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Return to “Normal”

By Cherie Binns

I can’t tell you how often throughout the last several decades I have thought that it might be nice to “go back” to a time that was more normal, less painful, calmer. I don’t think that is an unusual thought process for most of us. I hear older adults wishing to be in their 20s again. I hear people long to be back to a time before losing a loved one so they can tell them they love them one more time. Today we hear many versions of wanting to go back to a saner time in our nation. I often hear from people with MS that they would do anything to go back to when they could walk independently, dance, work outside the home, (fill in the blank).

In 2005, after two years of pulse steroids to help manage my MS (along with a DMT), I started breaking bones. By early 2006, I had more than 30 fractures in my left foot and was told I would never walk unaided again. I had three second opinions who all agreed and I had prescriptions for power chairs from four different doctors. This was after following nine months of treatment and rehabilitation programs to treat the injury that resulted in this damage. One day, as I was getting a massage, I really took stock of what I was experiencing in my body and did some guided meditation to help me make sense of all that had been happening.

I looked at some of the pitfalls and difficult times I had been through, not just with this injury, but during the course of my life, and realized that as I traveled, the path never seemed to go back in a direction from which I had started. I also realized in an honest look at where I had been and what I had done, that I had successfully found ways though even the most difficult times. I had not always done it or figured it out on my own but I had come through those times to a better place.

I have managed to get my MS under control with medication and lifestyle changes. I have managed to get some other health conditions under control in a similar way. I have learned to get through times of stress or loss or hardship with the help of community, faith, stamina, and time. I have managed to get through times of concern for our country by delving into history and putting current events into perspective in relation to how similar situations have been handled in the past. A significant lesson learned from all of this is that I need to be an active participant in life and not just let it “happen” to me. Going back is not an option for anyone. Each of us, I believe, has the power to be happy, to feel fulfilled, to be deemed successful by taking charge of information, education, self-awareness, and improvement. There are so many tools available from reputable sources to help with that.