October 20, 2018 I’d like to share my thoughts about a struggle many people deal with, myself included. If you read Bob Cayne’s column you probably think I’m talking about multiple sclerosis. Of course I am, but that is just one of thousands of events that disrupt lives…once and for all.
Losing control (let’s rephrase that) letting go of control is contrary to our way of living. Our parents and teachers encourage us to be go-getters and doers and to be in control of our destiny…until one day we aren’t. So we hum along building things and making things happen on our own terms.
But some of the control we believe we have over our lives is an illusion.Sometimes the driver’s seat turns out to be an ejection seat.
The game of life contains variables, not to mention unexpected limitations. The challenge we face is how we respond to the hands we are dealt. We can fight like hell by raising the stakes; simply call and stay in the game or fold. Remember the old saying: There are people who make things happen, people who watch things happen and people who say, “Gee, what happened?” Those are your choices.
Bob’s column discusses a hand I was dealt. I met it head on. For 30-years my mantra has been: I have MS, but MS doesn’t have me.
Choose to dwell on impossibility or empower yourself. Those are your choices. I encourage you to play the game sensibly and resourcefully. Make the very best of each outcome as it arises, even if it’s a low blow that knocks the wind out of you.
Half of the things we think are going to happen never happen. Why let your worst fears get the best of you? Negative thoughts and cravings that marinate in our minds destroy our peace, our joy, and our lives. Why entertain thoughts that lead to heartache or depression?
A wise person once said, “When you are no longer interested in looking at what could have been, you are doing something right.”
But what happens when chaos suddenly sticks a foot in your door? Well, don’t throw a welcoming party or run for cover. Recognize the situation for what it is. Calm yourself down. Trust in yourself. Have courage. Accept the situation. Seek a reasonable way to go forward.
One thing we can always control is our outlook on life. Make sure yours is as positive as it can be.
Contact: Dr. Martin:
Reflections on Life
Terry Martin Ph.D
THE DAMNABLE DISEASE
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October 20, 2018 She won’t mind me saying this. In fact you may already know that Dr. Terry Martin (one column to the right…and close to my heart) suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS).
Terry compares the symptoms she experiences with those of an MS challenged chap in Ireland named Trevis L. Gleason who she ran across when he wrote a column for everydayhealth.com titled Happy in Spite of Multiple Sclerosis. Coincidently, that same publication carried a story about Terry Martin’s MS a while ago.
Travis was known as Chef Trevis when he worked in New England, New York and (as he puts it) beyond. At the height of his culinary career and not yet forty years old the ‘damnable disease’ struck leaving Travis hobbling and wobbling. MS cost him his job and his marriage. He rented a cottage in Kerry, Ireland and never looked back.
Travis and Terry fight pain and exhaustion daily. Adding to the MS, Terry went through triple-bypass surgery and Travis had a hip replacement. Yet they manage to find the joys of life.
At first Terry didn’t think anything was wrong, other than a stiff neck. “I was traveling, making speeches and dealing with serious fatigue. I thought it might have been my thyroid. But after a series of diagnostic tests I learned it was MS.”
Terry and Trevis are role models.
Trevis explains what the disease is like. “Luckily, I had hold of both banisters of the stairs this morning. I looked down at my legs and feet, as they weren’t sending up much in the way of sensory signals. You know the feeling: I know they are there, but they are as much deadweights as they are active participants in the day’s activities.”
Terry agrees. She says, ”I shouldn’t walk without help so I use a cane or my walker. I lean on Bob sometimes or do what my granddaughter calls ‘furniture walking’ from chair to table. I have very little feeling in my legs; they are numb. I’m not ‘grounded’ the way I once was.”
Terry is grateful that people keep her moving, balancing, talking and writing. She stays mentally and emotionally aware. “MS taught me teamwork,” she says, “along with dependence, empathy and humor.”
In a recent column Trevis wrote, “So we get on, we live and we try to live well.”
Terry adds, “Follow the advice I give my therapy patients: Live in the present, be hopeful, and do what’s best for you.”
Why is That?
ONCE AND FOR ALL