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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Beautiful People Make People Smile

I’ve had a pretty rough couple of weeks. Pressure sores, achy legs, my arms so drained I can’t pick things up or type and even tired enough that talking to my Dad on the phone was draining me. I saw a presentation by a neurologist a while back who acknowledged that people with progressive MS can have exacerbations where things seem a lot worse then get back to “normal.” I think that could be what that was for me, but I’ve also been doing a lot in preparation for the projects we’re having done, so I may have just pushed myself too far. I forget that I can’t be physically Type-A anymore.

But as much as there are times, honestly many times, that MS related issues get me down, there are good things too, and the good things make me feel much better than the challenges make me feel bad. I know a lot of people with disabilities complain about how others can be unsympathetic to downright cruel. I’m blessed that I haven’t seen that much. My disability seems to bring out the very best in other people.

I’ve been told that it’s my smile. I bring out the helpful in others because I smile; how can you ignore someone in a wheelchair that smiles? I guess the typical picture in people’s mind for someone in a wheelchair is someone sad or mad about being in the wheelchair? There are lots of people who dwell on the negative part. I’d make myself nuts if I did that. I’m doing everything I can to slow the progression and even make it a bit better, but I accept that there is little chance I’ll walk on my own again. MS doesn’t shorten my life expectancy on its own and I’m only 49. I have quite a few years and a simple choice. I can be negative and miserable because the wheelchair reminds me of what I can’t do for another 40 years or I can smile because the wheelchair reminds me of how much I can still do because I have this wonderful assistive device. The only good about the negativity is it will feel like I live longer. The “seems faster” route is more in line with my remaining type-A tendencies.

I’ll finish today by telling you about an awesome friend. Edna of Miss Edna’s Place has been a wonderful friend who I met through our blogs back in 2008, way before I was diagnosed with MS so she’s a friend that’s been through the diagnosis and adjustments with me. Edna has left so many encouraging comments and some wonderful advice too. If you read her blog, one of her big hobbies is she does lots of crochet work and that’s recently included doing lapghans. Lapghans are lap afghans sized just right for wheelchair users. She’s done them for veterans and other groups who can use them. She sent me, I think it was 9 total, to share with our MS Support Group.

Aren’t they beautiful? The main one you see in the photo is the one I kept for me, a gorgeous lime green. The other ones in the picture are leftover ones because there were a couple of regulars to our group that weren’t there the night I gave them out and I’ll bring them to the next meeting. Everyone was so happy about the gifts. And they extended much gratitude. I sent that thanks in the email I sent Edna the next day. We have a few people in wheelchairs or who use scooters and those who marveled at the perfect size for taking off the chill when sitting on the couch or that you can drape it over your shoulders for an impromptu shawl too. Edna’s generosity created lapghans and a room full of smiles.

I’ve always though there are generally more good people than not in the world and as someone with a disability I am even more convinced of that. Maybe it’s just that I’ve always been picky about the quality of people I welcome into my world. Maybe it IS just my smile. Then again, the quality of friends and relatives I call my family keep that smile shining.

1 comment:

Edna B said...

My goodness, now I'm turning pink! I'm so glad everyone enjoyed the lapghans. Just let me know when your group is in need of more of them, and any favorite colors of course.

Believe it or not, giving these to folks who enjoy them really makes my heart feel ever so good. And, it helps to keep my hands nimble, especially the left one. I have nerve damage there, and the crocheting is good therapy.

Like you, I have found a lot more good folks in my lifetime than the not so good kind. I remember years ago when my kids were very small and there was no money for Christmas. A stranger made Christmas so very special. He brought armloads of gifts for everyone.

I have always tried to do the same for others. It's a wonderful feeling to bring some happiness to someone else. I was miserable after my Toostie passed on, then along came Pogo. It's hard to express the joy and new life he has given me.

And yes, your smile is awesome. It's probably one of the hardest things for you to do some days, but rest assured that when you smile the whole room lights up. That light radiates a happiness for others. So keep smiling Nani girl.

I have more reading to catch up with here, so you have a super evening. Hugs, Edna B.