

Carolyne

MS Brain Fog – huh, what?

“They are able who think they are able.” ~ Virgil

“Huh? What?”

Sometimes that seems to be a phrase I say way too often.

Now – I consider myself very lucky in my MS – because, while I have some serious symptoms such as seizures, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue, I am still quite physcally able. That said, I do have cognitive issues as a result of MS that affect considerably how I live, adapt, work. For me (and many MS’ers) – MS manifests iteself in a way that is mostly invisible to the every day eye looking in from outside.

Many of us with MS experience some form of cognitive issue. The National MS Society reports the following:

In MS, certain functions are more likely to be affected than others:

  • Memory (acquiring, retaining, and retrieving new information)
  • Attention and concentration (particularly divided attention)
  • Information processing (dealing with information gathered by the five senses)
  • Executive functions (planning and prioritizing)
  • Visuospatial functions (visual perception and constructional abilities)
  • Verbal fluency (word-finding)

Certain functions are likely to remain intact:

  • General intellect 
  • Long-term (remote) memory
  • Conversational skill
  • Reading comprehension

I see the top list and find myself checking off each symptom on the list. (Check. Check. Check….Erg.) Then I get to the second part and think “Thank gawd – I still may have some basic marbles left!”

I myself am always re-evaluating, re-discovering, and re-analysing my own cognitive issues. I say “re” because short-term memory is an issue…so I often re-do things and re-discover what I knew before. Add in menopausal mayhem, middle-aging memory slumps, and multi-tasking mash-ups…and, well – you get the picture. And is there any real point to trying to figure out if it is due to the proverbial MS Chicken or menopausal Egg? Really, MS may have come first…but at this point, I think the “cause” edges may be getting increasingly blurry! (I think of the information processing issue: yes, I do definitely deal with MS repercssions of that…but as I age, I think menopausal fall-out happens too! Hormones strike again!) I just have more trouble, well, simply thinking.

Most recently, one of the things that I am finding more challenging than I expected was the challenge of associating figures to counts in the synchronized swimming world.  I have lived with the physical and cognitive repercussions from full-on grand mal seizures in the past (ie. severe concussion and associated memory loss for weeks, cracked ribs, wicked bruising, etc)  and the on-going up and down cognitive levels associated with my MS (i.e. inabiity to do basic math or remember what I am talking about mid-sentence on one day, then “geniosity” levels the next day). But I figured that simply counting to eight musically and associating routine elements would not be too problematic. Ha.

What is happening is that physically, while synchro swimming is definitely a challenge, I am able to master most elements. The biggest challenge is happening mentally – because of cognitive issues around numbers and short-term memory issues. Basically – all the symptoms from the top list is happening – blatantly and obviously. In synchro, while developing a routine there is a lot of trial and error: “Let’s try this; let’s see if this works”. This means that the need for short-term memory becomes critical. And MS can make this very difficult.

As an example – on a recent practice, we were developing another segment of the routine. Then we did a full run through. I did the entire routine just fine until we got the the newly developed part – then I totally blanked! ACK! Now, the more I practice, more and more of the routine sticks in my head. But the most recent sections always lag behind at least 1-2 weeks, memory-wise. This can be a huge frustration – not only for me, but for the people around me (especially if they do not understand why I am havng trouble remembering things). The phrase “Huh? What?” is something that I find myself saying much too often during practice!

But while it can be frustrating and challenging to push again cognitive issues – I am doing it. Do I need to adapt? Yup. In synchro, it means that  I need to do more repetition than the rest of the team. I need to repeat more things more often. I need to write things down more.

In the rest of my life, I need to take more time to fully be sure I understand. In speaking – I need cue cards because I have much more difficulty “winging it” than before. I need more and more lists for everyday things like shopping and regular daily tasks. I need frequent reminders – and I use more and more tools to do exactly that.

I seek out whatever tool and trick that I can to help with whatever new cognitive issue that pops up. And I adapt every day – because every day changes.

Um…Where was I going with this again…?

“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” -Pema Chodron

Namaste

Carolyne

And they said it would never happen!

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Roughly five years ago,  I had a seizure while driving and totalled my car. (Luckily only myself and my dog were hurt! See my seizure story at http://msmeans.wordpress.com/ms-seizures/ ) I was told by doctors that I would likely never drive again due to the development of uncontrolled tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures. While considered a rarity in MS patients, seizures ARE a possibility and even a reality for many of us. Fast forward to the present – and now, as of the July 2013,  I am able to drive again! (Though I do have some medical restrictions that I must follow.) Through the miracle of medication and persistence at finding a balance in managing my health – I can safely get behind the wheel of a car.

FREEDOM!!!!

As any of my followers know, I don’t like being told that I cannot do something. I don’t like being labeled or hemmed into any perceived “box”. And I certainly don’t like feeling trapped in any way by my own body. And not being allowed to drive for almost 5 years certainly made me feel trapped in many ways!

But – as they say “Never say never!”

Even if I don’t drive much at all in the future, just knowing that I can drive gives me so much joy, I cannot even find the words to express it. I feel all grow’d-up an’ everything!!!

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso.

namaste

Carolyne

MS Whammy: The Raw Emotional Impact

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Well, I have been “off-line” for a few weeks, you may have noticed. Why? A bunch of things…but suffice it to say the bottom line was because of an MS back-handed WHAMMY!

In recent weeks I have been trying somewhat unsuccessfully to juggle my health management needs, family needs, and work-related needs. As is my wont, I pushed myself much to hard to meet a deadline at work for a high-profile opportunity (which was successful, by the way). At the same time I was dealing with a teenager’s confused and volatile life-searching angst which had direct repercussions on how I manage my household, and dealing with a new “complication” related to my MS. All this combined to bring me down to a state of total disengagement and “cocooning”. I was bone tired. I was at a level of raw emotional pain that literally had me keening in the fetal position in my shower almost daily. Basically – I needed to check out for a bit – from work, from tech, from everything…and simply rest. Rest, rest, rest.

Have I ever mentioned that it is hard for me to “slow down” and actually rest, despite a chronic illness that requires it?

With all the stuff going on, my self-identity took a direct hit, leaving me wondering what my life would be like without MS & seizures. Would major decisions have been different had I never had that seizure that forced my car accident all those years ago? Would my family have been better cared for if I had died in the accident? Did I do enough for them despite my MS? What is my life purpose? Why can’t I stop crying? Who am I? I felt angry as hell at my health situation – angry that maybe it was a main reason behind the teenage angst I was seeing.

What was all this? Grief.

You see, grief that is associated with living with a chronic illness can back-hand you at the most surprising times, and in any of its various stages. The past month I was feeling deep grief and anger and depression – triggered by a decision made by a family member. That in turn made me more ill with a flare of MS symptoms and more despondent, especially since I was already at a low ebb due to giving everything I had to teaching a professional workshop.

I am crawling out from under my rock now. But these past few weeks have served as a strong reminder to me that the grief of living with a chronic illness such as MS sometimes lies much closer to the surface than I am willing to admit.

But it also shows me that there is always a light shining somewhere when that rock is moved away.

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” ~ Sai Baba

Be gentle with yourself. Namaste.

Carolyne

Allowing for Personal Renewal in 2013!

“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.” ~ Stanley Kunitz

Image Source: http://breastcancerpartner.com/blog/uncategorized/renewal-spring-is-here/

Image Source: breastcancerpartner.com/blog/

As 2012 came to an end, some sighed in relief that the world did not come to the prophetic end. Some did not have any clue that 2012 was supposedly an “end” to anything. Most of the world simply went on living life as usual.

Everyone has their own individual experience with the past year (2012) so I am not going to do any kind of run-down of 2012 events. We all can do that on a deeply personal level. Look back at 2012 and recognize the blessings there. Recognize the challenges and subsequent learning opportunities. Recognize the achievements and appreciate the moments of joy. Be grateful for what 2012 brought to your life, big or small. Then, let go of 2012 and move on to a sparkly shiny new 2013.

The year 2013 for me will be another year of change and goal setting. Here are a couple of my personal goals for 2013:

  1. Get into optimum training form. To do so, I will kick up my synchronized swimming training efforts a notch to make my goal of competing by  my 50th birthday in spring of 2014 a reality. (I have already begun this one by joining a local gym with my hubby and beginning a training regimen tailored to my injuries and medical adjustments and my goal of competing. This should complement my weekly synchro swim training sessions well! ) 
  2. Keep on top of my health management by ensuring I maintain a healthy diet and manage my fatigue properly. To do so, I will follow a healthy diet with as much raw foods as possible. I will not over-extend my energy limits to the point of exhaustion. I will schedule in more relaxation yoga and meditation.

The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one. -Elbert Hubbard

The training goal is the tough one physically. While there is definitely excitement to be back in the water and training competitively in synchronized swimming, I battle frequently with a little niggling fear in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, I have bitten of more than I can chew this time. Little ghosts of thoughts cross my mind, such as: Will my body be able to handle this? Am I crazy? Am I too old? Am I too “disabled”? Does it stop me? Heck no. But it does keep me on my toes and AWARE of myself and my own qualms.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. -J. Pierpont Morgan

The health management goal is the toughest one. That’s the one where I have to really fight myself to keep…because I can so easily slide into bad eating habits or push myself to  work too much when I am over-tired. When I am fatigued is also when my brain does not seem to function at its best, and I have been known to make really weird decisions in terms of best choices at the times. (I believe my sister often uses the phrase “OMG – Do you need a brick to hit you in the head every time to get you to finally rest???” ) Trying to get a Type-A person to recognize when she is in full Type-A throttle and to scale back can be quite a challenge at the best of times!

So – do I expect to be perfect this year in reaching my goals and resolutions? Heck no. But I will have fun on the path!

OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FAILING, BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL. -CONFUCIUS

Have fun on your own 2013 journey!

Namaste.

Carolyne

What is the End of the World, anyway?

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”~ Dr. Seuss

Image Source:www.timeanddate.com/calendar/maya-world-end.html

Image Source:www.timeanddate.com/calendar/maya-world-end.html

So – what is the end of the world, anyway? What does the end of the world as we know it mean?

These questions have been flying around as the legendary end of the Mayan long-count calendar approaches, which falls (according to north american “experts”) on December 21, 2012.

Personally, I think the end of the world has come and gone many times over, and will come and go many times over in the future. I believe it is also highly personal. And I believe what can be the end of the world as we know can mean a brand new beginning and a new world to discover.

Just looking at this 2012 year exemplifies that for me.

A friend lost her child when a pre-natal check-up showed no heart beat – the world as she new it ended that day. Couples divorced, fighting bitter battles over child custody or money – the children’s worlds ended as they knew it. Someone gets officially diagnosed with a chronic illness like MS – the world ended as they knew it that day. A maniac kills innocent children and adults for some unknown and whacked-out reason – the world as the families of the victims ended as they know it that day. Militants, rebels, and corrupt governments fight endlessly, killing civilians and military personnel – the world as they and the people around them know it ended, repeatedly.

On the other side of the coin, there is a new beginning. But that new beginning is not necessarily always easy or painless. The person diagnosed with a disease starts a support group and sees a new beginning and a new life managing and coping. The results of the maniacal killing spree of a whacko spurs a new beginning for better and safer gun laws and restrictions. I married my best friend, lover, hero, and the most wonderful man I have ever met; that day the end of the word as I knew it occurred – and a brand knew world began for me.

As human being, we seem to always search for the “end of the world” somewhere. Do we really need to look for the end of the world in things we cannot control, big or small? I say “Stop”. Look a little bit closer to home…and appreciate what you have around you. Appreciate the little endings, the little beginnings – the world around you. Don’t try to control what you simply cannot. Don’t panic about things that have no basis in truth.

The world changes every single day. Be grateful for the world as YOU know it.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost

(See you on the other side of the End of the World. ;)

Namaste

Carolyne

Rest: We will Return after These Messages…

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Two Sisters – Ah…Savasana in the sun….

Summer sun – is there anything more wonderful? The warmth? The heat…the baking heat…frig, it’s hot.

This summer, with much of the continent affected by recorded breaking temperatures, there have been many people seriously affected by the heat. I myself am also experiencing the MS effects of heat more than I ever have in my history with MS. For example – my legs gave out twice on me while out and about in the Rockies. My hubby-to-be, Mike, actually had to catch me in one of these episodes as my legs simple “let go”. (I happened to be on the cliff side of a hiking trail…so I am glad he caught me!!)

I am, as many MS’ers may be, experiencing big flare ups of my symptoms due to the summer heat. So – I am going to rest for the next few weeks, and simply take a break from my “busy-ness” by purposely being less busy. Believe me – that’s not easy for a type-A personality like me! I gots things to do, places to go, people to see, blogs to write…the list is endless. But I mentally, emotionally, and physically need to do this.

“I know exactly what I want. Everything. Calm, peace, tranquility,
freedom, fun, happiness. If I could make all that one word, I would – a
many-syllabled word. “- Johnny Depp

So – see y’all in September. have a great summer – and remember to rest!

namaste.

Carolyne

Overwhelmed: Medication Russian Roulette and More!

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” -Walter Anderson

Wow – it’s been longer than I thought since my last blog. I had all the best intentions in the world…but I got overwhelmed. I got overwhelmed by work, by my own work ethic (can you say Over-Achieving Super Mom?), by my body’s inability to keep up with the workload, and by medication choices that were put in front of me due to medication side effects.

Work-wise…well, bottom line is that when the poop hits the fan, the work has to get done. All my years of training have created in me a work ethic that ensures I meet deadlines. Period. This means that when something needs to get done, I get it done where I can (even if it is not “my job”). This ethic conflicts with my energy levels in that my body says “Yeah, whatever. The work will still be there tomorrow – I am taking you down now.” As a person with high expectations of herself, that is a hard pill to swallow. For me – that is a signal that I need to do more gentle yoga and mindful meditation to practice better “non-attachment”. I am on a much needed week-off right now as I pushed myself in recent weeks to the extreme limits in order to meet deadlines and makes sure the workshop my colleague and I were facilitating went well.

Medications-wise…AAAAARRRGGGHHHH! That part is just plain frustrating. The side effects of some medications are often worse that the illness they are treating!!!! And the most frustrating part of it is that every individual reacts differently to medications, so you don’t know what side effects will impact you until you are actually on the medication. Currently, in order to lesson the side effects of my seizure drug (Keppra) and tackle MS Pain and sleep problems, I am starting an additional new seizure drug called Vimpat, with the intent to get to lowest doses of both together so that we minimize side effects and maintain the success rate of seizure control. This one is so new, that little is known other than clinical trials. SO…basically, I had to decide if the risk of trying this new drug is worth the potential side effects. Is it worth it?

It is often the choices we have to make that can paralyze us. For example, in going through the seizure med options with the doc, I found that my choices boiled down often to the following:

  • drug a – weight gain, hair loss, psychosis
  • drug b – weight loss, hair loss, documented significant drop in IQ (as much as 20 points in some cases!!!)
  • drug c – weight gain, rash, double vision
  • and so on….

So – my choices are: fat and bald, and potentially out of my mind; skinny and bald and “stupider” (pardon the choice of word); fat, itchy, and trouble seeing…and the list goes on.

It was alot easier for me when I decided to stop the MS meds – the only other option afforded me has a side effect of death due to brain issue, so even the docs agreed to keep me of the MS drugs. For the seizures though it is another story – the meds may save my life, no matter the side effects. My seizures are violent and sudden, and each time I have had one i have been significantly injured in some way, so the docs are not eager to see me off them for my own safety.

Erg.

This is where the overwhelm can hit hard – sometimes I just want the whole thing to stop. Just stop. I get tired of having to choose. I get tired of having to think of what effects my choices will have on me, on my family, on my work and on my ability to work. I don’t want to have to make decisions between Poop Box A, and Crap Box B. I can find myself exhausted and overwhelmed, not just by the meds themselves, but the choices of what we are willing to give up while on that particular med in order to maximize the positive benefits of that same med. And that can also lead to tears of frustration and even anger at being in the situation to begin with – anger at your body, anger at the disease, anger at the situation in general.

This is when I turn to yoga the most – it helps keep me centred, or re-centre me when I have lost my focus. It helps me see the situation from a more non-attached prespective, and see the moment for what it is. There are many different ways to go about dealing with the emotions, but the most important thing is to never give up.

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” -Charles R. Swindoll

Namaste

Carolyne