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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

Twitter: @koreansoul77
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

New things

There are many things I’ve learned in the past two and a half years. After my father passed I started living the way I wanted to live. I took my first plane ride. I even went across to the opposite end of the country to meet up with someone I’d never met face to face, just because. 

I’ve learned that time never stands still and that it keeps rolling forward with or without you. I’ve been running, quite literally, with that time until recently. For months now I have been stuck in a holding pattern and as hard as I’ve been trying to catch back up, I always seem to be stumbling. 

MS exacerbations (multiple), breast lumps, and breaking my foot in addition to dealing with life in general, has left me at a standstill. I look around sometimes and realize the distance between where I am and where time is has grown significantly. When and why did I stop? Hard to answer that question but I know I let things bog me down until I couldn’t move anymore. Good things and bad things. I suppose everyone has those times in life I think sometimes the kick start is harder to push because of rust. 

My friend of 25 years passed away this past week and her funeral was today. It was very beautiful and all the love and support that was there for her family was breathtaking. Her daughter, who I’ve known since she was in diapers, is now an articulate woman. As I sat there watching the video presentation that showed glimpses of my friend’s life the rust started to fall off of that kick stand. 

This evening as I sat in my home contemplating life, friendship, love, and praying for guidance the rest of the rust fell off. I looked up and I realized that I had started moving along with life again. 

Does it mean that from now on I will be perfect and life will be perfect? No, not even close but what it does mean is that I’m back in the race and not watching it pass me by. Isn’t it odd how celebrating a life can lead you to your own again? 

I love you Shannon. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prioritize people

If there is one thing that I have learned in the past two and a half years is that you have to be able to prioritize your life. For me that meant that I had to learn how to have a work/life balance and how to say no to people. Unfortunately it also meant that I had to weed people out of my life. In a very short time my father died, I had a tumor removed from my ankle, and I was diagnosed with MS. These three things made me take notice of my life and my surroundings. Including the type of people I chose to surround myself with.

Let’s talk about friends first. You learn very quickly in times of crisis what type of character the people around you possess. Relationships are complex. Friendships as well as romantic relationships will never be “perfect”. Some people do well with crisis and some do not. Nothing is ever black and white however your friends, the close ones, should be the ones who make up your support system.

However you probably do have friends that need to be the center of attention. This may not be evident at first. Who would choose to have selfish friends who are not there to support you in a time of need? It can happen in the most subtle of ways. Then, when you’re not asking them about their day, or focusing on their problems and reacting to their lives, they disappear into the night without so much as a goodbye.

These types of people should be a very low priority in your life. The true friends, the ones that you can always count on, the ones that will fly to Florida and help you dispose of bodies into the Everglades (smile), are the ones you need to hold onto. They know that you’re not always going to be attentive or happy. They realize that sometimes you need to vent and sometimes you just need to sit and watch a movie and not think. They don’t coddle you and will tell you, kindly, but straightforwardly if you’re being ridiculous (sometimes maybe not so kindly depending on how foolish you’re acting). These are the types of friends you should make a priority in your life.

Ok let’s talk about work now. Unless you’re independently wealthy you have to work. It’s a neccisary evil. Actually, wealthy or you live off of the land and off the grid. Barring those two exceptions you probably have to work. This should not be your priority in life. I’m sure that most people, when they’re 70 don’t say to themselves “I wish I would have worked longer hours and harder and spent less time with my friends and family. What a waste!”

In my life, I have been more focused on other people’s needs than my own. There was a time I was having right sided wonkiness (new word). This meant that at times I couldn’t write my name correctly or walk. I was literally standing still until my leg decided it wanted to cooperate with me again. I ignored it. I use to joke and call it my mini-stroke. This was me not making myself a priority. I would do things for others, work overtime just because I felt I was being consciences, and ignore myself to my own detriment. I don’t do that anymore, at all.

Will I put others first? Yes, I will and I will even do things for them that may make me tired, drained, and wreaked. However, I know where the balance is. If I need time, space, or just to be, I will do that for myself. Some people cannot handle this type of adult mature relationship. Friends who could not be there for me or who I could not be there for 100% of the time, just disappeared. The manager at the job I previously had did not understand why, when I had the flu, I chose to stay home rather then go to a company function or why I took a day off to go with my mother for her heart catheterization.

Life has to be about balance, especially when someone has a major medical problem such as MS. I’m not going to do something that I know is going to wipe me out for the rest of the week, if I can help it. Will I do that at times of strife and when I’m needed? Yes. Will I because you feel like I need to because you have some sense that I need to coddle you or stroke your ego? No.

I have found recently that while most people like to say they want a life that is without games and without strife, the majority really don’t mean it. I however mean it. I’m blunt and I warn people that I am blunt. If I’m too blunt I will apologize, my intention is not to hurt someone however I feel it’s better to get it out in the open then to hide it. Games, which some people need and want, are not what I do. I’ve been called a “weird girl”. I suppose that means it’s because I’m not willing to play some odd relationship dance. I am me and I’m fairly sure that how I am now will not changed to dramatically in the future. I’m either accepted or I’m not and I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not to make someone else happy. This is a low priority probably somewhere under sending money to that prince in Nigeria that has 10 million dollars for me.

Do I say everything I want to say at all times for all situations - of course not. There is a difference between being blunt and being socially unacceptable and clueless. Again balance.

Drama in general is something I try to avoid in life, love, and work.

Am I perfect at this? No. No one is perfect and I have lots of flaws but I admit that. I however know what I need to do for myself and recognize that if I have to work on something so hard it feels like I’m barley keeping my head above water to keep it (relationship, friendship, job) at a tolerable level, it’s not worth it. I’m not saying that every relationship or friendship you have will be sunflowers and puppy dogs, however it shouldn’t feel like a MMA cage fight every day.

Life is about balance. Work but play just as hard. Spend time with those you love while you have time to spend. If you have children get to know your children before they have their own children. Waiting for some magical time when things will be right to do x, y, and z will never get you to x, y, or z.

The perfect person with no flaws will never be there, he or she is going to comb their hair the wrong way, or be too skinny or too fat or have a bad sense of fashion. Perfection does not exist but balance does exist. Extremes of anything are bad and you will never be happy if you’re on one end or the other of the extreme. I have a strong belief in God and over the past three years have been growing as a Christian in leaps and bounds. Most of my friends probably do not even know how strong my belief system is.

Prioritize your life and live your life as you were meant to live it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

MS really annoys me

MS is annoying to me. I don’t have a bad form of MS. To be honest I’m pretty blessed with the fact that I am only mildly affected by my disease so far. I suppose some friends would argue that what I do have at times is not mild but in all honesty I’m doing pretty well.

My biggie is fatigue but the running and keeping moving really almost negates the fatigue for me. I’ve also learned the nuances to Provigil/Nuvigil lol. For those that don’t know, Provigil and Nuvigil are medications used in MS to help with fatigue.

One of the big symptoms that I’ve had with my MS is crazy eye things (I call most of my MS problems wonky). I’ve had nystagmus (rapid movement of the eye) which made my world look like a TV that needed its rabbit ears fixed. If you’re too young to remember that here is a representation (smile). It looks as if you are seeing double but the image doesn’t stay still like this photo it keeps moving. Like laying the same picture horizontally scrolling over and over.

I also get muscle spasms and numbness from time to time. This in comparison to my world moving is not so bad.

There is this cool thing that happens when you have MS called a pseudo flare. Which literally means fake flare; I knew that biology class would come in handy one day! Pseudo flares can happen when you’re sick, exhausted, overheated or at other times for varying reasons. A flare in MS is when you’re having an active attack. These flares can last for months and are usually new symptoms. Pseudo flares are just problems you have previously had coming around to say hi.

So guess what I’ve been lately? That is right I have been sick. Not just a little sick but strep sick. I’ve actually felt fairly good, besides the burning stabbing poker that has seemed to have taken residence in my throat. I’ve even been working from home like the happy worker bee that I am. I even felt good enough to go buy a new cell phone case.

However, while getting ready to go to a birthday party on Saturday, guess what happens? A pseudo flare decides to step up and say “Hi”. I get up start to change and my world goes a little weird on me. This means my eyes are messing up.

Because of this I realize that I have to rest which I’m not always good at. However, this is the only thing you can really do for most of the MS symptoms. Or if you’re in an active flare you can take steroids but that is a different conversation all together. So I rest and my eyes today are fine, as well as the muscle pain I had in my right arm (sweet smile).

Let’s pray for a week of no weird MS symptoms and for the strep that has taken up residence in my throat to go away.

MS is one of the most annoying and frustrating diseases. I wish it gone but wishing doesn’t work, even if I am a Jeannie.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Best Mother Ever

I haven’t been out of the house since Tuesday when I went to the doctor and I was told I had the plague. Oh, I should explain that? Ok.

Sunday night my throat feels a little sore. Now here in Florida we’ve been having a little bit of a pollen issue, as you can see.

That is pollen and those are footprints.
I did 7 miles on Saturday and because of the pollen count, I chalked the throat up to allergies. Monday I wake up with a really bad sore throat. Now, those who have had sinus issues you all know about that bad pain in the back of your throat that comes from the nasal stuff (trying not to gross people out there). Still thinking it’s sinuses I go to work like a happy little worker bee that I am.

While at work I realize that my throat is not getting better. Usually after you wake up, get moving, drink, and eat something, the sinus throat pain will go away. Not so much, and at about 9am I call my doctor and make an appointment.

As the day goes on I realize yeah maybe not sinuses at all and I stop sitting in peoples cubes and warn them to disinfect things. Monday can’t sleep because of horrible throat pain and chills. Yeah I realize this is not sinuses, jump to Tuesday.

I have strep. Not strep type a but some other type. Woo hoo for me! So, I’ve been working from home for the past four days as to not distribute my disease to the office. Again I’m a happy worker bee.

Today is Friday. I have gone to a doctor’s appointment and have not seen the sun for days. We had some apocalyptic weather as well but that’s another story.

I decide that I will drive to Best Buy tonight to get a new cell phone case. Even if I do have a fever the people at Best Buy can go to the doctor and get on antibiotics. So, I get an Otter case for my iPhone. This is an industrial insane “Run it over with a tank and it will be ok” case. I snapped my last case in half and lately I have a habit of throwing the phone around while let’s say, walking down the stairs at work, so this is a good purchase.

I show my mom (after I figure out how to have three hands to open the case myself). I tell her it will protect my phone if I drop it etc. She is examining it pretty closely.

“So, I can drop it on the floor and it will be ok?”

I answer innocently “Yes that’s what it is for, to help protect the phone if I drop it.”

At which point my cute, small, innocent looking and evil Korean mother proceeds to drop the phone on the floor and look at me.  Then she starts laughing hysterically. I start laughing hysterically as well, which may mean I’m evil too or really stir crazy.

I have the most hilarious woman in the world as my mother. :-D

BTW the phone is ok lol