Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Attitude is Everything

People ask me all the time, "How do stay so positive having this painful, disabling, potentially devastating disease?"
I usually answer with some variation of, "Well. What choice do I have?"
But what goes unsaid is that there IS a choice.
There is Always a choice. It may not be the choices you want. I certainly would not have chosen MS for my life, but since it chose me I can now choose how I will react to it.

This story was sent to me by my Betaseron nurse Judy:

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time How do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.'

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?'

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. 'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked

He continued, '..the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action.'

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Matthew 6:34

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ways to give

I have been so bad about blogging this month!
The heat is really hard on us MSers. I won't bore you with the ugly details but I have been a little under the weather this week. Today was better, it was a little cooler. But man am I dreading August right about now....Ugh.

So while summer brings heat, humidity, pool parties and other things it also brings....My Birthday. Yes, I am using my blog to remind everyone of my birthday (July 19th...did you write it down?) but really I bring it up because I would like to address a more serious issue:

I do not need presents.
Cards, yes. I need cards.
I am truly a kid at Christmas every time I go to the mailbox in the month of July. I admit it. Call me crazy. I am a card addict. I have a problem. There should be a support group! So yes, please feel free to send cards. :-D
But back to presents- I don't need anything. Really.

However, if you would like to buy Yourself or Someone Else you know a fabulous present in honor of my birthday...well, now that would be a swell idea! And do I have some ideas for such presents? Well of course I do!

For the dog lovers in your life we have a Dog Toy for MS!

For the women in your life (or men, I don't judge!) we have Earrings for MS!

Hey, its summer- the sun is bright and sometimes you need to protect the eyes and/or the head when you're out and about...Hats for MS!
(this site also has shirts, mugs and more - links are on the left-hand side)

For anyone and everyone: Magnets, Mugs, Mousepads and more for MS!
(this zazzle site is great - a lot of the products are designed by the daughter of an MSer, including the items with the ballerina with...wait for shoes on!!! I have already purchased red shoe stamps. You will be seeing them from me soon!)

So this year treat yourself to one of the fabulous products...send one to a friend...send one to your great aunt myrtle...then just send me a nice Hallmark and tell me what you bought and who you gave it to.

I can think of no better birthday present than a bunch of cards plastered all over my kitchen telling me about the MS gifts given to people everywhere in honor of my birthday!!