Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's Me! Only...better.




In the last 10 months, I have been on a quest.  Better me.  Better life.  Better family.

Move forward.  Move up.  Just move.

After the Great Barfing of 2015 (let us never forget...) life went on.  My MS remained in remission...until it flared again.  I could feel everything, it wasn't a relapse.  It's just all those ridiculous shots I was giving myself?  Yeah, not working.  Not even a little.  More lesions on my brain.

Then came the great schism of the insurance companies.  Geisinger stopped "participating" with Pinnacle.  What does that even mean?  Well for starters, I got to find all new doctors for myself AND Liam.  OBGYN to pediatrician, neurologist to PCP.  Go ahead and transfer all those files and find someone new to confide in.  You'll be fine.  You mean you've been going to the same OBGYN since you were 16?  Awww.  That's adorable.  Go ahead and find a new one.

The new neuro stared at my chest the whole time.  "My job is to keep you out of a wheel chair for as long as possible."  He so pointedly remarked.  Wheelchair?  What?  I didn't think I was that bad?  He showed me my MRI (up until now I'd never seen one) "All these white spots are lesions.  You need another medication."

My new med was proven to drop your heart rate in the first dose, so you needed to be under the care of a doctor for 8 hours to make sure if I dipped, I didn't dip too far.  And if I dipped too far...well.  Someone to bring me up again.  They came to my home and took my blood.  Blood didn't make it to the lab in time (snow storm).  Had to have it drawn again.  Then the doctor who was supposed to come the very next day to do the first dose quit.  Two weeks later, they found a new doctor.  He was a slight fellow, interesting enough to make the day progress quickly.

MuckFest came and went.  My team was wonderful this year.  This year it was different.  Last year was awesome, but this year was more...spiritual somehow.  The one member of my team, Linda, had lost her husband at Christmas.  Our pastor and his wife were on my team.  Zoi, my new aunt, was on our team.  Lives were changed.  I was in the ER with breathing issues 4 days ahead of time.  Anxiety, they said.  I believed it.

The MS Fitness Challenge came to town.  "You're signing up."  Andy told me.  So I did.  I kept making calls and filling out forms until they HAD to include me.  My trainer's name is Lydia.  She's absolutely beautiful.  (Andy says she's not his type.  Okay? Um?  Good?)  She's got gazelle-like qualities that make me feel like a 30 year old mommy with MS.  She's so incredibly nice, it makes me excited to work out with her.  I'm lifting weights like a boss.  I'm TWICE the person I was 2 years ago when I was flat on my back, unable to maneuver my leg.

6 months later, no new lesions.  No change.  "Condition stable."  To God be the glory.  See you again in 6 months to check again.

I twitch now, which is like, ugh.  Seriously?  Makes me look like some Tourettes patient.  It's not too bad, just irritating.  Gets worse when I'm nervous.  The end.

I will tell people, "MS saved my life."  And nobody gets that.  When our marriage was failing, MS stopped us in our tracks and gave us something new to fight against.  We started talking, and I mean REALLY talking.  My husband became more compassionate.  I became someone I liked again.  MS gave us a common cause.  It's "our" disease to fight.  So we fight it.  Because of MS, I was challenged to lose weight.  Lots of weight.  People see me in the grocery store and don't know me.  I say, "It's Libbie? Libbie George?"   "OH!  We didn't even recognize you!"

There's something extraordinary about being the best version of yourself you can possibly be.  It's like being me...only better.