Another Recognition

DIsability

Kim from I Tripped Over A Stone is keeping me busy, bestowing me the honor of the Disability Award. They say that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, so I will mimic what Kim mentioned in her piece, and refer to this as the disAbility Award. I’d much rather focus on the positive than the negative, and  view being saddled with Multiple Sclerosis as a bump in the road instead of letting it define me.

Part of the deal is to respond to ten questions Kim asked, and pass the gauntlet to other bloggers who live with disabilities. Many of the bloggers I know who fit that description have already been nominated, so I will pass on that one. Onto the questions:

What were the first symptoms you experienced?   I was on my treadmill and my leg literally stopped working. I couldn’t bend my knee, lift it, or control it whatsoever. It dangled like an overcooked strand of spaghetti, and I practically had to fall off the treadmill onto a nearby couch before I really injured myself. It was a surreal experience and freaky as hell. The symptoms disappeared completely shortly thereafter, and my mind was racing. I knew something very wrong had occurred, but could not fathom what it was. After the symptoms vanished, I didn’t tell a soul. After all, how could I possibly explain what just transpired? No physician could assess it without actually seeing it in action, so I decided to bury the incident. I ignored it, hoping and half-believing that it would never happen again. We know how that turned out.

Name one good thing that has come from of your chronic illness. Perspective. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore, and have a greater appreciation for everything that is good in my life.

What is the one thing that is believed to be accurate about your condition that isn’t? That is s tough one. MS is known as the snowflake disease because it affects everyone who suffers from it differently. Our combination of symptoms is as unique as our fingerprints, so I honestly can’t think of anything. If anyone who reads this can come up with something, please feel free to chime in.

What is the worse symptom you have to deal with? There are a number of them, but the worst has to be balance, or lack of it. I use a cane all the time, more for balance than anything else, although walking is not easy. But my balance is so bad that I can turn an ankle or fall down by just leaning in the wrong direction. I’m toast if I lose my center of gravity. Most folks would assume chronic pain would be number one on this list, but I fortunately have avoided that bugger for now. Hopefully it stays that way.

What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed? Get a good neurologist who specializes in MS. Read as much as you can about the disease so you know what you might be dealing with. Be proactive in your treatment, and don’t be afraid to try anything. If you have the primary progressive variety of MS like me, remember that nothing you try will improve your symptoms over a long period of time or make them go away. The name of the game is to keep things stable and minimize or delay the pace and spread of the progression. I have been successful (so far) in that endeavor.  The symptoms have certainly progressed within my leg, but they still remain confined to that single limb after eleven years.

What is the one thing you miss doing before you were diagnosed? Going on long walks with my wife.

What is the one thing that helps you the most with your symptoms? Medical marijuana. If you want to read more about that, look here, here, here, and here.

Do you find the word disability offensive? Not in the least, primarily because it is a fact. I have a disability. Besides, disability is a hell of a lot better than handicapped. I despise that word.

Since your illness, what is the most important lesson you have learned about yourself? Although I have always felt this way, dealing with this disease has proven that I am a resilient, stubborn, tough (in a good way) upbeat, and half-glass-full kind of guy.

Do you celebrate the 4th of July? Of course! Besides, that also happens to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, and she lives with us.

Thanks again Kim. I am glad that we are part of each other’s respective tribes.

 

 

 

Author: Steve Markesich

I am loving husband, a doting father, a Red Sox fanatic, an aspiring novelist and MS advocate. Feel free to check out my stevemarkesich.com web site.

6 thoughts on “Another Recognition”

  1. I absolutely love learning new things about your journey, Steve. Congratulations! So deserving of the disABILITY Award! By the way, disABILITY vs. handicapped- I have something to think about! I had never heard the snowflake analogy either … so much like fibro, too! No one experiences it quite the same. Thanks Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the well-deserved award! That first experience, on the treadmill, must have been scary as well as freaky. It’s interesting to read how different symptoms of different conditions occur for all of us, sometimes it’s so sudden, other times its piecemeal and you can’t put your finger on what’s happened or exactly when. It’s brilliant that medical marijuana has been beneficial for you; I hope that one day in the near future the UK follows suit.
    Caz xx

    Like

  3. Steve, this is a fantastic post. I think it is really important for us to educate and to learn from others. Like Kim, I love to hear more about your story.

    On a totally unrelated path that may seem a bit odd, but I promise it isn’t….I had a dream the other night about you and Kay and your son. Your son (who in my dream was about 5 years old, although I know he is older) and I were riding in a flat bed truck that was moving very slowly and filled with antique furniture. Kay was dancing along behind the truck and singing, and it became clear that I was helping you move into your new house. It was all very festive and everyone was happy. When we got to the house, we walked into a beautiful living room with an enormous fireplace and you were sitting on a large plush couch, wearing a long silk robe and smoking a pipe. You greeted everyone warmly. Then, I woke up. I must have put you and your family into a scene that came from a movie or tv show I was watching, but I am certain it was you (although I have never seen Kay or your son); it’s a dream knowledge thing. Anyway, wanted to share. Hope you guys are well and enjoying the summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Susie Q! Great to hear from you. How is the sabbatical going? Love that dream! This process is a grind, and we are almost worn to the nub. The Sheetrock goes up in a few days so we are definitely in the home stretch. It can’t come soon enough. I am sure I will be writing about it soon. Hope all is well

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With pictures please!!!! I have been in a bit of a storm here, but life brings what it will and we step into the new normals the best way we can. I will write about it one day soon. I have missed you and your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

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