Sunday, June 28, 2009

Going Away Party

Yesterday some friends threw a going away party for me! They (and Andy) put together a good old New England Clam Boil. It's my favorite! I loved every minute of it. The kids all played with squirt guns and the hose and the adults ate and ate. I was also given a gorgeous basket filled with lotions and books about my favorite subjects- gardening and birds. There was lots of candies, gum and disinfecting wipes and other things that I might need to stay healthy and comfortable while I'm at Rush. My beautiful nieces made a picture frame and put a photo of themselves in it. The cards and messages that are inside them made me cry. I am so thankful to have such caring, supportive friends and family. Jenny (who had this treatment in November) gave them advice about what I might need. Thank you, all, for a wonderful time and for your support. I can't imagine going through this without all of you!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lots of People Have MS!

My 8 y/o son has seen my walking get worse as my MS has progressed. I know it's difficult for him to have his Mom be 'different.' I remember being 8 and have a pretty good idea of how that feels. Over the past 9 or 10 months I have tried to explain to him what MS is. I do it slowly in terms that I hope he can understand. I don't bring it up clear out of the blue. I wait for him to ask so I know he's ready to receive information about it.

Over the last month or so he's heard me talking to my husband, Andy, about how "so and so" just found out she/he has MS. He's starting to learn that I'm not the only one that has this disease. I think that this makes him feel a little better in some way.

Over the weekend he had to go to the pediatrician for a throat culture. She overheard me talking to a woman in the office about my trip to Chicago and she asked me about it. After our discussion she said that she asked because she has a lot of family members with MS. He didn't say anything at that moment but a couple of days later he mentioned it. I think that hearing his doctor say she has MS in her family really had an impact on him. Then he asked me if MS stood for anything. I said "Multiple Sclerosis" and then told him what those words meant. He then asked me who else I know that has it and I rattled off a list. He was shocked by some of the names I gave him. "But he doesn't have trouble walking!" I told him that it affects everyone differently.

I'm hoping that this knowledge lets him feel more comfortable about it. What I'm really hoping, of course, is that he can feel better by watching my walking progress while my disease 'goes away!'