Posts Tagged With: fear

11 Years Ago…

I still grieve.

Or maybe I’m finally grieving.

I don’t know.

I thought I didn’t remember the exact day my life changed forever.

AND THIS MORNING IT HIT ME.

Sounds so hokey to say that. But those are the judges in my head saying that it’s hokey. I don’t think it’s hokey and so what if it is.

It was November 22, 2002. I was 25. I was moving full speed ahead. Sure I had gone through 6 months of extensive testing to try to figure out why the bottom of my feet were constantly tingling. Sure I had gone through many phases of FEAR about what could be wrong with me. Yet, EVERY test I had taken till then had come back inconclusive or all looked good.

So why would my first MRI be any different?

BUT IT WAS. IT WAS DIFFERENT.

I entered that hospital to get the MRI on the evening of November 22, 2002 and left a piece of me behind back there. I never did go back to that same area where I had it done to retrieve that part of myself. Not only was the MRI more terrifying than I expected but the LOOK that Technician gave me when I was FINALLY taken out of that God-awful tube made a part of me vanish in horror. In her eyes, all I could see was DEATH. It’s taken me all these years to find the right words to describe her look. That’s what it was.

DEATH.

I was 25. I wasn’t thinking about the END. I was thinking about the BEGINNING. This was it. I had just been a Production Assistant for a couple of short films, I was going to be an Associate Producer of another film, I was working 2 jobs to make some extra money, my full time job was in Television and I was gonna make it big no matter what it took. I had an awesome kitty and a wonderful boyfriend (who is now my awesome husband) and life was VERY UP. That was the reason I left my life in NH to go to LA right? I was gonna do this.

BRING IT ON.

Hmmm. I didn’t say BRING ON MS. Nope. That’s not what I meant.

That next morning after the MRI I was admitted into the hospital for 3 LONG DAYS of HELL. They thought maybe I had a brain tumor. No, maybe it was some kind of infection in my brain. No maybe perhaps, but probably not, but maybe, I had MS. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. My sister who was here visiting (poor thing–this was her visit. But the timing is not a mistake.)

After that it was a Thanksgiving family reunion that I don’t remember much of at all and RIGHT after that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

Something REALLY was wrong with me.

4 Days after that I had my first FULL BLOWN EXACERBATION. No surprise.

All symptoms I could ever have ever, you name it, happened in my body.

AND…

AN ANXIETY ATTACK.

AND…

A HORRIBLE, MEAN, ABUSIVE NEUROLOGIST WHO SAID IT WAS ALL IN MY HEAD.

AND TOO MANY STEROIDS…

Still don’t know how I survived what I found out later was a major overdose of steroids.

AND MY LIFE AS I KNEW IT WAS OVER.

And yes, my life is getting better. BUT it is not how I pictured it would be. In a lot of ways my life is better than I ever thought it would be. I’m forced to live more in the Present. And the Present can be a wonderful place.

And I still grieve…

I grieve over that life I thought I would have BEFORE that terror-filled MRI night. I grieve more now over it because I guess I’m ready to.

And that’s where I am today. I couldn’t figure out what exactly that dark cloud was that had been following me all week and was almost suffocating me this morning. Every year I seem to block out just what day it was that this all happened over a decade ago.

AND IT HIT TODAY.

GRIEF.

and

GRATITUDE.

Both can exist at the same time.

I never thought I could make it past that night but I have. One day at a time. That’s all I can do. Sometimes it’s one moment at a time. And that’s what I’ll take today. One moment at a time is enough.

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175th Blog Post!: Doing My Best to Focus On the Positive

175 Blog posts I’ve written!!!!!

WOW!

I am blown away that I keep on writing.  It’s been helping me so much.  You’ve been helping me so much.  All of you who Follow me, stop on by to read a few posts, comment on my Blog, email me personally (I know I still owe some of you responses) and who support me help me stay positive.

I was told by my Chiropractor last week that I needed to start adding EVEN MORE positive thoughts, elements, stuff, things–whatever it is for me to be positive–at least twice more a week.  He told me how some of his patients have done that.  As he’s been treating me, some emotions have been coming up like FEAR, anger and just being really frustrated.  Some of the emotions have been good too.  But in order to cushion the impact of the hard emotions (trying not to say negative because perhaps IT REALLY ISN’T NEGATIVE TO HAVE THESE HARD EMOTIONS), he’s highly suggested I add more “up” things to my life.

So yesterday while I was getting my apartment cleaned (one of the best things I have ever decided to let SOMEONE ELSE DO because there’s no way it would get done any other way), I found myself wandering a mall for awhile before sitting down, eating lunch and hanging out.

Here’s what I found in a store:

I LOVE THESE “KEEP CALM” SAYINGS…and this one FITS ME PERFECTLY!

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?!  I mean it is SOOOOO ME!  It’s a hue of purple, it’s a “Keep Calm” saying, it says “Sparkle” and I love sparkly things, and it’s on a plaque thingie that I can put up on my wall to remind me to keep calm and sparkle.  It really helps me to remember that it’s all gonna be OK and I can get through anything because if I can deal with having MS and lupus I can deal with a lot of other crap…EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE I JUST CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE…and believe me it feels like that often.

So this was one of my first attempts at finding more positive things to focus on.  Today I had PLENTY to get my nerves all in an uproar and then I saw that in my bedroom sitting on my bookshelf at eye level and it reminded me to BREATHE and remember what’s more important.

MY LIGHT FROM WITHIN IS MORE IMPORTANT.

It’s not this other crapola that keeps getting in my way.

I’M WHAT MATTERS…

So after dealing with some tough stuff, I made sure to go walk on the treadmill in the “new” (I say it in quotes because it’s been in the apartment building now for probably a year but it’s “new” to me) for a bit and then head up to the sun deck, look at the sky and the world around me and remember what really matters.  It’s also incredibly humbling to see that I am a little thing compared to the rest of the world.  My problems aren’t AS BIG as the world so it helps to put them in perspective.

And then to think I’m well on my way to 200 BLOG POSTS!

SO COOL!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being a part of my life.

I can’t wait to see what else is in store…well maybe I can…but to know I’m not alone helps a lot!

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Telling the Truth is Really Hard

TRUTH: The past 24 hours have SUCKED mostly physically but mentally too!  There I said it!

I TOLD THE TRUTH!

DETOX IS HARD!

ANOTHER TRUTH!

Being on an emotional roller coaster yesterday for HOURS was REALLY HARD!

MORE TRUTH!

Feeling A LOT OF PAIN, FATIGUE WITH HEAVY LIMBS, SHAKINESS, LIGHT-HEADEDNESS, WEAKNESS, TINGLING, WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITH A HORRIBLE KNIFING PAIN ON MY RIGHT SIDE (making me freak out it’s my appendix or something crazy) AND HAVING TO RUSH TO THE BATHROOM (TMI–just getting you ready) ONLY TO HAVE MY BELLY MAKE THE LOUDEST RUMBLING NOISES AND THEN ACTUALLY HAVING THAT TRIP TO THE BATHROOM BE PRODUCTIVE (used to not be in the middle of the night and I would suffer for hours so that’s something) AND THEN HAVE THAT PAIN GO AWAY BUT FEEL THE DIGESTIVE AFTERMATH IS REALLY HARD!  BUT–THANK GOODNESS THAT KNIFING PAIN WENT AWAY AND HAS NOT COME BACK.

YES I’M YELLING!

PHEW!

It feels so good to get it out.

I have only had 2 Chiropractic treatments in the past week, BUT I have also added an Alkaline Water Detox prescribed by this Chriropractic Doctor added to my treatment so it has been extra potent.  I CLEARLY have a ton of acid in my body.

IT HAS BEEN 1 WEEK AND MY BUTT FEELS KICKED FROM 2 CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENTS?!

OY!

You know, I have heard over the years from all kinds of people on social media and elsewhere talk about all the “GOOD” effects of Detox of the body.  NOT ONE OF THEM THAT I’VE NOTICED HAS EVER TALKED ABOUT ANYTHING NEGATIVE.  Did they ever feel anything crappy going on in their bodies or was it just absolutely divine and magical with birds chirping with light breezes as they frolicked over the rolling green hills singing songs from the “Sound of Music”?  That’s what it’s always felt like to me.  So I have no idea if these people have EVER felt crappy.

Is it because they don’t want to tell the truth because Gawd forbid they look weak?  Is it because they really are feeling JUST PEACHY (although if you ask me I’d never say I was Peachy because I CAN’T STAND PEACHES so it would be the opposite for me if I said I was PEACHY.  In fact let’s all make that note now.  PEACHY for me is CRAPPY.  OK then.  Now that we’re all clear.  Back to my ranting…) KEEN?  Did I even spell that word right?  The point is, AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS FELT CRAPPY FROM DETOX?  AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS NOW TELLING THE TRUTH?

MORE ON MY TRUTH:  Okay.  So for the past 24 hours I have wondered what wall I hit this time.  In some ways I haven’t felt like this in a long time.  Felt like someone kicked my butt and the rest of my body really hard.  What’s interesting is that the first 24 hours after treatment were actually QUITE GOOD.  I think I was on a mental high and my body was TRYING to follow along.  I felt so much mental clarity and relief and life almost felt like it was ALL good no matter what.  I almost wanted to skip down the street singing “La la la” but my legs weren’t QUITE up to it.  Oh and just to be clear, I didn’t feel up to frolicking through the rolling green hills singing songs from the Sound of Music.  I wasn’t THAT good.  That’s good right?

Anyway, I did so much in that 24 hours because I thought, WOW, I can do this.  This Chiropractic treatment stuff rocks.  It was ONLY the 1st Treatment that would be really hard at first.  Perhaps I’ll be feeling this later but not now.  LIFE IS GOOD.  I got home, made some medical business calls, wrote a Blog post, did stuff and things and I DID let myself REST a bit BUT THEN off I was running out to get groceries that evening while my mental hyperactivity was still on overload (I think now that I look back).  I mean, we NEEDED groceries and my head told me it was RIGHT then no matter what.  So I left at 6:30pm and by 7:30pm as I was almost done my ARMS started telling me they were really tired and didn’t want to work much more and then they were in pain.  Then by 8pm my BODY was done.  By 9pm my MIND was done.  And yet there was still some clarity so I stayed up way too late.  I CONFESS.  I didn’t LISTEN enough to my body at that point.

Got up for a dang Fasting Appointment the next morning to have blood work done with a doctor I have VERY mixed feelings about and thought all was going to be OK.  I was still OK.  Sure I was tired but Fasting Appointments are really hard for me.  My body with its MS, lupus, IBS and you NAME IT needs its routine.  No food means no medications.  No medications means my body is already unhappy.  No food yet already being active when on a normal day it usually takes me over 4 hours to really feel like I can go on with my day as a human being is not a good thing for me.  At least let me have some food.  PLEASE.  If my body lets me that is…

ANYWAY, after the appointment, I ate and I felt a bit more invigorated YET to be honest my body was starting to protest more.  And then I ran around doing too many errands at once when I should’ve just gone back home to at least get some more rest before doing them made my body VERY UNHAPPY before 12pm.  The appointment had been at 8:30am.

BY 12PM I had HIT A WALL.

ALL DONE.  Had to push to do the basics.  The emotional roller coaster (was told this would happen even more and be magnified according to my Chiropractor as the emotions are cleared out and released from my body and it was ALL part of the healing process) started for the next 5 hours at least, my body had a hard time letting me do the basics like get up and move around.  It was shaky and weak and in pain.  SOOOO DONE WITH ME.

So I rested.  AND RESTED SOME MORE.  Resting helps.

RESTING HELPS.

Phew.  Sometimes resting doesn’t ALWAYS help the way I want it to.  My body has been recovering ever since.  I’d get waves of physical symptoms into the night last night and then there was that time in the middle of the night of complete and utter pain and discomfort and I’ve been working through that ever since.

SO GLAD I CAN WRITE THIS.

Yesterday I wouldn’t have been able to write this in any way.  ALL OF ME WAS DONE.

DONE.

But this Blog post has been bubbling up to the surface ever since I FINALLY was able to really get up out of bed today.  EXTRA SLEEP HELPED TOO.  I HAD TO WRITE THIS TODAY.  I HAD TO EXPRESS MYSELF.  I know it is all part of the healing.  I call it EMOTIONAL HAIRBALLS.

Meanwhile at the same time, as I think about how my body is overall, I know it’s not a regular lupus/multiple sclerosis flare.  I know my body is flaring up because all kinds of healing trauma (WHAT?  HEALING TRAUMA?  Parts of me want to object to what I just wrote and argue with me.) because it feels cleansing.  It feels like all kinds of toxin crapola is being FORCED out.  My mind is clearer.  My body is clearer.  So strange to say that and feel it and NOT REALLY BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE IT.

So the FEAR comes up.  Is this Treatment too much for me?  How will I do this?  I DON’T WANT TO MAKE MY BODY WORSE.  I CAN’T MAKE MY BODY WORSE.  I DEAL WITH ENOUGH.  IT’S HARD ENOUGH.  But then the nurturing side of me comes in and gently reminds me that I am feeling better at the same time.  I’m going to NEED TO BE VERY UPFRONT with the Chiropractor tomorrow at my next treatment and tell him EVERYTHING that has gone on in the past 24 hours BEFORE he jumps right in and manipulates my body into its relieving craziness of the next treatment.  He had told me it would be hard especially at first and to try to trust and be honest with him and myself in all ways at all times about how I’m doing.  That we would adjust treatments accordingly.  He also told me I’d have to rest more.

That’s hard to do.  I’m TRYING to have a life and I have SO MUCH going on right now.  FINDING BALANCE is a whole other issue I’m dealing with.

WHERE DOES IT ALL FIT IN?

Well what I have to remind myself is that it all fits in the way it is supposed to fit in.  It will all work out and it will happen or not happen BUT the world still turns.  It doesn’t explode because “MY PLANS” didn’t work out the way I liked.

DO THEY EVER?

SO WHY DO I KEEP TRYING TO FORCE MY PLANS OVER MY LIFE?  It doesn’t work that way.

So for now I’ll go back to resting and doing THE BEST I CAN WITH WHAT I HAVE.  It feels really good to have communicated this today.  Thank you ALL for reading.  It means so much to be able to get it out and STOP HOLDING ONTO IT.  Something tells me this may not have come out if it wasn’t for this detox and new treatment journey I’m starting.

I feel much better and calmer right now and I will enjoy it while I can.

Take care all and please if you can, be gentle with yourself and your body.  Healing can be really hard but what I’m discovering is that I’m worth it and so are you.

 

 

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325 DAYS I’VE BEEN GRATEFUL TO TAKE A WALK

-GRATEFUL to be able to move my legs.

-GRATEFUL to be able to stand up.

-GRATEFUL to be able to put one foot in front of the other.

-GRATEFUL to still be able to walk on my own with no assistive device.

-GRATEFUL to have taken a walk 325 days in a row as of TODAY!!!

Ten years ago today if you had asked me if I thought with multiple sclerosis I’d be able to walk today, I would’ve been afraid to even think of an answer. It was way too far ahead to even comprehend. Yet I’ve lived my life since my diagnosis of MS in 2002 as if one day I might not be able to walk…or I might not be able to walk as well…or I’d have an exacerbation of symptoms and I’d lose movement in my legs…or I’d be using a cane…or I’d have to use a walker…or I’d have to use a wheelchair…or that the MS would progress making it harder and harder to move my body all over.

Then there’s lupus that just had to make its way into the picture because I didn’t have enough to think about and that can also affect my walking. The joints can get very stiff, swollen and in pain and I hobble around sometimes. The fatigue with both can drive me crazy.

I know people with MS who have a hard time with their legs and are in need of assistive devices. I know people with MS who used to be in a wheelchair but aren’t now. I know people with MS who don’t have any problem walking at all. I am getting to know people with lupus who have similar issues. I myself have a problem with balance at times, I get the foot drop, my feet can give way under me and I can fall (hasn’t happen in awhile), I trip quite a bit, I’m clumsy, I have stiffness, pain and spasticity in my muscles in my legs that come and go. I have ankles that like to roll and that’s not necessarily from lupus. That can just happen. I can often feel like my legs just aren’t strong enough to go down hills so I’ll ask Corey for his arm just so I can feel more stable and not as wobbly. (That hasn’t happened as much since I’ve been walking every day.)

So EVERY DAY in the beginning of all of this crap, I used to wake up in FEAR that my body or at least some part of my body would not be able to move.

EVERY.

DAY.

Then as time has passed I’ve found myself often taking it for granted that I can even walk at all. That I get a chance to walk on my own two feet and take a stroll EVERY DAY is a miracle.

EVERY.

DAY.

I am blessed with the chance to STILL get up every day and be able to move my legs enough to WALK even for 5 minutes. That’s all it takes to take a walk. The POINT IS TO MOVE MY LEGS. I get to walk on my own still. I don’t know if that will ever change and I’ll admit I still have that FEAR cloud lingering over me like a veil it seems but it is just there because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME TO ANYONE BUT NOW WITH MS AND LUPUS I HAVE AN INCREASED CHANCE OF VERY “UNFRIENDLY” (a friend used this word about her physical symptoms and I hope she doesn’t mind that I stole it), symptoms occurring that can be debilitating to my body and not only can they be debilitating BUT I will have NO IDEA whether I’ll be able to get that part of me back or not. AND I HAVE NO IDEA OR WHEN THE NEXT ATTACK/FLARE WILL HIT OR IF IT EVER WILL… Only time tells that part.

So at this point, as long as I can I will…

WALK.

AND WALK.

AND WALK.

IT HELPS SO MUCH. My legs have improved greatly.

I am truly grateful and blessed to still be able to walk.

WHAT A GIFT.

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125 BLOG POSTS!

Oh my goodness! I have hit the 125 Blog post mark!!!!!!

So cool. I couldn’t have done it without you so thank you!

It’s been a roller coaster week and I’m currently in a symptom flare (MS and lupus are FUN–NOT!) so I will try to stay positive (which I’m hoping will help me). I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for being here with me on this writing journey. I have always felt like a writer ever since I was very young and I have really struggled with it. In 5th grade I wrote a children’s holiday story and my teacher liked it so much that she tried to work with me to expand on it a bit and add a few more details (you know, to improve it) so that she’d feel comfortable trying to get it published in a children’s magazine (or something of the sort–what I heard was published) but I think I took her criticism so personally that I blocked her and it off and refused to change the story AT ALL because I liked it the way it was. And soooo, the story was not published. That blocked me and disappointed me for a few years. I still have the story and am hoping to feel willing to expand on it now after all these years.

Then I started writing more in middle school and either I didn’t want anyone to read it and kept it to myself or what I wrote was crazy serious deep (hello puberty) and my teachers asked for lighter stories. And then as a junior in high school I seemed to really blossom as a writer and all of my teachers highly encouraged me and told me they really thought I’d get somewhere with it and to keep expanding on it. Well, I expanded on it and that all really went well.

AND THEN in college I took one writing class and the professor was “not impressed” with my writing and told me I wrote too much and wanted me to get to the point. So here I was completely confused because one school of thought told me to expand and the other wanted me to cut it down. At that point I shut down writing. I may not have had I not been going into the high maintenance field television production that took up most of my time and focus. Production also helped me learn how to express myself in a very different creative way. I had to show you, not write it for you to experience. So, I veered off the writing path and took quite a journey into production.

Yet, there was always this deep soulful need to write. It was in me. It had to come out. But then I thought I had to be perfect. FEAR started to run me and it just never really worked. When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis almost 10 years ago, I had people from different parts of my life who had nothing to do with each other telling me to write my story because of how I express myself. They told me I had a story to tell. They told me that I could really help others and probably myself. That it’s important to let others know what really happens with chronic illness.

And I tried, I really did. I tried too hard. I started up this Blog in 2009 and I think I wrote only 3 posts. Actually, I think I still have them posted if you want to check them out. Reading them now I know I still wasn’t ready. The real me wasn’t really coming out. I felt raw and vulnerable.

Meanwhile, people still said that I needed to tell my story. That I could really help. And that writer in me wrestled with my ego until it finally BURST OUT in March of this year. It has been over 6 months and I have no plans to stop. I had no idea where this journey would take me. I still have so much more to write.

Thank you to those of you who have commented on my posts, encouraged me, read the serious ones, read the long ones, read the silly ones, put up with the ’80s and partied with me, have gone on my doctor appointments with me, have shared my Moments of Peace with me, have felt MS and lupus with me, have read my complaints, have read my hope, and who are teaching me about me. You all play a part in who I am and for that I am truly grateful.

Please feel free to comment any time about any post (I would love to hear from you), to Follow my Blog, to share my Blog with others, to email me in private (you can find a link to my email on the “About Me” page), to friend me on Facebook (Nahleen Blake), to follow me on Twitter (nahleenblake), and connect in general. Oh and by the way, I’m thinking of starting up my own Facebook page where I’m hoping to share my favorite quotes, pictures, silliness, fun, stuff about me, stuff about you if you want, music, anecdotes of life, Blog posts, etc. Keep an eye out for that update soon. More to come!

And thank you all for being you. You help me to be me. And that soul writer in me is FINALLY starting to feel satisfied. I look forward to more of this journey. It has been truly amazing!

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