Discrimination

Discrimination comes in many forms and recently my husband, Wayne, was subjected to it.

It was really rather surprising because he is a white, English speaking male in a predominantly similar area and not someone you would initially think would be discriminated against.

Wayne was trying to find a new commercial location for his business and contacted a local real estate agent about a location that was listed for rent.  An appointment was set up to view the property for two days later, however; later that same afternoon Wayne received a text from the real estate agent saying that the owners of the property deemed my husband’s use of the property to be unsuitable. The owners of the property never even took the time to show the property to my husband.

There are very few commercial locations for rent in the area my husband wants to relocate his shop to that do not cost a huge sum to rent so finding this property which fit the majority of his requirements had him looking forward to a move that he had previously dreaded.

My husband is a successful business owner whose business has been in the same location for more than 15 years.  He is a college graduate, family man and has never had any issues with the law.  In addition to his business he is also a dedicated fireman for the neighbouring community, where we live.  However; the owners of the property would not know any of this since they never bothered to speak with him.  They made a judgement call based on a single piece of information that was provided to them.

So why you might ask would the owners say his use is unsuitable?  It seems rather obvious to me (although they never gave a reason). It is because he runs a tattoo and piercing shop.

His shop is the oldest tattoo shop in the area and is health board inspected.  In fact he has such a good rapport with the health unit that they have used his shop to help train new inspectors. Wayne only works part-time (for which I am supremely jealous), pays taxes and has never been late with a rent payment.  He has tattooed people of all walks of life including local judges, lawyers, doctors, police officers and many members of the military.  Certainly I would think none of those clients could be deemed unsuitable and although it is not tracked by Statistics Canada it is estimated that more than one in four adults have tattoos and the figure has been rising steadily in recent years.

As frustrating at this whole situation is I still took this as an opportunity to point out to our children that discrimination can be found anywhere and a reminder of what discrimination is.

Discrimination is defined as the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

I am very proud of the choices our children have made in the past to include people that other classmates have considered outsiders into their group of friends and I truly hope that by seeing how discrimination can impact people even those not normally targeted, that they continue to treat everyone fairly.   I’m sure they will but it never hurts to remind them.

As for my husband he is still looking for a new location for his business.  Any landlord that is that discriminatory doesn’t deserve to make a profit and collect rent from my husband.

WDW Radio Dinner Inside the Great Movie Ride

Our first trip to WDW without the kids since they were born was for the 2013 Tower of Terror Race weekend. As luck would have it WDW Radio was hosting a dinner inside The Great Movie Ride on the Friday night and as soon as I heard about it I knew I wanted to attend. How often do you get a chance to wander around inside the ride and get an up close and personal look at all the displays?

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All the attendees met up in Animation Courtyard to await our host, Lou Mongello. It was interesting talking to all the other people in line to see where they were from. Of those I spoke with I think we were amongst those who had travelled the farthest to get there.

If didn’t take long to be ushered to the front door of the Chinese Theatre where we met our “Producer” guide for the evening. He was truly a character and very entertaining.

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We entered the theatre and watched the short film before the doors opened up and we started the walk along the ride route. It was wonderful to be able to stop and take pictures when you wanted to instead of rushing to snap them before the ride passed out of range. The lighting was still dim and a few pictures where hard to get due to the screens they had in front of some of the scenes but it was still so much better than the ride for picture taking.

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As we entered the gangster scene we were greeted by two actors who played their parts perfectly and an old time piano player. This is also where dinner was served, for some; for others they continued along and took seats at the tables in the western scene where there was another actress and some musicians playing banjos.

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Dinner was buffet style with a decent array of items to choose from including salads, veggies and a choice of meats. Everything I tried was tasty but the whipped potatoes in particular were wonderful as was the lemonade.  Although I’m a bit of a foodie I still appreciate the classics, when done correctly.

We were given plenty of time to eat, mingle with the other guests and check things out before off we were whisked away to another genre. Next came the tribute to scary movies section where Wayne snapped a picture of me and it looks like Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) has her gun to my head.

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We progressed along to our last stop in the land of OZ, where desert was served; a wonderful array of tasty tiny treats. While we were sampling the goodies Glinda arrived to add to the atmosphere and entertainment. Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo with her as she was very popular and had quite a crowd to contend with.

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treats

If you ever get a chance to attend an event inside the Great Movie Ride I would highly recommend it and I thank the WDW Radio team for arranging the event for us. It was a wonderful way to kick off our weekend.

What do you say?

What do you say to friends and co-workers who lost their job in a large downsizing at your company?  That was my dilemma last week.

 

I was torn with emotions.  Relief and happiness that I was not one of the people to be terminated.  Despair for those who were.  Even a little guilt thrown into the mix since I guessed it was coming but could not say anything or I would have lost my job too since I’m in the Legal Dept and confidentiality is absolute.

 

“I’m sorry” just seemed so insufficient and no words could accurately express the turmoil and empathy I felt.  In the end I settled on the truth.  “I’m not sure what to say that doesn’t sound stupid but I want you to know I’m thinking of you.”

 

When you think about it, Monday to Friday you likely spend more waking hours with your co-workers on a daily basis than you do with your spouse or family so their leaving is going to be adjustment for all people concerned not just those that are gone.

 

The day after everyone left my workplace felt almost like we were at a funeral. The remaining employees, me included, were still an emotional wreck.  I think there may have been more tears that day than the prior.  When we were informed of the terminations people were in a state of shock but by the following day reality had set it.  We were no longer going to be sharing stories and having coffee breaks with the people who had shared our lives for so long.  We were in essence grieving over the loss of our friends and co-workers.

 

Again I was in a situation of what do you say to those who are left.  “Everything will be alright” didn’t seem appropriate so again I pulled from my honest approach to life and said “Change happens. We don’t have to like it, but like it or not it’s going to happen.  We just have to try to make the best of it.”  

 

Nothing profound or terribly inspirational came out of my mouth last week but I hope those that I did talk to understand what I was trying to convey.  Quite simply, that they aren’t alone and life will go on.   

A Most Empowering Day!

Well after months of training “sort of” it was finally here, the Tower of Terror 10 mile race weekend (race day was October 5, 2013) and I was so looking forward to it.

I said training “sort of” because I started out training a lot but then I joined roller derby and my runs seemed to get fewer and farther in between.  My longest training run to date had been just less than 8 miles and here I was heading off to run 10.  It was a daunting thought but I was up for the challenge or at least I hoped so.

This was also going to be the first trip to Walt Disney World Resort (“WDW”) for my husband and I without the kids. It was a novel experience planning it without first considering what the kids wanted.  We could finally do some of those adults only things we’d talked about.

As luck would have it that weekend WDW Radio was hosting an event with dinner inside the Great Movie Ride, but that is a story for another day.   1gangsters

My husband is a bit of a daredevil and has bungee jumped before but I am terrified of heights and would never consider such an adventure.  Well, somehow I talked myself into conquering my fear of heights and going parasailing. It was one of those things my husband had always wanted to do so I signed us up as part of my anniversary present to him.

The day we were to parasail dawned clear and bright and with it my fears returned with vengeance.  Could I really do this?  Could I allow myself to go 400 feet up in the air and watch my feet dangle with nothing below me but Bay Lake?

Wayne was determined, he was going with or without me so off we went and checked in at our scheduled time.  I was so scared at this point but knew I could back out up until the last possible moment on the boat.  I allowed myself to be put in the harness and listened to all the instructions.  It was suddenly go time and it all happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about chickening out.  We were attached to the parasail which was already deployed out behind the boat and up we were going.

It was surreal.  I still get chills thinking about it.  We were on the deck of the boat and literally 10 seconds later we were 400 feet up in the air.  The ascent was fast, but not shockingly so, and it was so smooth.   I admit I was hanging on pretty tightly at first but I managed to relax somewhat as time went on.  Looking around and seeing Magic Kingdom Park from that point of view made all the nerves worthwhile.  It was an experience I will never forget.  Unfortunately our GoPro camera died that day so we didn’t get any pictures from up in the air of the amazing view.  IMG_6689

I’m not sure I would have gone up had it not been for Wayne and his support that day.  However, having done it once now, I would gladly do it again.   To anyone who is thinking about parasailing at WDW I would highly recommend it.  The staff at Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre were professional and amazing.  They seemed to realize the more time they gave me to think about it the bigger the chance I would back out.

Parasailing day also happened to be race day.  We had decided early on that after parasailing we would take it easy so I wasn’t exhausted before the race even started but there was just no way I could be that close to Magic Kingdom Park and not go in to ride at least a few rides.  One of the rides we decided to tackle was Big Thunder Mountain.  For me this was another scary proposition.  I am not a fan of roller coasters, but again I mustered up my courage and plunged head first into an abandoned mine on a runaway train car.  When it was done I was pleasantly surprised.  It had not been that bad after all.

As race time approached I put on my running costume, Minnie Mouse.  For the third time that day I was getting nervous about doing something I’d never done before.  10 miles is not exactly a short race.  While I realize it’s certainly not a marathon, it’s nothing to look down your nose at either.  Having never done a runDisney race before, or any race with more than 100 participants, I did not know what to expect and decided to head to the staging area early.  This was probably the only thing I would do differently next time.  I did not need as much time to get organized as I allowed myself.   Hopping on the bus and heading to the staging area was an experience all its own. I never expected to see 80% or more of the runners dressed in costumes.  A few crazies like me but not almost everyone. Me before the race

The build up to the race was great, with all the music and fireworks.  Based on race times I submitted for previous 10km races I’d run I was placed in corral D which rather surprised me but I was happy to not be in the last corrals and have to worry about keeping ahead of the balloon ladies.   I was not expecting this to be a fast race for me for a few reasons:  1. I’d never run this far before; 2. I knew I was going to stop and take a lot of pictures along the way;  and 3. I’d never run in such heat. It was still 27°C with high humidity at 10pm when the race started.

The race started out well and I was pretty happy with my pacing. The character stops for pictures were almost perfectly timed for when I needed to slow down and take a break.   me and stitch2

By about mile six I was starting to fade and the heat was getting to me but I was drinking lots to stay hydrated. I think this was the point in the race where we were on a dirt/gravel path headed into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The lights had gone out on part of this path and it was rather difficult to see.  A rock got wedged up in the sole of my shoe and I had to get out of the way of other runners so I could stop and remove it, all in the dark.   me and kript keepers2

At mile eight I hit “the wall”.  I thought about quitting but knew I would hate myself if I did so I pushed on.  My husband who was getting status updates on my time told me later that he was starting to worry a little as he watched my interval times get slower.

Somewhere around mile nine we were entering Hollywood Studios and I knew the end was near so I caught a second, third or maybe even fourth wind at that point.  I ran around a corner by the back lot and there was Wayne cheering me on.  I was so happy to see him I almost cried.  I remember thinking I must really be getting close to being done and around the next corner must be the end, but it wasn’t.  There were still more photo ops to stop for before the finish line. me and lotso2

It seemed like the run through Hollywood Studios would never end but alas it finally did.  My time was 2 hours 20 minutes.  I accepted my medal and box of snacks and made my way to bag pick up while eating my banana.  Never had a banana tasted so good to me.

I did it.  I had run my first runDisney race and my first 10 mile race.  I was exhausted and a little sore but overall happy with my performance based on the conditions and my now very apparent lack of training.

Actually I was thrilled with myself.   I was 41 and not even a full 10 months earlier I ran for the very first time after leading a rather sedentary life for quite a number of years.  I was pretty damn proud of myself.

After the race I met up with Wayne and we headed to the Toy Story Midway Mania ride.  It is one of my favorites and the lines are usually long so I had to take advantage of the chance at a short line.  The line was not short (or fast) enough for Wayne.  Imagine if you will, an enclosed building with 100’s if not 1,000’s of sweaty racers who were either in line or had recently been in line.  Me, being one of those sweaty racers hardly noticed the “aroma” present as we waiting in line but Wayne, who has a super sensitive nose and who did not run was quite literally gagging every time we entered a confined hallway and there was movement making the scent waft around us. He could not get out of there fast enough.  I must admit at 1am after having run 10 miles I found his discomfort rather amusing.

We didn’t stick around long at the after party as it had been a very long eventful day.  Back in our room as exhausted as I was I just could not sleep.  I was so exhilarated with everything I had done and accomplished.

I’d conquered by fear of heights and parasailed.  I’d set aside my fear of roller coasters and ridden Big Thunder Mountain and I’d not given up and run my first ever 10 mile race.    It was the most empowering day I think I’d ever had.  I felt like I could take on the world.  I can’t sufficiently put into words just how emotional I was that night and what all I was feeling but suffice it to say I was amazed at myself.

I sincerely hope a trend started that day and I can continue to face my fears that have been holding me back and continue to enjoy all that life has to offer.

How I put my jealousy to good use.

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It was about this time last year after being sick and feeling run down that I decided I was going to try and get healthy and exercise more, so off I went to the gym and started to run on the treadmill.

Why did I pick running as my exercise of choice when I had a whole gym worth of equipment at my disposal?

Well to be honest, I was jealous of all the runDisney race posts and pictures on Facebook, Twitter, etc. from all my friends after they had run various and multiple races at Walt Disney World and Disneyland last January. They were all having so much fun and I was wishing I was right there with them. I wanted to run through the parks and get my picture taken with the characters too.

Reading all these posts, I came across a number that talked about the Galloway method of training so I looked it up. Now this was a training program that I thought I could do. Never having run before the prospect to getting on a treadmill and running for a half hour or more straight intimidated me and I felt set me up for failure, but a program that mixed running with walking I could manage.

After a few weeks of running I was actually starting to enjoy it and felt impressed with my progress. I could do this; I could be a runner, so why not sign up for a race, which is exactly what I did.

My first race was in April. Living in Canada I know spring races can be cold but I was not expecting -2°C with biting winds in which to run my first 10 km race. I was the third last racer on the course but I finished in an hour and 10 minutes which for me was a win. I figure most of the more casual/recreational runners were smart and stayed home instead of racing in those temps.

With a 10 km race under my belt I decided I could tackle a 10 mile race in October. This gave me 5 months to train but more importantly (to me anyway) it gave me an excuse to go to back to Walt Disney World. I went home and immediately registered for my first runDisney event, the Tower of Terror 10 miler.

Once registered it was just the motivation I needed to keep running and not give up and go back to my sedentary ways. Training for a 10 mile race was about as difficult as I imagined it was going to be and finding time for my long runs did create a challenge some weeks but I did it. I’ll post later about my Tower of Terror 10 mile race experience.

Running is now a part of my life although at the moment I haven’t run in a while due to a MCL injury sustained playing roller derby but I truly miss it and that is something a year ago I never would have imagined I would ever say.

Running has been a great experience for me, or more accurately a great many experiences. I’ve run a number of races now and learned a lot about myself along the way. I am so thankful for what running has brought me: strength, stamina, friends and memories, all of which I would not have obtained without it.

My mid life crisis?

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Photo by Sean Scally

 

Is Roller Derby my mid life crisis?  I don’t think so but many people have asked me that since I joined a roller derby league last May.

Well then why did I join roller derby?  I’ve asked myself that many times since I started and there are many reasons but I always seem to focus on one.  If I hadn’t tried it I would always have wondered if I could have done it.  I’m a big believer in trying new things and living for today.  When I’m old I want to look back on life and remember all that I’ve done and accomplished instead of looking back and regretting what I never tried.

I’m certainly not the youngest player on the team but neither am I the oldest.  My “derby sisters” as I now affectionately call them range in age from 18 to 57 so at 41 I guess I’m sort of in the middle.   Our group ranges in abilities as well as age.  We have a few girls that may take 2 years to pass their minimum skill requirements to compete in a bout and a few that look like there were born on roller skates.  I must point out that the better roller skaters did have what I would call an advantage as they were all either hockey players or figure skaters for many years.  Whether young or old, athletic or not this diverse group of women have been supportive and encouraging and become like family to me.

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Photo by Sean Scally

 

Roller derby happened in a time of my life when I was trying to get healthy and active so when a friend of my husband’s starting talking to him about being a referee for the league it got me to thinking about playing.

I’d started running a few months prior and felt I was in pretty decent shape so transitioning to the activity level of roller derby shouldn’t be that hard, or so I thought.  Ha Ha, I could not have been more wrong.  The muscles you use for running are very different than the muscles you use for derby.  After my first few practices I had muscles that hurt where I didn’t even know I had muscles and I was totally exhausted after just a half hour of the two or three hour long practices.  8 months later I’ve gained so much strength and endurance that some days it still amazes me how far I’ve come.

Along with the healthy aspects I must admit there was a bit of me that thought I could finally be one of the cool kids.  All through high school I was the quiet, shy, book worm that was dubbed the “pastel princess” because of the clothes I wore.   In recent years my shyness has definitely receded and I was gradually becoming more confident but I still saw myself as reserved and boring with few friends.  This was my chance to totally break out of that shell and be the funky clothes wearing, bold, outgoing woman that I knew was buried inside me.

Roller derby is a competitive sport that is seeing a huge resurgence in popularity.  It is not what people think it is from watching movies like “Whip It”.  There is no fighting and intentional injuring of other skaters, but let me tell you what there is:  hard work, dedication and hours and hours of training.  I train 5 hours a week and skate any chance I can outside of practice.

I’m a derby girl and proud of it.

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Photo by Sean Scally

 

So was joining roller derby my mid life crisis?   No way!   A crisis is a negative event and roller derby has been anything but.  It has been (and hopefully will continue to be for a long time) an amazing adventure that has brought me a new awareness of myself, confidence and a lot of incredible new friends.

My Disney Addiction

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My “Disney addiction”, as some have called it, started when I was five years old.

After two years of battling cancer my baby brother, Robbie, finally succumbed to his brain tumour.  A few months later my parents felt it would be a good time to get away from the stresses of real life so we all headed to Walt Disney World (WDW).  It was a wonderful, magical experience for me and where I felt happy for the first time since Robbie’s death.   I learned to smile and laugh again on that trip as I made my parents nauseous spinning my cup as fast as possible on the Mad Tea Party ride.

One of the few pictures I have of Robbie smiling was of him in his walker with a pink stuffed elephant.  At the tender age of five I equated that elephant with Dumbo and absolutely had to go on that ride as well.  Both of these rides are now a must do on every trip I take to WDW.

Since that first visit I was hooked and have gone back to WDW so many times I’ve lost count.  As a kid I travelled each summer with my grandparents and they would ask me where I wanted to go.  The answer was always the same, WDW.  Being Canadian it is no quick trip to drive to Orlando and back so I didn’t manage to convince them every year but more times than not I was successful.

I remember one particularly boisterous trip when I was sixteen.  My mother agreed to drive 4 giggling, teenage girls to Florida for a week and we absolutely had to visit WDW.  All the other girls had never been before so it was fun acting as a sort of tour guide around Magic Kingdom.  I thank my mother for her courage to brave that trip even when everyone thought she was crazy; including the border guard who took one look in our van on the return trip and decided there was no way he was searching through our mass (or more accurately mess) of stuff.

I now have two kids of my own and will never forget that look of wonder in their eyes as they walked down Main Street for the first time and saw Cinderella Castle. My husband was equally excited since he never had the good fortune to visit when he was a child.

All these cherished memories and so many more that were created at WDW with my family are the biggest reasons I keep returning.   Things and people come and go but memories stay with you forever; and there is no better place for making memories than at Walt Disney World.   

You just never know what life will throw at you!

I thought about getting your attention by being dramatic and saying December 4, 2013 changed my life forever but in all honestly it really didn’t.  Nothing actually changed that day.  It did however foreshadow what could come.

Let’s start this story by back tracking a little. In January of 2013 after feeling constantly run down with colds, the flu and all the usual winter ailments I made a resolution to get healthier so I started running.  I never would have expected it but I actually enjoy it now, at least the not so long runs.

After 5 months of running I was feeling pretty good about myself, so in June when a friend of Wayne (my husband) mentioned she was starting a new roller derby league in the area I thought why not try it.  In recent years I’ve realized instead of looking back and regretting what I didn’t do because I was nervous, I should just do it.  Off I went to the information session and signed up. It has been challenging but amazing and you can read more about it on my roller derby tab.

In October I started feeling tired part way through roller derby practices and actually had to stop a few times because I was getting dizzy and had weird vision on my right side.  It was like the right lens of my glasses had Vaseline on it.  In November I finally listened to Wayne and went to see my doctor.

Having seen me for sporadic migraines before she thought this increase in headaches was likely related to hormone changes. “Remember you are more than 40 now and things change” she said.  She did however decide to send me for an MRI to rule out anything more serious.  I’ve seen this doctor since I was 14 and she is aware of all my family history and knew that I had lost a brother to a brain tumour when he was 3 and wanted to rule out a similar fate for me.

Off I went for my MRI and it wasn’t as horrible as I was expecting, especially considering I am a little claustrophobic. I just wish I had been warned about all the changes in sounds the machine would make.  I would just get used to the noises when it would start to make different ones, like an alarm going off.  Maybe I should have taken that as a sign of things to come. Just kidding.

I was at home with a nasty stomach bug and my doctor’s office called to schedule a “non-emergency” appointment to go over my MRI results.  Since she never calls to discuss results unless something is wrong you can imagine what was going through my mind at that point.  I’m just very thankful the receptionist specified it was a non-emergency appointment or I may have lost my mind waiting a week to see the doctor.  As it was, I still worried.

After much thought, I came to a remote but possible conclusion, maybe they found evidence of a concussion from one of my roller derby hits or maybe even more remotely possible, they saw the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s. My husband kept telling me I was forgetting things that he claims he told me, so I was starting to think I was having memory troubles.

Imagine my surprise when on December 4, 2013 my doctor told me the MRI showed the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Never had that possibility crossed my mind. I was in shock to say the least. Like so many people, I knew very little about MS and thought it affected your muscles and you ended up in a wheelchair unable to do anything for yourself.  I kept seeing in my mind Annette Funicello being pushed around in a wheelchair looking so frail, which was such a horrible contrast to the vibrant Mouseketeer she once was.

My doctor explained in very basic, non medical terms a little about MS and it being caused when Myelin breaks down and signals from your brain aren’t transmitted properly. She used the analogy of phone lines. Myelin is like the wrapping around the phone cable that keeps the signals traveling at the right speed, to the right place and from getting messed up.  When the Myelin breaks down the signals end up with static and those signals are not heard properly, or at all.  What causes the Myelin to breakdown is the subject of much research.  My doctor also went on to talk about the different types of MS. You can have episodes of “attacks” or “relapses” followed by periods of relative normalcy which can be months long, but you will eventually get progressively worse. Or you may get progressively worse over time without the periods of relative normalcy.  The severity of the attacks and progression is greatly varied and impossible to predict.

She could not however give me a concrete diagnosis, for that I will need to see a neurologist.  Unfortunately she recently had another patient referred for the same basic issue and was told it would be 8 months before she could get an appointment with the neurologist.   My doctor did also caution me not to read too much about MS online and panic myself because not all the information is accurate but she gave me a few sites she trusted for correct information.

I didn’t ask many questions at that appointment or even retain a lot of what she probably told me that day (due to shock), but I have done a lot of online reading since that point in time – from the sites she told me and admittedly a few others.

From all my reading, a lot of things are starting to make sense for me now like: why I was recently tired so much, why I forget things (according to Wayne), why on occasion I’ve had incidents where I could not get my muscles to work to hold a pen and write (I assumed it was a pinched nerve and it may still be), why my vision can be messed up at times and fine others and why I have rotten balance. All these things can be symptoms of MS (and yes I know 1,000’s of other things too).

I will admit, I’ve had my moments of self pity and what I call “why me syndrome” but then my natural cheerful nature returns and I realize I could have problems considerably worse than MS. MS isn’t going to stop me from doing what I want. I will still run and complete my first half marathon next year, play my first roller derby bout and take my trips to Disney.  Maybe I’ll even take more.  MS may someday in the future change how I do things, but aging does that too.

I’ve had too many people close to me die way too young so I’m not usually one to put off doing things. Long before this year people have criticized me for spending money on holidays to Disney instead of saving for the future and I would respond with comments like “I’d rather do things while I can, so I have memories for when I can’t.” MS is not a death sentence by any means, but even more than before I will live my life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

I’m still waiting for my appointment with the neurologist to confirm the diagnosis but I’ll be okay with whatever the outcome is.  I have the love of my family and friends, a roof over my head and food on the table which is more than many have, so I will be thankful every day for what I do have.

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Unknown

UPDATE – February 5, 2014

Last month I had a temporary panic attack when I received a call from the MS clinic at St. Michael’s hospital saying they wanted to see me 5 days later.  If they were getting me in so quickly this could not be good news.

Off I went to my appointment with a lovely neurologist originally from France.  I loved her accent.  At the end of the consultation she said she did not know what to make of the findings and wanted to call in a more experienced doctor.  I waited around for another hour to see both doctors together.  The second older doctor was just as perplexed.

In the end he indicated the findings were NOT consistent with MS but he was unsure what the lesions were.  They are not cancer and the tiny ones are consistent with age and migraines.  There are three that have a larger size of 7mm or more which are what they were really looking at but the curious thing about them is two of these are in matching spots of each side of my brain. I was even told that it could just be the way that particular MRI is calibrated that it is more sensitive to certain things.

What next?  Back for another more detailed MRI in 6-8 months to compare findings. The doctors are NOT concerned and say I shouldn’t be either as I have no significant problems that cannot be attributed to other things.  It could be the way the scan was taken or it could be an anomaly.

Just another instance of me being unique. No one ever said I was normal (whatever normal is).