Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Do You Mend A Broken Heart...Or A Broken Fingernail, For That Matter?...

I know, I are sitting there reading this wondering how in the HECK am I going to tie THESE two topics together?!? Well, like always...extremely LOOSELY and with great TANGENT! This has, after all, been my day today...loose and tangential.

I spent another day at home from work again trying to recover from "whatever"...I say "whatever" because neither Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named nor I are certain exactly WHICH issue is the culprit behind my aching head/neck/upper back, blurred left eye, fatigue, and cramping in my calves. I DID flip flop (hey! I could be a politician with that term!) my work schedule and suffer through two night shifts right before my Tysabri infusion...and then, there is the Tysabri infusion itself...which CAN cause headache and fatigue. Chicken or the egg? Doesn't really matter..."whatever" the cause, I've been feeling pretty crappy for two days. One can be certain of this "crappy" assessment because I have been SLEEPING/NAPPING repeatedly throughout the days since Tuesday night, which is something I rarely (if ever) do. Fatigue is the bane of my existence when it comes to loathing MS keeps me still and contemplative.

Somehow today, while doing NOTHING and lying about on the couch, I managed to tear the heck out of my right index fingernail...GAAH! I hate it when that happens. And once the tip of the nail is torn, I am destined to catch the darn thing on the tiniest of items and rip the HE!! out of it even further. My usual rescue technique is to take a piece of tape after filing the rough edges and try to plaster the flap of nail back down...I do this EVERY time...and EVERY time it NEVER works completely. Yet, I repeat this process over and over.

Today, as I was also lying about on my couch and admittedly feeling a bit sorry for myself, I did some serious contemplation of my navel lint (layman's terms for meditating on one's life...LOL). For somewhat unconscious reasons, today of all days (probably because I stopped long enough to really THINK about my life), I traveled down the dark and scary road of past and present relationships...of love gone bad (if any "X's" are reading this, of COURSE I am NOT talking about YOU!)...of current friendships and how I "relate" to those around me in my life. I was feeling somewhat "lonely" today for some unconscious reason and I didn't like the initial way this feeling was rolling around in my mind and body.

For some reason, I have always had a keen sense for attracting wonderful friends and a sharper sense of attracting disastrous love relationships. :-) This is not to say I have always found trusting and loyal friendships nor have my significant intimate relationships been completely a wash. There have been friendships that have broken my heart as well as significant loves that have lasted for years. But more recently, it has been my friendships that have sustained me while lovers/partners/mates have fallen by the wayside.

When I was diagnosed with MS in 2003, I was in the middle of ending a 12 year relationship...I just didn't KNOW I was in the middle of ending it. LOL I did not allow myself to think or feel beyond what was comfortable...which was the security of knowing there would always be someone there for me if I needed them. I simply put a piece of "tape" over my heart and carried on...repeatedly "snagging" the beating organ on seemingly mindless things...forgetting to "protect" the break and be gentle with myself (and now you KNOW I've lost my mind, connecting my torn fingernail with THIS topic, eh?!?).

What I discovered today while allowing myself to feel lonely was this: Lonely is just a feeling, but I am not ALONE. Yes, it is true...I DO live "alone" (minus the company of the Devil Kitty) and I sleep single in a double bed (isn't that a Country Western song?!). And there are times when I truly do long for the security and comfort of knowing there is someone "home" for me...someone who has my back...someone who will bring me a sandwich when I am too fatigued/dizzy/stumbling to find my way to the kitchen and make a meal myself...someone who will hold my hand during the petrifying moments of Multiple Sclerosis and assure me I will get through this, too.

I hear many stories from MSers who, due to their diagnosis, struggle to maintain their current significant relationship(s) or feel they have lost a significant relationship due to MS. I certainly would like to blame MY parting of ways after 12 years ON MS, but that's not really true...the relationship had died some time BEFORE the diagnosis...MS just provided the final catalyst/motivation to say good-bye...for BOTH of us.

But I also find it highly interesting (in a lint-in-navel sort of way) I have NOT wanted to seek out another significant relationship since my diagnosis and break up...which I DO blame on my MS! MS has provided me a different "comfort and security"...the ability to place yet another piece of tape over my heart and not RISK breaking it again...even though I know that tape won't hold...even though the "tape" comes with consequences. Such as feeling lonely like today.'s my question to YOU. Do YOU ever use your MS like a piece of tape to either hold something in your life together or create a barrier to keep something/someone out? I know this is a philosophical STRETCH here...but I also sense you are up to the challenge!...check your navel lint and get back to me...


TickledPink said...

I'm not sure I use MS as a piece of tape, but I use it more as a measuring stick. I use it to gauge just how important things are. Most of the time I don't sweat the small stuff because I don't want to let the MonSter out to play.

It's amazing just how trivial most of life's problems become when the don't "measure up" using the tall order of MS as a tape measure.

I have a significant other, but he's not the type to bring me a sandwich. He's more the type to watch me fall to the floor, look at me all indifferent from above, and ask me to get him a sandwich whenever I get up off the floor.

Being alone could definitely have it's advantages. Only one sandwich to fix. :-)

Don't discount the company of the Devil Kitty. They make the best companions in my opinion.

Steve said...

Without going near the metaphoric side of your post, haven't you ever heard of using superglue? Or even better, try Liquid Bandaid. Stuff works great. Split fingers, cuts and stuff like that... liquid bandaids works great.


That picture is a bit disturbing. I'm having a hard time focusing on the lint with that thing staring at me.

mdmhvonpa said...

Well ... superglue works for my cracked callous on my foot ... or you could just 'Ctrl-V' a backup copy onto the link ...

Diane J Standiford said...

I find Cheerios in my belly button, but lint? And never realizd I was meditating...explains a lot. Two words: duct tape. (I'm gonna try it on my bad toe nail!)

Anne said...

The only thing I use MS for is: when things are going rough and all those around me are speaking gloom and doom, I assess where I am with this damn disease. It gives me a perspective like no other.

Contrary to the beliefs of some of my "friends" who aren't UP on the latest MS news, I am not going to die from this disease. So if I have to have a disease in this life, I guess having MS isn't so bad as compared to some of the other "life-threatening" diseases.


Bubbie said...'re gonna try to make me THINK? Can't do it now. Thoughts are whipping by my mind from all directions going nowhere..if I find the thread..I'll come back.
(glad you survived the infusion :)

Nervus Rex said...

Navel gazing... but it's kind of scary in there... You know, I used to *swear* that my belly button was the Spitting Image portrait of my late Grandma Steeves when it "popped" in late pregnancy. I liked to think that she was watching over me and whichever baby was about to arrive... she weren't pretty, but she was a Protector, lol. Now you've got me all off on a tangent...

Ok, been single and been together. The one I've got now is a gem, even if he doesn't always understand (but can anyone??) I'm almost like a dog in that I prefer to be alone when I'm not feeling well.

But I do understand loneliness, Linda, and it's nice to have someone "special" who cares for you like no one else... who knows your ups and downs and can make you laugh or just cuddle the blues away.

MS as a bandaid? I think that you've let some wounds out to see the light with your post. You deserve to be happy... whether it's alone or with another. And yes, I think that we all do this from time to time. It's easy to cover up parts of our lives and put them away under cover because of this dm disease.

Anyway, warmest hugs to you. I've been looking at pics of Seattle on another friend's page and I have to admit that I'm a wee bit jealous :)

Cyber bandaids to you... the kind with the pictures of Tinkerbell on them. And I'll whisper a prayer to my navel that Granny will protect you, too... ok, that's just creepy. I'll just say a prayer for you :)

LoveandSalt said...

Hi-- I just discovered your blog. I didn't realize there was a community of MS-bloggers--I don't write about it as much as I once did. But I guess I write FROM it, or INSIDE it... no matter what.
I found this blog because you wrote a really nice post about one of my poems. Thank you for that.

Suzy said...

I think of you every day. I only wish I were closer to have your back when needed. I know that isn't quite like having a significant other, however, sometimes there are worse things than being alone. (if you know what I mean)

I have used my diseases too much lately...just to check out, sort of. The dayum fatigue of just getting out of bed every day, after a night of no sleep, sometimes just drains me before the day even begins. BUT life is good...isn't it?

I miss u.

Jim said...

I am checking my navel lint LOL.

I agree with you, I never blame my illness or disabilities of my problems. My problems are my own but how I respond to them is what makes me strong.

In your words, I can see that you have the same attitude.

Hugs, Jim

Bubbie said...

Still don't want to think about it...must be resisting a serious issue....
Quick, Ms. need a new post. Not only am I not up to this one's challenge, I can't look at that fingernail any longer!!!