When I was a child I was a skinny red headed freckled face girl with knobby knees..the one picked last for dodge ball teams and the one who everyone wanted to hit hard with that stupid ball!
I was the one who got nervous and over heated in music and threw up on the kids below me. I was the one who got straight A's in school, but yet not as cute as my little sisters who got fawned over if they happened to get above a C grade. Yes, I was the ugly duckling of school and our family. But yet I was the one who took care of everyone..the one who cooked, cleaned, sewed and got everyone ready for school. Not because I was told to do it but because I can not stand to see things not getting done!! Even now if I ask someone to do something (ie husband) and it does not get done right away, I just do it myself, if it is possible that is...
You see I never thought of myself as the ugly duckling or the last one picked..I knew one day I might be a swan and then too you always save the best for last!! I guess I never really knew any better and that was good!
I never thought of myself as sickly either, but when I looked back at my childhood, I guess I was not all that robust. I had constant leg cramps, we called them "Charley Horses" and would scream in agonizing pain they hurt so bad. I had stomach aches all the time and drank warm flat 7-up to ease them. I was the one of us kids who got everything first, measles, mumps, chicken pox, colds or flu. You name it I got it! But once again as soon as my little sisters got whatever the malady might be, I was on my own to take care of myself. My middle sister, Gwen, was hardly ever sick and when she was she slept it off in about a day. My little sister, Cherry Lee, was always very sickly and when I got sick they made me stay away from her..no I am not and was not jealous because I did not know any better.
Well, as life would have it I did become a swan! If I say so myself I was quite the looker in my 20's-40's. I sang in a band and did not throw up on anyone! I taught music and the kids loved me and came after school to listen to music with me! I got into sales and was the top of my field! Was I an over achiever? Maybe, but mostly I was just me. But let me tell you, I liked the praise and accolades and the attention and not having to share that attention with little sisters!!
Then on my 44th birthday, God rattled my cage. I was happily married with a nice home and a beautiful grown family and grand children and a pretty decent job. But on that day something happened to me and down I went on the floor like a ton of bricks!! I could not walk!! The ER doc said it was most likely Multiple sclerosis. After many doctors and many clinics, I was told it was 90% Fibromyalgia and 10% MS and that on any day one might be more prevalent than the other. They put me on drugs that made me sleep all the time and I had no conception of time any longer. I stopped taking them..
At first the pain was unbearable and I could not sleep more than 10-15 minutes at a time. So I picked up my crochet hook or knitting needles and would knit or crochet all night long sometimes. Ross would go to sleep with me starting a project and wake up to it finished or almost finished and that include some really big afghans! My hooks and needles would fly during the night and most of the day too. I was working through the pain and using nothing more than some acetaminophen and found out Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) would help me to sleep. So I took those along with a huge dose of God's word from my Bible.
Now I am not saying everyone should do this (if your doctor says to take something you should listen and at least try to follow his directions), but for me prayer and some over the counter medications help..but what helps me most is my crafts and the many projects I work on..crafting is my best medicine next to my family, friends and God. So I have worked through the pain most of my life and have no reason to stop now!!
Life is a gift to be used every day,
Not to be smothered and hidden away;
It isn’t a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best;
It isn’t a joy to be sipped now and then,
And promptly put back in a dark place again.
Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of,
And one that the humblest may well make the most of;
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don’t keep it in niches and corners and grooves–
You’ll find that in service its beauty improves.
-Edgar A. Guest