Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Break... Dirty Words

This past week was super fun. I think about all of the activities we do with our children and realize we are making memories. Josh was working on the coast making calls so the kids and I drove down to meet him and stay a few days. Yes, I cleaned the house, packed up 3 children, packed food, gassed up the van, and hit the road for the coast. Some people always make the remark- Oh, I know it is so hard for you to do it by yourself when Josh is gone. This always really bothers me. Hard? Not really. Our routine definitely changes when Josh is gone, and I have more responsibility. But... I am taking care of my children and carrying on with what needs to be done. What else would I do? I really learned when we moved into our new house that Josh and I work together and get things done. We didn't have any help with packing. The only help we had with our children was their usual time in daycare. (8:30-4:30). Our children left one house to go to school and came home to another house.  We juggled selling a house, closing on a house, packing, a newborn baby, movers, and unpacking. I don't want praise, but I think it just shows when things need to be done, you do them. In this life, no one has the luxury of a magic wand to make it all happen. You just keep trucking and do what you have to do whether others are onboard with it or not.

 Flashback to the minivan...We bought our minivan last summer. The kids were so excited, they were jumping up and down when Josh turned the corner of our neighborhood to bring it home.  I can remember hearing criticism from some family members and friends about how they wouldn't be caught dead in a van. NEWS FLASH... If you are so hung up on what you drive then maybe you are focusing on the wrong things in life. Also, the people dishing the criticism were all over 30 and creeping towards middle age or older.(I fall into this category, too!) Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think a minivan is going to throw anyone over the edge. Just Sayin'. So far, I have loved the van. It drives great and most importantly, it is perfect for children! I would rather have a car that functions well than a car that is for looks. The children watched Frozen and Monster's Inc. so much that I found myself basically quoting the movies while driving. Sorry for the minivan rant. It has really been a great car. Back to spring break...

We had two really good days on the beach at the pool. Yep, when we go to the beach now I don't think we really spend more than 2 hours total in the sand. Our three love the pool. (I can't wait for our neighborhood pool to open!!) The kiddos made some friends. Russ played on a towel with toys. He actually curled up and slept by the pool more than he played. The first morning we were there, they were determined to go out and swim. With it being 40 degrees, the thought of swimming sounded like a terrible idea. But with 2 persistent kiddos, we packed up and headed out. The sand was cold. Really, so cold it felt like the time I ditched my car and walked in the snow with flats and no socks on. With teeth chattering, they raced up and down the beach to try to warm up. After about an hour, they gave up. Point made- listen to your parents when they tell you it needs to warm up a bit before you hit the beach.

Friday, we had a big storm. Winds at 69 mph and an unimaginable down pour. We managed to make it into a shopping center to park and wait out the storm. When we left, I caught Josh closing one eye, opening the other, and vice verse. When I asked if his eye was bothering him, he admitted that it really wasn't any better from the round of steroid infusions. After a moment of silence, I said the dirty words... Do you think you have an active lesion? UGH! The phrase "Active lesions" has made it's way to our dirty word bucket. Active lesions are scary and quite frankly, excuse my language, but they really piss me off. They come and go as they please without warning. They can have side effects or they can be silent. Either way, they do damage. Damage that can't be fixed with a fun band aid and some cream. So yeah, I hate active lesions. We decided to contact the doctor when we returned. Yesterday, the nurse put in a referral to the insurance company for some gel infusions. These are very expensive and require a process for getting them approved. Our nurse is fabulous and has already started the process. As much as I or anybody else gets frustrated with insurance companies, we would really be in trouble without our insurance. Between Russ being in the NICU and Josh's MS, we have been very fortunate to have the coverage we have. Are there times when I am frustrated? Yes. Do I complain about it? Sometimes. BUT I am going to stop, because the alternative at this point would be to have no insurance, and wow!! that would be detrimental to our family.

I have been thinking a good bit about how MS changes things. Some things remain pretty much the same, but overall, MS is a game changer. I have written about how when someone is diagnosed, the diagnosis has an impact on the entire family. This morning, I had some things on my mind that were really making me think about how relationships evolve and change with an MS diagnosis. This came to my mind...

"One person bears the burden while the other person carries the weight."
Whether you are the one bearing the burden or you are the one carrying the weight, I think it is very easy to fall into victim mentality mode. I have seen illnesses completely change people. It hurt, it was sad, and it each time I witnessed this and was a part of this, it was life changing for me. I really hope this doesn't happen to us. This is something I pray about daily. Things like MS wear you down and "eat" away at things you love to do and the people that you love.There is research, as well as statistics, on this. I feel that this aspect of the disease is something you have to be vigilant about and work on preserving everyday. In fact, this part of the disease, to me, is oftern more dibilitating than the disease itself.

This week we are getting ready for the MS walk in Birmingham. So far, we have raised $925.00!! I am really excited and grateful for the people who have donated their time and their money toward this walk. I picked up the t-shirts yesterday and plan on grocery shopping today. I will be cleaning tomorrow and Thursday (So people don't see how we really live:), and after that, I am going to enjoy our company that is coming, our friends who are meeting us there, and the rest that Sunday will bring. This week, our Sunday school was challenged to give up something bad for Lent rather than something you love. The 3 suggestions are: bitterness, apathy, and discouragement. I have decided to put these words in our bucket of "dirty words." I am going to try not to let them bog down my life and my outlook on the future.

Happy Tuesday!

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