Hands

It’s in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.

-Nelson Mandela 

One thing I’ve not done is share yet words. I’m changing that.  Today I write with a nod to a little chronic condition that hangs out with me. As MS Awareness Month comes to a close, I was particularly reflective of this time year when I was coming out of a relapse. This one caught me off guard because for the most part, and from the outside I feel fine and look fine. 

But with Multiple Sclerosis you never know what to expect. 

I’m not a doctor and don’t claim to be but the way I describe it to my kids is that the immune system attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.  It’s like little bugs that are bent on eating away the protective coating of a power cord. The thing about it is, it’s hard to know what the bugs have eaten and how much of the wires have been exposed. You don’t know where the damage lies. Every single bodily function stems from the brain. 

But it was scary for me to start having pain in my hands. It was primarily triggered by water as far as I could gather. So trying to take a shower or wash my hair became a challenge. I couldn’t stay there for long before being gripped with pain… but of course it wasn’t consistent or predictable. One night I was starting to wash my son’s hair when I felt it return. I couldn’t do it. I ran away and curled up into a ball in the next room clutching my hands. I rocked myself until the pain went away.  Until the next time…

And with the passage of time and a high dose of meds, it went away and into remission so to speak. Meaning, I’ve returned to baseline. I don’t know what the bugs have eaten up there but I’m stable. My hands feel better. I can take care of things without the pain or fear thereof. All is well and it always was well.

And while I didn’t enjoy that episode, I needed to appreciate my hands. Because at times we take the basics for granted. These hands that feed, bathe, and clothe my children. These hands that pat my husband’s head. These hands that send a note to a friend. These hands that type these words. These hands that paint my soul so I can replenish and do my part to bring good things into the world.  

I cannot. I do not. Take them for granted. 

 

 


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