Monday, January 27, 2014

Living with MS

The other day was rough.  If you’re familiar with MS, I am sure you’ve heard this story before.  Sick, sore, lethargic, and uncontrolled spasms led to a lost work day.  There was nothing more that the doctor could do but wait.  An already hectic life gets a little bit busier when health issues…again.

But Eleanor is doing better so life is back to normal.
And oh, by the way, I also have MS

For me, life with Multiple Sclerosis can be described in one word: LIFE.

LIFE with a family has a lot of events that are not quite under my control.  I think ‘not quite under your control’ is a great way to describe any marriage.  That’s definitely the case for me and my wife.  Our family, friends, the non-profit organizations we support and serve, both of our careers, and the home we’ve made define most of our schedule.  We mostly do a good job of slicing out some time for the two of us, but not last week.  Brie’s work requirements left me at home to care for everything while she was on the other side of the country.  It was my turn!  It’s hectic but we do what’s needed; that’s just part of the deal!

LIFE with a three-year old daughter is always a roller coaster ride of emotions, ever-changing daily plans and schedules.  No matter what was on the plate for the day was put aside when I got a call at 10:30AM that Ellie was sick.  The bug that had attacked every school had finally hit us.  Poor little kiddo got sick every hour, on the hour, until the early evening.  She was exhausted.

LIFE can throw surprises at you faster than you think you can handle them….until you handle them.  Such was the case when I was home with Ellie last week.  I had just enough time in between rounds with her to do a little work (since I left in the middle of the day, in the middle of several projects).  One thing about ‘working from home’ is that your workday doesn’t end when you leave the office.  Emails, reports, work, and more work continue to fill my inbox.

LIFE knows how to simplify things, in a way.  Dealing with work, the house, the dog, and my sick daughter was a little hectic.  But then work stopped.  A sudden storm knocked out our neighborhood’s power for the next 5 hours.  My only concern now was caring for Ellie, Monte! (our Jack Russell), and making sure our house was secure from the debris flying around in the storm.

LIFE sure knows how to get me to focus just when I need it.  That thought went through my mind over and over that night.  My only thoughts were caring for Eleanor and Monte!, keeping our house secure, and talking with my wife to update her on all the ‘fun’ she was missing.  I spent the rest of the evening lying in bed with Eleanor, feeding her ice chips and reading Dr. Seuss books by flashlight with Monte! snuggled warmly at my feet!

There were no others worries in the world!
And oh, by the way, I have MS.

Kevin Byrne - Portland, OR