It is bizarre but one of the best methods for feeling good about my life, changes or no, is catching glimpses into other people's lives. That's one of the things I gain in the blogsphere. I read accounts of the lives of other people with MS and suddenly find my life rather uncomplicated. It is strange that I often have to contrast my life with that of others to gain perspective but perspective I do gain.
I have been a bit sick, anxious and down the last few days but today I went to my grandmother's house anyway because I knew I would regret cancelling. I'm glad I went because my visit also gave me a lot of perspective. My grandmother is always keeping busy but it seems to always be with the same tasks and there all within her walls. She is on oxygen and her vision is so terrible she can barely see. She still has not finished completely unpacking from a move that was years ago. Now she is looking at moving to an assisted living facility and that will mean packing up and giving things away again. She knows it's the right move, the family knows it, but she just keeps dreaming of winning the lottery and staying put. My sister says she is just nuts but I actually kind of get where she is coming from. I said to her earlier that even though it can be hard to maintain my lifestyle, I worked for it and now I'm not ready to give things up just because of MS. She said that is sort of how she feels. She has had a long, hard life and now she just wants to enjoy what she has. I totally get that.
When I was at her house we ran into another woman from my grandma's building in the hall. This woman instantly launched into an account of her life that made me want to cry. She said she was so tired from taking care of her husband. He has Parkinson's disease and is bed-ridden now. His ability to swallow whole foods is gone and he can hardly communicate anymore. She doesn't want to put him in a nursing home on medicare so at age 85, she is caring for him alone.
It may be sad commentary on my own generosity, but both my grandmother's situation and her neighbor's reminded me again just how lucky I am. Today I am grateful for many things. I am grateful that I have full use of my body and balance. I am grateful for my general good health and my husband's. I am grateful I have not had to make the hard choice to give anything up yet.