I Believe in Miracles…Do You?
Something has infiltrated our family. It entered without warning and almost brought a strong family to its knees. It slithered in one cold winter morning and changed each of us forever. Although it has only physically attacked one of us, it has affected each of us in some sort of way.
We are no longer the same family. Some of the laughter we once shared has disappeared. A lot of the physical activity has decreased when we are all together. We are now on pins and needles most of the time. Expecting some sort of reaction to almost anything we do and the words, I have a headache causes a panic. We now fear roller coaster rides or any real strenuous activity; we can no longer spend long steamy days at the beach. We no longer spend hot days in the garden together. Hot days are not fun anymore. The reason? One of us can no longer tolerate the heat for long periods of time.
Yes…this family is quite different. It all began about 5 years ago. I was at home, in bed with the flu or a bug so bad until I was convinced it was the flu, when I received a call from my daughter. Her coworker was taking her to the doctor because while teaching her class, she had lost the sight in her right eye. Her coworker was driving her to the doctor and she would call me once she found out what was wrong. Up and out I went. I met her at the doctor’s office (sorry did not intend to infect anyone with my germs, but this was serious and I had to be there) and the journey began. We were shuffled to several doctors that day and received several different possibilities for the seemingly abrupt loss of sight.
Each doctor sent us to another and another, until we arrived at the neurologist’s office late in the afternoon. The neurologist sent us to yet another office for a cat scan and MRI. Although she could not be certain, she was leaning towards a diagnosis but wanted to wait until the tests were returned to share it with us. It was after 8:00 in the evening when we were done with the imagery. By the time we returned to her office the next morning, she had received the results.
The next morning she sat across the table from my only child and me and the next words she spoke shattered our lives. She said my daughter, my only child, had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I remember the breath leaving my body. I remember beginning to shake, I remember being rude to the doctor and telling her she was lying and ordering her to come up with some other explanation because we were not accepting this one. I remember the look of fear and devastation on my daughter’s face and I knew I had to pull myself together. It was within those moments that I began praying for a miracle. I believe in miracles…do you?
So I composed myself. I sucked up my tears and began to ask the questions I already knew some of the answers to. How can we get rid of it…you can’t. Why her…don’t know…What do we do now…The list was very long, but the first thing on the list was for my daughter to avoid stress. You tell someone they have MS and the in the next breath you tell them to be calm and not to stress. Really?
My daughter went through the long and devastating infusion treatment. Heavy doses of steroids are so hard on the body. But she did regain most of the sight in her right eye. She continues to teach although the fatigue is unbearable some days. But she’s a trooper and she presses on. She even does summer camps for her kids and although she is a year-round teacher, she often spends part of her tracked out time on some special project at the school with the children. I am totally against it and think she should spend this time resting and going to the gym, but she does what she feels is best for her. And besides, she didn’t choose education; it chose her, it is her passion. I think it helps her as well, so I let it be and continue to pray for my miracle. I believe in miracles…do you?
My daughter is the mother of a soon to be 16-year old daughter and a 3-year old rambunctious little boy who wears her out a lot of days, but she perseveres. My granddaughter is a big help with the little one and is irreplaceable. I also keep my grandson lots of weekends to allow her some down time.
MS and the symptoms that accompany it are no joke. And if not handled correctly it can be debilitating and that is my fear that one day she will wake up and be unable to move. I am also a Christian and I believe in miracles. I pray “every day” that MS will leave our family alone. I pray every day for a miracle for my daughter. She has children that she wants and needs to raise and she is dedicated to her students as well. She has people that love her and want to see her do well and I want to watch my baby girl grow older. I believe in miracles.
I read everything I can get my hands on about MS. I have joined several different MS groups. I read more about it, worry more about it and even know more about it, theoretically, than my daughter does. Sad but true. But I do not apologize for it because the worse thing in the world is to have a sick child and be unable to make the pain or in our case, the MS go away. But I pray because I believe in miracles…do you?
So I support her in every way I can, I nag at her to eat right, take her vitamins, exercise…all things she hates…yet I continue to nag because I want to save her. And I believe in miracles so I pray. My belief teaches that one must speak life into situations. One must speak the positive into existence and so every day I say aloud, MS must leave my family. Each day I say aloud, MS does not have us, we are beating it. Every day I hit my knees and pray that just as MS slithered into our lives uninvited, it will slither away, quietly, unexpectedly, and eternally. I believe this will happen because I believe in miracles…do you?