Thursday, October 11, 2012

When Things Were Simpler...

In our society, progress is something that has propelled us onto bigger, better and easier things. Being an 80's child, I remember when things were a lot simpler...before cell phones, computers, iPads, wifi, etc. It was a simpler time when kids were kids longer, when we played outside until our moms called us in for dinner, when we dropped by friends and family's houses without having to call first, when we rode our bikes without helmets...I love and am totally addicted to the comforts of modern life, but there are times when I miss when things were less complicated.
When things were really simple...

When things were simpler, I was just a clumsy girl who fell a lot but I walked with no problems, I wore shoes when I felt like it, I danced to my favorite bands all night long and I didn't have a care in the world beyond my sisters annoying me or wanting to borrow my clothes all the time. When things were simpler, life was uncomplicated, health wasn't something I particularly thought of very often, because I had it.

It's been almost eight years since my CMT diagnosis and easily over ten since my symptoms started to show and really bother me. Eight years isn't exactly a long time in the big scheme of things: it's two World Cups, two presidential terms, two Olympic games, it's going through high school and college...but in the scheme of my life, eight years has changed things in ways I would have never expected.

In my personal life, my sisters moved back to Brazil, I graduated college, met and married my best friend, moved from NJ to CT, became a first time homeowner, and blossomed into an adult. In my CMT life, things changed drastically. I went from ignoring my diagnosis for a couple of years to a hot pursuit of answers and medical help. I had two reconstructive surgeries on my feet and another minor surgery in search of pain relief. I've met a slew of doctors, surgeons, and neurologists...some of which helped me immensely and others who upset me more than they'll ever know for things said without thinking. I progressed from an active and outgoing girl who loved to dance to a girl who doesn't go out often without fully analyzing where, when, how long, how far, who is going and if there is seating. I went from avoiding medication at all costs to not being able to deal with my pain without them. I went from regular walking to less and less walking, to the wheelchair and now to the scooter.

Life with CMT is full of ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. Just as you are getting comfortable with a change in your condition, things change without your noticing and you have to adjust your mindset. Some adjustments are easier to accept than others. Sometimes it feels like you're in a constant state of mourning...mourning things you could do that you no longer can, mourning the person you used to be and adjusting to who you are becoming. Even mourning the future...the dreaded how-will-I-be-in-five-years question. It's never a good idea to dwell on these changes too brings on too many feelings, and most of them are not the rainbow-filled, peaches and cream kind. Sometimes it is good to acknowledge those feelings though, throw a heck of a pity party for yourself, and then move on.

There are so many things I miss...things that I'm sure most people take for granted. Taking a walk at the beach, walking the mall, dancing the night away...But I have also realized that I am no longer the same person. I am more mature, I appreciate the little things in life, I am grateful for the days when life is good and CMT is taking a hike, I sympathize with the pain of others in a way I never could before, I am so grateful for the people in my life who are such a strong support system, and I am thankful to God, that even though He gave me an obstacle in life, it's one I can endure and He gave me as many cushions as He probably could without taking away the lesson.

When things started to get complicated...
I think CMT'ers are much stronger people than they get credit for. We are all struggling with this invisible condition that many people aren't even aware of and we are trying to do it all with a smile on our faces. It's a constant battle between body and mind...our body wants to give up and our minds are refusing to let it. Progress hasn't been a friend to my body, but I pray that this same progress leads researchers and scientists towards a treatment that will help us all.


Lenka said...

This made me tear-up in a good way. So true and heartfelt! I feel for all of us carrying CMT symptoms in our daily lives. I have also moved from ignoring to defiance to daily management. Not easy at all. At the same time, the perspectives and appreciation I have for little things is precious. I don't want the pain, but I like being me.

Still, a walk on the beach would be dreamy :). Wishing you a healthful day. Thanks for writing this!

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