Saturday, February 6, 2010

Courage And A Little Hope

At the MS gym that I am now a proud card carrying member of, which I never saw coming due to my negative preconceived notion about it, they are making a quilt to raffle off as a fund raiser for the gym. They want everyone who is so inclined to to take a square, make a design that represents them and how they feel about MS, how they deal/fight it, and write why they chose that design. I took a big square and a little square, not out of greed but because they want people to make both if that is their wont, and it is my wont. I puzzled over what I would do. I tossed around different ideas, like making a big friendly dog with a blank look, because that is how I feel when I go in there. I go in happy to see everyone and feel like I slobber all over them, which I probably do but they are too nice to tell me so. I finally came up with my idea and am now going to share it with you. No need to thank me; I'm generous like that.

I am going to make on the big square the Chinese sign for courage and on the little square the sign for hope. I have always said that for me having MS is more about courage than hope, and if I ever get another tattoo -- highly unlikely, the 2 I have are more than enough -- I would get the symbol for courage.

Hope is all well and good in a passive kind of way. I do have hope for the future and what may come of studies about MS, but I can't put all my diseased eggs into that basket. I do not foresee a cure for MS in my life time and can only hope for better drugs to help slow it down. I hope for medicines with better efficacy and with less side effects to come down the pipelines soon, but don't want to pin all my hopes on that lest I be disappointed when they do not come down that clogged pipeline.

Courage is active and I like active. For me, hope is sitting back and waiting, whereas courage is facing what is. Do I have the courage to face what this disease has done and most likely will do to me? Some days I do. Other days when I think about what the future may hold for me, I lose my courage and get scared. Then I start wrestling with the "what ifs," which I HATE and try to remember that I need to deal with what is right now and worry about the possible outcomes when they come. I want the courage to look this disease in the face without flinching. I want the courage to deal with what may come and to accept it with grace. The courage to deal with how the public may react to me -- mainly because I struggle with that some days and want the courage to go out even on my worst days instead of hiding at home. This is a scary disease and I think "courage" should replace "hope" as our catch word. It takes a lot of courage to face this disease and I need as much as I can get. I don't want to be the Cowardly Lion anymore.


K Davis said...

I totally understand you idea about courage. On the first anniversary of my diagnosis I got brave tattooed on my wrist. People always ask me what there is to be brave about, and I have to tell them MS is about bravery. You never no what tomorrow will bring for you so you have to be brave or it will consume you.

Laura Hegfield said...

I struggle with the word hope always feels out of I'm dangling from it...I wrote a post about it too this winter. But we're talking...that's a word I can wrap my hear/mind/spirit around...even my arms when they are feeling cooperative!

Blessings to you on this rocky/wavery/tipsy MS road...and may courage be your partner every step of the way.

Cranky said...

Oh bearded one - you are so right. Courage belongs on the bigger square and hope should take a smaller role. Hope is necessary, as without it, we are done. But, courage is necessary in bigger doses just to face and get thru each day.

judowolf said...

Blindbeard, my wife has had MS for the past 20 years. Since the beginning she had courage over hope. This is the one way to deal with this disease and keep your sanity. The hope came along with the new drugs that have been developed. Fortunately, this has slowed down the progression of her disease. your COURAGE is not the lion in the Wizard of Oz but the lion of the jungle.
With kindest regards, Judowolf