January 18, 2014

What now?

So here I sits, like the cat videos, me in a box. A box made of certain limitations, certain walls, some openings, some slides and ladders.

I'm not limited enough that most of my day is spent dealing with my MS, and for that I am absurdly grateful.
I AM limited enough that a large proportion of my day is affected by my MS, and for that, well, I am grumpy.
I have had to retire, from an interesting and challenging career. I left work at 50, after staying home with my kids while we moved around for years for my husband's career. I don't begrudge staying home with the kids. I don't even begrudge moving around. But I feel as if I haven't had a chance to show my abilities yet. It's frustrating to get to a place where things were interesting and then find myself unable to do them anymore. And five years in, I'm starting to wonder what lies ahead.

I had a lot of fun working, using my creative mind on problems. I made a lot of mistakes, I had a few successes, I LIKED it. And then I couldn't do it, I couldn't remember what I was doing, I was so tired I could barely walk, I became hyperemotional and had a breakdown from the disease.

It's more common than you at first hear. I should have known, when I was diagnosed with depression, that my brain was wearing out. I've never been depressed in my life. Until MS came along. Now it's something I battle daily, along with fatigue and pain and decreased mobility.

But I'm young yet. I'm just 55. With luck I have another 25-30 years ahead of me - to do WHAT? There are only so many crafts. I've tried writing, I don't have the mental stamina for it. I volunteer, and I can continue to do that, provided I can have a nap regularly. But is it enough?

I don't know. I search on, looking for some way to make some sort of contribution.