As I sit here on this cold wet St Stephen’s (Boxing Day) morning contemplating the past year and the ups and downs that this wild unpredictable beast, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has brought to my life I realise that there have been many more ups than downs and that I am really grateful for a multitude of things and that are too numerous to mention. The year has been good for the most part but I agree with my fellow blogger Trevis Gleeson that MS has not brought out the best in me; I have brought out the best in me in spite of MS. There have been highs and lows.
My daughter Mairéad got married to a lovely young man, Rowan Beharie, last August and I managed to walk her up the aisle as I had done 4 years earlier with my other daughter Elaine when she married another lovely young man Henry Sheehan. How lucky am I that they both my daughters managed to fall in love and that they are all gainfully employed. I thought that when they got married I would no longer need to worry about them having passed the ‘worry baton’ to their respective spouses but that didn’t happen; a parent’s worry is never done it is just changed.
I became more accepting of Assistive Technology (AT) as my body realised that it needed more help in getting around. Back in July during a physiotherapy assessment Jamie Sheehy asked whether I would use a rollator. 12 months previously I had scoffed at the idea but this time I jumped at the offer. It was about the same time we had bought our first automatic car; again I was ready to admit the need for AT and I was glad I did. AT is designed to make our lives easier but the mind and body must meet at the same time to embrace AT.
We sold our home of 25 years. A number of events came together which made our decision easy. I wasn’t able to look after our large garden any more. Jean’s mother had passed away and it was a no brainer to use the proceeds of the sale of our home to convert and adapt Jean’s family home to our changed circumstances. We have a downstairs bedroom and an upstairs Living Room and really it is absolutely fantastic. AT has come in handy once again as we have stair lift. We also have a cohort of great neighbours and as everybody knows good neighbours are worth their weight in gold.
My left hip started giving me trouble a couple of months back and it went from bad news to very bad news and then just bad news again. The doctor mentioned Avascular Necrosis and I thought that anything with ‘necrosis’ tagged on at the end had to be bad news. Added to that was a specialist appointment arranged within 24 hours and it all added to the makings of a serious problem at least in my mind. In any event it may not be as serious as first thought but the possibility of a hip replacement is looming somewhere over the horizon. Just what I needed!
I started writing blogs for Multiple Sclerosis Ireland blog section MS & Me in late 2013 and had articles published in 2014. The writing team are all people living with MS and we all give our own perspective on MS. The Head Office team and the bloggers are all great people whom I have come to admire very much. I have also written a number of articles for Novartis Blog Living Like You. Writing is therapeutic for me and if I can cause anyone to smile or giggle with my writing I am delighted but I would be thrilled if my writing helps someone. I was interviewed by Alison Curtis on The Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM where we spoke about my MS and Mairead’s wedding. It was a great experience.
All-in-all my life is good. Mum used to say “there is nothing so good that it couldn’t be better but there is nothing so bad that it couldn’t be worse”. She was absolutely correct; my life could surely be better but it could definitely be worse.