Friday, January 15, 2016

The White Wave Vs. Ataxia

I've been thinking about ataxia, the neurological disease I have.  I've been thinking about how it has shown me who I really am.  I am very competitive, and I love the challenge of having to rise to the occasion.  I am completely determined to not let this degenerative brain disease steal my joy or my life.  I am determined to stay as active as I can be, and as physically (and emotionally) flexible and balanced.  I walk as much as I can, I jog regularly (every May 3, rain or shine), I keep a healthy diet and I visit my doctor's office when I should-and not just to say "hi."  I do not deny that it is often scary to have a degenerative condition and know that my health will only get worse, but then again, no one knows the future; all we really know is that we have today, and if we can grab some happiness today, we need to grab it and not let go.  I know the disease limits me in some ways, but it also enriches my life in others.  I know I have a lot more compassion for those with a chronic illness, and more patience.  I notice things others don't-when someone's hands are shaking or when their movements are unusually slow.  When someone has trouble speaking their mind, I don't get frustrated since I know that may well be a symptom of disease.  I don't need to be reminded to pray for someone dealing with a chronic illness, as I am all too familiar with the long and lonely days and the fear and worry.  I thank God for all the good days, and for the friends and family He's given me, and for this disease and the way God has used it in my life to make me more loving.

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