This is MY journey with MS! I give you my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and prayers. My wish that one day this disease will come to an end. That one day there will be a cure. For now, I hold on to possibility. I HOPE this will help and inspire not only myself but others.
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Bring On The NEW Year!

*For a Slideshow of Christmas Pictures click on the picture to the left*

The holidays can bring forth many emotions for many differnent people. For me it has always been a time of year that I looked forward to....even when I lived away from my family. There has always just been something about this time of year. This year however was different. I know for me, my emotions have been running high and I have not been feeling good. I have been very emotional and have spent the last week or so reflecting on what the last year has been and where I would like to see my life go in the upcoming year.

Alot has happened this past year. Not only have we all had a lot to deal with in regards to my MS, but Nathan has had his own challenges both emotionally and acedemically, my dad has had two surgeries, a close friend of the family has been very sick (and just got out of the hospital today), my grandma was in the ICU at the first of the year, and my grandpa passed away. Of course there have been positive things to happen this year as well. On the MS front we raised just over $2000 for the Everybody Falls CD fundraiser for the MSAA (and hopefully can do more in 2007). I became an Ambassador for both the NMSS and the MSAA, started this blog and met all of you, not to mention I obtained the services of a brilliant neurologist in Seattle! :) My sister got into a group home and is doing great....better than she has in a long time, my parents purchased a home....things work out how they are supposed to I think, even when we just don't understand why things are happening to us.

I have come to realize that I maybe have not handled things the best that I could have this past year....year and a half or so (since I have moved to Washington). I moved here because I HAD to because of my health. It was the right thing to do and I am glad that I did it NOW...but I was not ready to do it at that time. I came here because I was told that I had to move to where I would be closer to my support system.....that the stress I was under with working, school, being a single mom, everything I was doing was too hard on my MS, my health in general and I could not keep up at that pace. Well, this is what I have learned. Of course I was given the best advice I could have been at that time....they were wise to give me such advice and should have done so, however, what happened is I ended up moving and not working (like it was suggested), lived off my savings as long as I could (which was stressful in itself) while I awaited the whole SSI/SSDI process....which has been more stress (although I am grateful for the benefits I do get...I know some people have it worse than I do). I have had 3 relapses and this last episode which was not a relapse or stroke like originally thought but a complicated migraine. So, stress from work or no work....the result is probably about the same. I still have progressed, I still have had relapses. The difference is that now I have a crappy income, little to no health benefits (depending on the time of the year...thanks to the spenddown I now have as I am not eligible for Medicare for two years), and from a positive standpoint I do have a wonderful support system. My parents are always there for me.

When I first moved here I got settled in, but I kind of hid from the world....I became depressed for the first time in my life. I was being forced into a situation that I was not ready to deal with. I had no control. Hmmm.....sounds a lot like what we deal with in the MS world. Me, being very much a control freak, did not do well. This only fed the depression and I quit doing the few things that would have been my saving grace...going to Church, being with my family more, keeping in contact with my friends. What I did instead was throw myself into the MS world, which had both some positive and negative outcomes. I ended up with this blog and met all of you....that has been very positive. I also got involved with the NMSS and MSAA, also postive. What I did that I would say is probably negative is that I started to let MS take over my life.....what I mean by that is that I focused so much on MS, with the blog, news, organizations, etc. that I was neglecting other aspects of my life. I had to finally take a step back and realize what I was doing, although I had good intentions was not healthy. I had to find a balance.

I think what it was is that I miss working, hate not being able to get up in the morning like I used to and live the life that I had planned for myself. I would give anything to be able to do that again. I hate the fact that I went to college and busted my butt so that I won't be able to put that education to use. So, I put that same energy that I would have used at a job into everything to do with MS. The problem is that that is counterproductive. I was not getting the rest I needed.....I was not slowing down and taking care of myself the way that I needed. Plus, I was still upset, depressed, and in some ways angry at my situation. Finally I came to realize that was not the way to do things. If I am to get better I must slow down. I must take things day by day. I have to save up those spoons. :)

This next year I have some new things to look forward to. I have a few things MS related on the burner....Of course I am moving forward with the Novantrone, which I am excited about because this time I know to pace myself. I am also continuing with my duties as an Ambassador for the NMSS and MSAA, which means I will take on a few projects as I am able. The trick is that I need to learn to say no if I am not feeling well (something I am getting better at....I have always been more of a people pleaser, and this year it is my goal to put my health first). The Everybody Falls CD fundraiser if you have not gotten your copy.....go get it! Also, there are a few things going on with the NMSS. If you live in the Greater Washington Chapter then you will want to know of some events coming up soon (Advocacy Day, Sunnyside, Women's Retreat, & More). I have a "project" I am working on with Dave that should be fun when we get it up and is non-MS related and just for fun! I have been given a new calling at Church which I am very excited about.....Church Historian and I was also put in charge of doing the newsletter (I have so many ideas to get it up and running electronically....we shall see, lol). I figure I have a lot of time to relax, take things day by day, and take care of my health. I don't want to waste another day being upset and depressed about what life has handed me, because I can't do anything about that anyway, but move forward. I know that everything happens for a reason and I have always known just seems that some how I have gotten lost, and I have been coming back around the last few months, but it is important that I continue on a more positive path this upcoming year. God, Family, my health, my friends...these are the things that are important.....everything else can wait for another day! Now I just have to remember these things from day to day....I have to remember not to get bogged down and caught up in life.

I hope you have had a good year 2006 and that the year 2007 brings you nothing but the best. Take care!


Vivian said...

Yea Jaime! I am so glad that you are *choosing* you. You are an awesome person and you deserve the best. Be happy and do things that benefit you and your son. Wishing you the best year ever!!

Miss Chris said...

What a nice post. I'm wishing you the best in the New Year.

Jaime said...

I am sure going to do my best to try and put my needs first, that can be difficult sometimes...I think as women we tend to nurture and put others ahead of ourselves. That is not a bad thing of course, and I plan to continue to look at the needs of others...I just need to focus on me too! lol Thanks for all of your kind words and well wishes. I hope that you are well. Happy New Year!

Jaime said...

Miss Chris,
Enjoy yourself this holiday season and I hope the new year brings you nothing but the best. Take care.

personallog! said...

Great post babe. Dont do to much as your still settling into the novatrone. We will have that "live as it was" thing one day. We all will. Just one day at a time for now!

Love you

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I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, have been through all of the FDA approved treatments I qualify for and now am participating in the HALT MS Study. This is my life with MS (among other things).

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