Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Ounce Of Kindness...

I have just returned home from one of the top ten worst days in my professional career. Suffice it to say, no one DIED ON MY WATCH (which would be the *ultimate* worst day case scenario)...but a combination of circumstances out of my control, mixed with the alignment of tumultuous ocean currents, constellation phenomenon, and perhaps someone poking pins in a Voodoo doll secretly behind my back, resulted in a seriously stressful 10 hours at my job (because, as you KNOW, that's basically all I CAN say specifically about my work here on CHEESE...ehem). At one point, the latest MS "uncool" symptom to develop (something known as *blepharospasms* or involuntary twitching of the eyelid(s) the link or Google the word for more info because I'm too tired to provide it here!) impaired my vision so much, I was having difficulty seeing to write.

My day began with an appointment to see my OWN shrinky dink, who casually questioned what my neurologist thought about my latest sequela of unusual and bizarre maybe-neurological-maybe-not symptoms. A bolt of lightening flashed from the sky and hit me on the head in that moment as I realized I have never specifically ASKED Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named WHAT she is thinking these MS or not to MS?...that is a valid question! I mean seriously. Some of the things I have been experiencing over the past 6-8 weeks have been both baffling and highly suspect on the MS scale. I decided to consult my Internet Doctor and ask.

Funny thing is, I never got a direct Internet answer...just more questions. Oh, and I was told I need another MRI. Blah.

Knowing it was highly unlikely I would not perish at work from twitching eyelids (which is just the LATEST of strange symptoms and my shrinky dink verified that "yes", my eyelids actually ARE spasming...most uncool and maybe or may NOT be MS related), I headed out the door in the early afternoon for my place of employment...only to be bombarded with a nonstop, 10 hour barrage of *situations* requiring what little strength I have left to use to effect a positive outcome. Or, in English-speak: I got the crap beat out of me mentally/emotionally for trying to do the "right" thing. It happens. Just not usually in the cascading effect of today.

When I finally dragged my weary bones back to my main office (otherwise known as the "bat cave"), I was faced with decisions to cut some corners on my typical OCD way of completing my work, or be faced working several hours of overtime to complete my tasks. Tired won out. Corners were skidded round. Things I would normally check and double check for accuracy got a *once over* was simply the best I could do.

As I sat at my computer trying to compose complete sentences, I realized a coworker of mine was sitting in the next cubic-hell over from me. He'd been there obviously for quite some time, but I was so super-absorbed in my own trials and tribulations, I had not even acknowledged his presence. I also suddenly (like a horrible Tourette) blurted out a fact I have known for quite some time: He is retiring soon after working many years for my employer.

"Hey, *dude in the next cubic-hell* what's this about you retiring in *an upcoming month*?" I blurted out from somewhere in the recesses of my brain.

He came around the cubic-hell wall installed to keep the natives in and we began to converse about his upcoming life change. I honestly felt guilt and remorse that I had not taken the opportunity to acknowledge his retirement sooner and offered up the excuse that I had been "too self-absorbed" lately...poor excuse, but painfully true.

And this is when the conversation shifted back to me (which my world totally revolves around, if you haven't figured THAT one out already!) and he remarked on how well he thought I had been "managing your brain", in spite of all I deal with in having MS. He commented he knew this because he occasionally reads CHEESE, so he felt he had some understanding of the difficulties I face...there was a moment of compassionate kudos. At which time, tears welled up in my eyes.

It felt as if someone had just given me a first rescue breath of CPR. That someone, in spite of my sometimes oblivious-self-absorbed-nasty-self, had acknowledged my struggles and was cheering me a moment when I seriously contemplated just laying my head down on my desk and staying there for days until someone called the County Coroner to have my husk removed. It was so little...only an ounce of kindness...but had such great weight on my heart.

I am reminded we never can truly know how important our words or actions may be to another. We may never know what affect or influence such simple things as a hello greeting, a smile, a kind word, or a touch to a shoulder may have on another human being. We may never be privileged to see the many ripples that form from these drops we leave on the surface of another's life. But I am reminded, I must NEVER stop trying...I must NEVER stop dropping a kind word into the pool of another person's heart. And I am reminded of this, not because of MY own words or deeds, but because of the effect someone ELSE has had on me...and I am humbled.

So, *dude in the next cubic-hell*...if you are reading this, you KNOW who you are! Your ounce of kindness weighs like a pound of gold and I thank you...


Jen said...

What a breath of fresh air after a rotten day! I was so happy a few times myself when family and friends surprised me and commented at my website, since I think they sometimes don't know what to write. The feeling is awesome and it makes me feel loved, even if not completely understood.

Miss Chris said...

Awww... that's so nice when someone can touch you with their words.

Denver Refashionista said...

I have had similar experiences lately. Sometimes it seemsI have so little to give but people just keep supporting me. Their reminders about what I can and have done often keep me going.

Lanette said...

An ounce of kindness is all you sometimes I need. After my day...I need like 5lbs...details on my blog.

Webster said...

The *dude in the next cubic-hell* will probably read this and feel good about his random "ounce" of kindness.

When I am feeling particularly rotten I check in with my blog, and when there is a positive comment, or a new follower, it thrills me to know that I am read, and enjoyed.

Your blog is a regular stop of mine, and I always take something from it, because even on your so-called bad days, you are more articulate than I will ever be.

Be well.

Spaz Attack said...

I felt that old warm tingly feeling all over just imagining how his kind words washed over you and helped you feel better.
Thanks for giving me a brief respite from my normal numbness and tingling SPAZ MS sensations that have taken over me body.
I'm thinking your body is just giving you yet another warning it's about the have a MAJOR MS meltdown. JUST SPLAT.

We all have a tendancy to deny MS limits us in any way. Truth is Stress gives FUEL to the beast within us, providing it with extra propellant to speed its destruction on the body it occupys. Yep, we're in the birdcatcher's trap.

Question is, how can we escape to enjoy a qualitative life?