The following is a review of the year of 2018 for me. Ten years ago my life was so dull that to say that my life revolved around TV would be an understatement. I knew that it was meal time not by my stomach growling but by what was on television. If someone called me and asked what was new, I could say that absolutely nothing was new. The following is a flashback of how my life has evolved in the past year.
In 2017 I began the arduous process of building a house with MI Homes. Let me tell you that the home construction ordeal is not for the faint of heart. Sadly, MI Homes did not offer me the help that I should have had so I was flying by the seat of my pants. The house was finished eight months after they broke ground. Just for the record, there are plenty of mistakes that I made from lack of knowledge. The home is not as good as it should be, but it is massively better than my old house was.
I began writing this blog on the Word Press platform well over a year ago. I deleted the very early stuff as it was pretty superfluous to the writing process. During the next few months on the blog, I was writing both fiction and non-fiction stories. I was trying to learn about writing in all of its forms. After this few months of learning my blog changed a bit. I developed the new blog specific topic of my daily MS, and I began to phase out all other writings. As a result of my blog, I also became a guest blogger for a national MS magazine!
I started this new “my MS” focused blog by telling “My Untold MS Story.” The story is of my dangerously dark diagnosing days. Believe me when I say that it was a terrifyingly torturous tale to tell publicly. Currently, my blog is focused on my daily MS life and the issues that I and probably many MSers encounter and experience. No matter the subject line, I try to keep it light by adding humor. I do not let the blog drag-on by keeping it on point. I also post my blogs once per week.
Nearly four years ago I joined an arthritis water movement class at the local YMCA. I was hoping to get stronger physically, mentally and socially. Since the instructor did not know how to help me, I made up my exercises. I did the fitness routine that I invented while clinging to the wall like a barnacle on a ship. After a year of class two of the ladies in my class tried to help me periodically walk in the water. I continued to use the YMCA for two years while seeing minuscule benefits.
Then one day we had a substitute instructor who came from Prairie Township Community Center. She told us of the pool where she taught and recommended that we check it out. After we visited it many of the class members left the YMCA and joined the community center. This move changed our lives for the better and changed my life forever.
The instructor constantly encouraged me to get away from the wall and its security blanket impact. Within a few months, I no longer needed the wall for support as my water confidence had grown immensely. My legs are still as sturdy as bread ties meaning I need to keep a water noodle under my arms for better body buoyancy.
This past June and July I paid for a few private swim lessons. The instructor quickly found the things that I could not do and how to work around those challenges. By mid-August, I was comfortably swimming without the use of my legs or a flotation device. I swim face down and roll onto my back to breathe and then flip face down to swim again.
One evening I was on the MS Association of America (MSAA) website. I saw a swim challenge posting asking for others to help them raise money for multiple sclerosis. I thought to myself “I think that I might be able to do this.” I knew that I had time as I am in the pool for three hours three times a week. I decided that over fourteen days in October I would swim four hundred and twenty laps. I ended up swimming five hundred and fifteen laps totaling eight miles and exceeding my goal. All told I swam farther and raised more money for the local chapter of the MSAA. I did this in October in comparison with any other swimmer who was raising money. They made me the October swimmer of the month and put a photo and description of my story.
So this has all lead up to a place where I am in a much better place mentally and physically. This blog shows what has been going on in my world as of late. I swim for two and a half to three hours on three days a week. I work on my blog most of the rest of the time. I have not had cable and only use streaming services for over five years now. So I do not watch TV as much as I used to.
Of course, no one knows what the future holds. My goal for 2019 is to keep my body moving by continuing to swim. I plan to research kayaking and other “extreme sports” (and I use that very term loosely) where I can get involved. In my condition overcoming my fear of the water has opened doors that I closed a long time ago. My only limiting factor currently is transportation. However, I will not stop attempting to do the things that I once thought impossible.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.