With love from me to you…

long agoNearly two years ago a friend recommended that I start a blog because of the many unique emails that I sent her. Out of absolute boredom, I packed her email with my creative discourse. I needed a creative outlet of some kind, and a blog was it. In the very beginning, it was basic nonsense and evolved into inventive nonsense on this blog. I was trying to learn about writing using trial and error.

beginEventually, she recommended that I share my MS story on this blog. She told me that it would show others that my life has not always been sunshine and smiling faces. It could also indicate to other MSers how things will get better if they simply hold on. The idea of sharing my story terrified me more than anyone could ever imagine. With the proofreading skills of her and her husband, my writing got the help that was required. I was telling the story of my dark beginning and how that changed significantly for the better.

I have always hoped that my blog would be helpful for people living with MS and others living with a variety of debilitating illnesses. My additional wish is that it can be a window for those without MS to get even a slight sense of what life with MS looks like. I desire that people can see the funny through the fear and how a positive attitude makes everything manageable. I even make a concerted effort to both never complain and to always wear a smile while in public.

After I felt comfortable with writing, I shared my untold MS story in my early blog days in January of 2018. After fifteen months I have received several positive MS stories that astounded me. Little did I know that my ramblings about my MS life could or would touch anyone in a meaningful and life-changing way. I merely wanted to share my story with others and was not expecting very much in return because the initial intent was more about therapy for me. I honestly did not think much of my writing but was told that people with multiple sclerosis might find my experiences helpful. This reality shows me that no matter how little I think of my writing it is beneficial to others.

gbAmazingly, for the past several months I have also been a guest blogger for a national MS magazine online edition. I sent my untold MS story to an MS magazine to ask about publishing the story in hopes of helping others. They told me that they appreciated my story and explained where it would fit in the magazine in time. This woman then asked me if I would be interested in being a guest blogger for the magazine and explained what it would entail. I enthusiastically accepted the pleasant proposition.

In recent weeks I have received several messages or heard from a friend of other MSers who read my blog. Their stories also had dark beginnings, and it astounded me when I was told that their stories turned out positive because of my blog. They were lifted out of their funk or personal situation of darkness from reading my blog. My story of continual perseverance touched these struggling and lost individuals in a meaningful way.

expAt that time I did not know what to expect for this blog, so I kept my expectations low so that I would not be disappointed. I am incredibly moved and honored that my blog writings have positively impacted the lives of other MSers. I will continue to write, and I hope that my blog continues to make a difference in the stories of others.

Make a difference in someone’s life; it takes so little and means so much.

With great power comes great responsibility…

lost brainI slept horribly the other night and decided to sleep in because a tired brain is a dysfunctional brain. I had nothing planned that next day to wake up early for and realized that this would be a great day to be lazy. I am not sure what caused my unrest though I lay all night with busy mind syndrome. Sadly the chaos that was to ensue would not allow the extra slumber that I so wanted. This terrible technological turmoil would not allow the excess rest to calm my brain that I desperately desired.

From a very young boy, my mother was relentless in the idea of not burning daylight. I would stay the night with a buddy, and as young boys do, we stayed up until at least three in the morning. Inevitably my mom would show up at eight in the morning to take me grocery shopping with her. The idea of a snooze button was like a unicorn; it did not exist in her life.

The Boy Scouts also fostered our sleepless behavior when we went camping. They allowed us to stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Although we were able to stay up late, we also had to rise early to start the day together. No matter how tired we were, no snooze button was allowed to help us.

The Marine Corps continued to maximize this behavior of inadequate sack time. They wiped the idea of the mythical snooze button from anyone still holding onto this unicorn concept. Zero dark thirty was our typical wake-up time and even earlier on training days.

sneeeeezI am such a light sleeper that if a mouse sneezes in my living room, I say “blesses you.” All of that being said my motto has always been to hope for the best but plan for the worst. However, technology has a habit of modifying your ideas no matter your goals. I never want there to be a chance of oversleeping. This desire of not wanting to be late is of the utmost importance. I stagger my morning alarms so that if one does not work the backup number one or even number two will wake me.

While trying to sleep in the first alert in the morning were my lights that come on at ten percent power. They gradually get brighter by ten percent every sixty seconds or so. Keep in mind that I am a light sleeper and this is all that I need to wake me from my deep sleep coma. All of the lights in my house would hit maximum power in ten minutes, so I quickly turn the lights off and close my eyes to revisit the Sandman.

Fifteen minutes later my Google home begins an alarm sound. When my Google home alerts me, my response needs only to be vocal, and I do not need to move. Annoyed I wake up and loudly tell this tiny tech “ok Google stop!” The problem is that I must shout during the lull in the sound especially when I am waking and in a torpor state. Once the siren sound stops I close my eyes and try to return to my dream once again.

Keep in mind that it can take the average person twenty minutes to fall asleep. However, it can take the body an hour and thirty minutes to slip into restful REM sleep. Needless to say by this point I had not gotten the needed extended sleep for which I was aiming.

smart techTen minutes later the alarm on my phone began to shriek and shout to wake me. When my cellphone alarm rings I must physically manipulate the phone to turn it off. This task is daunting because for me to roll over and grab my phone is a challenging task since my body does not always cooperate. I fight with my body for several minutes making me wide awake, and I remember that this is my last alarm for today. Settling back into bed I close my eyes to finish my dream of running a marathon as I stood in the winner’s circle.

Ten minutes later was the introduction of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I hear the three small motors that open my living room blinds. They are set to open every morning bright and early at seven in the morning. I also begin to hear chirps from my phone reminding me of various upcoming tasks. Obviously, today I will not be getting the needed peace for extra hibernation.

offThis day reminds me that although technology is usually fantastic, it has its weaknesses too. Most importantly you must look for an off button for those times when you require extra respite. If only one of these alarms sounded that day, I could have continued sleeping even with the motors of the blinds whirring. Alas, I will have to try to sleep-in next month.

I cannot go to work tomorrow. I fractured my motivation.