Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't call me a pirate!

Well about 2 months ago I began losing the vision in my left eye.  It was not a gradual thing, I just woke up and it was like I had a cloud of cotton balls blocking off about 80% of my vision.  I was still able to differentiate light and dark, but only a small part in the center was actually like normal vision.  To make matters worse, for whatever reason, if I was around a lot of movement it made me nauseous.  Going back to my medic training I started experimenting to see if it was visual or something else that was causing the nausea.  Sure enough, it was an after effect of the vision loss. By covering the left eye up, I was fine nausea wise and able to go about my day.

With MS, every day can be a challenge.  Sometimes I feel like my life is a Star Trek episode as I boldly wonder what the hell else is gonna go on.  I refrain from saying "go wrong" , as well, I am too stubborn to think there is a circumstance I can't adapt to.  My wife and kids are very supportive even some of my friends as well.  They know stuff is gonna happen and they don't really make a big deal about it.  I feel like if they can do it, well by God I can do it too. 

I stopped driving for about a month and half, afraid with how to deal with this.  My right eye still sees 20/20, and whats left of my left eye does as well, but I have to wear an eye patch.  (on a side note parents it is NOT okay for your kids to run around calling someone who has vision loss a pirate over and over and you not correct them.  I get that they are small, I do not blame the children.  I blame the parents that can;t take 5 seconds to correct their child! I remember my parents firmly "Do not point your finger at people or talk about them openly its very rude!:)

I stopped working for the comic store I help out at a bit because frankly I was scared I would not be able to hold up my previous level of help and my wife is so busy with school and her own job and running the kids around it was next to impossible to toss something extra on.  This really knocked me on my butt.  I felt like a certain amount of freedom was taken away from me.  I felt like even more of my manhood was being taken away.

Folks, sometimes you just got to have your pity party.  I think a lot of times we have difficulty as men letting our egos drop out of the picture for a moment.  That is why so many old vets become bitter old men.  We never learn to adapt like we should and instead feel like no one will understand and burrow down in ourselves, miserable at the the thought that we have lost something and incapable of touching our emotions to deal with it.  Sadly, I was in this spot.

The great thing about medical marijuana is its propensity for making one get in their own head.  To really reflect.  Most people dismiss but it is a very real state depending on the strain.  Being a MMJ user means most of the euphoric effects no longer happen to me.  Honestly it just reduces my awareness of pain, reduces my spasms and most importantly wipes out the neuropathic spasms in my head also known as icepick headaches.  It is was during a particularly bad icepick that went on for about 6 hours (to the uneducated motrin, tylenol advil ,these will not even touch icepick headaches because its actually the damaged nerves spasming sending signals out. Most conventional migraine treatments of the nonnarcotic type will not even work.  And well the opiates, they are continuing treadmill in that you have to keep increasing the dose in order for the relief to keep working, leading to many other issues down the road.

Anyway, I digress, It was during this moment of intense self reflection, that I stumbled on my own ego and kicked it to the curb.  I am a father, it is my job to show my children that even through the greatest adversity we have to keep trying.  How could I possibly give up like this and sit around feeling sorry for myself. Sure, I was hiding it from my children well enough, but at some point it was going to come out.  I have seen this happen way too many times in other people.  So I took a nice long gimp at 1:00 AM around the block and determined that the Chris that re-entered my home was going to be the Chris who would deal with things.

I have started driving locally again, I have picked back up working for the comic store and I even committed to hosting Lego Club for the school every week instead of every 2 weeks.  It is important with any critical illness to still keep goals.  I think the human spirit is very much tied to our physical well being.  Practice makes perfect is so valid and the only way to pull yourself out of a funk is to practice not being in one.  That does NOT mean that you don't deal with your problems.  Running away or hiding from things never makes a situation better it always catches up.  You just shelf it in a place where you still know its there but where you can keep an eye on it and take it on and off the shelf as you need to.  A problem is a problem and needs to be solved ,BUT very few problems can be solved by fixating on them.  There is no easy fix, instead there is coping.  And isn't that what this world is about after all? Coping and patience?

Sorry its been awhile I tend to write a couple blogs then feel like this or that isn't valid.  Just know that if you are out there coping with MS like me, you are not alone.  We can be strong together and if anyone ever has questions for me regarding MS I am more then willing to give what I know or just listen if that is what is needed.

Until next time, Keep your chin up