A Harder Level = a Harder fight from me.

So, when I stopped walking several years ago, I thought my world was over. The planet is not made for someone sitting down. I mentally crashed, and found a counselor who had experience dealing with adults with chronic physical illness...in my case, this was Becker MD. He did offer me strength and perspective, but one of the funny things (and if you are reading this and you know me...then....) at a session was when he compared chronic illness to someone standing on a stairway and looking down. "Your body, spirit, and mental well-being can be helped by trying to stand on the stair you are now on for as long as you can, without descending." This was good advice, but I laughed out loud, and said...dude, I came here because I am freaking out that I have to use a chair, and you are talking to me about standing on the stairs.....

But, it's all about perspective, isn't it? That was in 2002. Since this time, I have slowly been losing the ability to drive, transfer, and a host of other things. I now face a van, a ceiling lift and some more home modifications. But...I also still play my drums, smile, work full time with middle school kids (that's my ticket to heaven...any of you that have adolescents MUST agree!), hang out with friends, date, and travel. The last few months have me worried, but as I write this, I am calm. I will find the answers that work for me, I will find the money, and I will find the strength.

Muscular Dystrophy will not win. Ever. Until I take my last breath. Even then, the disease will lose. I have met so many determined people. I have seen so much love, and I have seen the look in people's eyes when they are talking about this wonderfully crappy condition we all deal with. As long as we all fight, and fight together, MD loses, we win, and I won't have to walk down the stairs. I will walk up them.

Stay strong...you have no other choice.

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Comment by Char Burke on February 16, 2010 at 1:39am
You rock Pat - I admire your courage and tenacity. Thanks for your thoughts....You are motivational....Char Burke
Comment by Darcy Tumminello on February 3, 2010 at 8:20pm
Thanks Pat! I met you last year at conference and your sense of humor, determination and energy give me hope!
I can just see you thinking about what you said about being in a chair and being told about the stairs.
Happy 2010!
Comment by Archana on February 3, 2010 at 11:00am
I was feeling low today,but your article was inspiring and I it gave me a boost to take up life positively as it comes.Thanks
Comment by JUAN PEDRO ARBULU on February 3, 2010 at 4:08am
Thank you Pat, your great energy is contagious and I appreciate very much the positive and truly good vibes !!!
cheers from Peru!!!
Comment by jenn on February 2, 2010 at 7:38pm
well said Pat! knowing you has made the process of austin's transition into a full time wheelchair user less difficult. you have an amazing outlook on life and are surely someone i am always thankful to know. on a side note, will you tell me the secret of how to operate the pedal of the bass drum (if that is what it is called) while in a chair, austin has not figured that one out!

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