Life Rewritten: MSAngel Overwrites DarkAngel/The Gathering

28 10 2012

The first portion of this post title does not require much, if any, elucidation. I believe that whether our life stories are written for us by fate or destiny or whatever other name you my choose to call it, or if we are the original authors of our own stories, then those stories can be rewritten. Everything we do in life is a choice, and it is those choices that define who we are. I have chosen to rewrite my story.

The Gathering is the name I have given to yet another portentous dream I had. The setting was in the open air theater at San Diego State University where I received my college diploma. I was both observing and participating in the dream. As the observer, I was sitting on one of the upper seats, looking down on the stage. As the participant, I was standing right next to the stage, looking up at the podium. I was awaiting the speaker, a high priestess who I had longed to hear speak my entire life. I had a burning question for her. I had been feeling that energies and strange forces had been gathering all around me, and I wanted to ask her if this could be true. Could I really be sensing something extraordinary gathering around me, and if so what was the purpose?

When the high priestess took the podium, she looked directly down at me and made eye contact. She then said, “There are forces gathering around you.” I was just about to interrupt her and say, “That was exactly the question I had for you! How did you know, and what do I do with them!?” But before I could get the words out of my mouth, almost before I could even finish thinking the thought, she said, “You know exactly what you are supposed to do.” And with that, the dream ended.

As things now stand, I am co-leading the largest MS Support group in this region. This is to prepare me to lead my own group in the way that is asked of me. My co-leader is as much into fitness as I am, and at her request I am now taking pilates classes that she teaches in addition to my almost-daily workouts. She and I both want to emphasize the importance of fitness, especially in the presence of an illness that compromises how your nerves behave. We believe that where the nerves fail, well-trained muscles can compensate. I firmly believe that if my MS had not compromised my balance, I would not have broken my leg in three places that day back in March when I stepped on the rim of that dog bowl. I should have been able to recover my balance instead of breaking both my distal tibia and distal fibula.

I am also re-releasing everything that I previously locked down. There are a couple of reasons for this: The main reason is that sponsors will want to know the whole story if I have any realistic hope of securing donations. Also I will be very selective about to whom I disclose the existence of this blog. Most of what is written here will not exist in MSAngel.org, at least not in its current form. But stay tuned to lifetransformedblog. There is new material forthcoming.





Message/Warning from the Cosmos: First Do No Harm

20 10 2012

I have a very busy day ahead of me today; I have a promise to keep and much to do in preparation for keeping that promise. I tried to blog this earlier this morning, but my bird was barking and distracting me, making it difficult for me to bend my mind around these thoughts. Now Scarlette is quiet and I am taking advantage of that quiet. A few days ago I posted about some technical complications. Now I have had a dream about these complications. I am writing this with full awareness that this post may have to be locked down in the not-too-distant future.

A few days ago, I sat down to work on MSAngel.org, the other blog that I am currently developing. I know that in order to write with any true meaning, I have to put my mind in whatever place I am writing from. So the first thing I did when I sat down was turn on some quiet music and let my mind go. Once it cleared, I put myself back in my neurologist’s office on a day in January of 1999. I needed to write from the perspective of newly diagnosed MS patient. Once my mind was in that place, I started browsing through the 50 or so titles that are in this blog’s queue, making mental notes of the titles and their accompanying images. What I saw, from the eyes of a newly diagnosed patient, was horrifying! It seemed like I was looking at titles out of a horror movie. I thought, “Oh, my God. I do not want to know this!” I also thought that I would log off immediately and never log onto that blog again. Ever. In reality, that is exactly the approach I did take all the way from January of 1999 until about a month ago. With that in mind, I immediately locked everything down. I do not want to frighten other people with MS, especially those who have just been diagnosed with the affliction and have no idea what to expect. I want them to know that it can be okay and that there are ways to work around MS. So there is my technical challenge: Sharing the experiences from this blog with MSAngel.org blog in a way that will inspire, not frighten.

This brings me to last night’s dream. I was standing on a battlefield looking into the horizon. All around me, debris was scattered. A person began to approach me from the left. I could not identify this person; I didn’t know if he or she was friend or foe. As this person approached from the left, an object came flying at me from horizon, off to the right. Of interest, somewhere along the line I learned that in dream/paranormal interpretation, approach from the left is malevolent; approach from the right is benevolent. This object appeared to be a boomerang upon initial observation and it was spinning across the x-axis. I stood motionless, watching it spin wildly as it flew at me, now ignoring the person who was approaching me. As the object got closer and closer to me, the spinning became multi-dimensional. It reminded me of the gyrosphere-type spinning in my entry Near Death: The Strangest Plane Ride Ever . I began to see that the object looked like a mirror, and that there were three-dimensional letters. There then came a fraction of a moment when I could read the letters as it spun by me. I turned towards the right to get a better look at it. In shining silver letters, it read: First Do No Harm.

I am going to leave it at that for the time being, because I have to get busy. Like I mentioned, I have a promise to keep.





Announcement: Technical Complications

19 10 2012

Regretfully, I must announce that lifetransformedblog is locked down due to unforeseen technical complications. I am working as quickly as I can to resolve these issues and will lift the locks as soon as possible. It is conceivable that this may not occur until the same time that MSAngel.org is launched, which is tentatively set for the middle of January 2013.   My apologies.





Heart Illuminated: Inspiration for a Cover Photo

16 10 2012

Over the last, however many days it has been since I started battling these injection site infections,  the days have rolled and blended together into one large amorphous mass. Right now, it seems I am having difficulty distinguishing one day from the others. I did come up for air a couple of times to make a few phone calls and exchange emails with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have copied and pasted an excerpt from one of my responses. It appears a bit later in this post.

At some point, I awoke from a very deep sleep with an uncontrollable compulsion to write this post along with a page under this same title. I came out of  a very strange dream. In the dream, I was in bed battling raging injection site  infections yet I was still working from my laptop. I had connected it via a very long HDMI cable to the TV that is in our bedroom. My blogs and the dashboard from which I control them both simultaneously appeared before me on the TV screen. In the dashboard, the infinite scroll feature was locked. All of my titles were flying past me at warp speed on the large screen in front of me. I had a wired mouse connected to my laptop, and I was desperately trying to copy, paste, and reassemble my titles in the order that I thought they should be. But infinite scroll was locked and I couldn’t get it unlocked. I couldn’t even copy any of the pages because they were flying by so fast!  All I could do was sit  and watch helplessly as my  titles flew by me on the screen. When I came out of that dream, I was absolutely compelled to write this post and the page that accompanies it. I was still very weak and exhausted so I had to start very slowly. I started by surfing the internet to find an appropriate image of a heart. I found something close, then added in the glow.

Every page in my blogs is somehow related to my MS, whether or not the relevance is immediately apparent to the reader. In MSAngel.org, I am writing volumes about things people with MS can do to ease the difficult journey ahead of them.   Much of this information is useful to everyone, such as a lot of great money and time-saving tips. I am writing page after page about the people who have helped along the way as well as page after page of all the rotten things this illness has done to me and the ways I have come up with to deal with each and every occurrence   The list of people who have helped along the way includes everyone from family members and friends to  medical professionals from many different specialties. I am  reaching all the way out to  police helicopter pilots who,  once upon a time, when I was in the midst of an exacerbation, lifted me out of harm’s way.  They were  from  the San Diego County Sheriff’s office.  They did not know it at the time, but I was in bad shape that day due to my MS, much worse than I admitted to at the time.   I think it has only now come to their awareness because I have always done  such a great job of denying  and hiding my condition.  But now it is time to let the light shine upon it so that I may reach out to help others with this same affliction.  I write about the helicopter pilots  in a forthcoming page in my blog, MSAngel.org.  I am  calling that page Helicopter Heroes.

I think the dream meant that my story has already been written; I have no control over what the MS is going to do to me. I have no idea from what angle it will next approach. But I do have complete control over how I handle what it does to me.  This latest episode is going to be under a page that I am calling MSAngel Emerges, which will be in MSAngel.org.  Both blogs will exist at the same time, for a while at least,  and I will be referring back to lifetransformedblog.com from MSAngel.org so that other people with MS can get an idea of what this entire process has been about.

Here is the excerpt from an email communication with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS):

I am beginning to emerge from this latest MS ‘lesson’. I want to start that support group as discussed by Ashley in the email below. I am using this quiet time to develop my new blog, MSAngel.org. I want to work with the Support Group Trainer to tailor the new blog to the exact needs of patients at this moment, using my own personal experiences as examples.

The feeling of desolation I experienced when Dr. Pepperell told me that I am picking up infection from the gym was soul-crushing. I wanted an angel. That is the call I want to answer through my own efforts under MSAngel.org.

I am very fit now, and I want people to actually see what the MSAngel looks like. If I am carrying a message of hope and wellness, then I must look the part. MSAngel.org, the blog, will have my picture on the cover. There is an entry forthcoming in lifetransformedblog.com. It is in a page called Heart Illuminated. It is not what you may think. It’s another moment of inspiration when a Cirque du Soleil performer came into the audience and stood right next to me. He held a giant glowing heart over his head. I studied his body, admiring his perfect physique. I was transfixed on him, because I looked at every muscle in his body as he held that glowing heart over his head. I was awed by the fact that there was not a sign of fatigue at all. Not a tremor, not a shake, not a twitch. Not a thing. He stood in absolute perfect stillness. You have to be very strong to do that. I remember thinking how I wanted that for myself. Right now, I am training for my cover photo by holding a ten pound medicine ball above my head in the same way that performer did. When I reach a certain point, I am going to do it standing on a bosu ball. My cover photo will be of me wearing a red angel wing T-shirt, holding a lighted red heart over my head while standing on a bosu ball. I am currently designing my own prop and engaging the services of a photographer. (The symbolism of any person with MS standing on a bosu ball is enormous. If I had been able to do that back in March of 2012, I probably would not have broken my leg due to being thrown off balance.)

I will be going from business to business in my own MSAngel attire asking for sponsorship for the MS Walk. 

Warm Regards,
Arianna
MS Angel – Messenger of Hope for People with MS

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note:  Heart Illuminated does carry with it an additional meaning, one other than an inspiration for a cover photo.  I’m guessing that the other meaning requires no further elucidation, given the context of this entire blog and the one that is currently under development.





My Greatest Weakness Is My Greatest Strength

8 10 2012

A few days ago I posted about seeing the intertwining, yet I was still  unable to grasp what was right before me. I knew something was up, but I just couldn’t put it all together. Until my husband, Dan, got home. As soon as he settled in a bit, I sat him down and asked him to read what I had posted that day. Once he looked up from the screen I said, “So what is it? Am I supposed to be seeing something here? Am I being guided or what?! I’m not understanding this!”

The remainder of that conversation went something like this:

Dan: “Yes, you are being guided.”

Me: “I feel it. But to do what?!”  I was becoming agitated, and that must have been reflected in the tone of my voice.

Dan: “What I have been telling you all along.”

Me: “Then just tell me! I don’t feel like playing any guessing games right now!” I was , at that point, getting very frustrated and angry. I had already been puzzling over it for many hours.

Dan: “Reach out to others with MS.”

The conversation ended right there; time became suspended.  For a tiny fraction of a  moment, I felt a flash of pure rage. That is a topic that I had declared to be off-limits!  After that brief flash of rage, an image of all of my page titles flew through my mind and then strange calm took hold. In that calm, I saw that he was right. He had been telling me for a very long time that I should reach out to others with my same affliction. But I had spent the last 13 years vehemently denying my condition. Twice, it had taken my eyesight away, it almost took my very life, and it tortured me with agonizing headaches for longer than I care to remember. It causes fatigue and compromises my memory. For ten years, I took a weekly injection, the side effects of which would flatten me for up to thirty-six hours at a time. And that was once a week every week! I now take a much gentler daily injection.

My husband, in his usual loving way, helped me see what was right before me. I started crying and repeated over and over again, “I can’t believe I couldn’t see it.” I felt a wave of relief and happiness unlike anything I have ever encountered before. I could literally feel a shift in the energy fields all around me. After the tears subsided, we went out to run some errands. The whole time, my mind wandered. It wandered so far that by the time we got home, I sat down at the computer and put a name to my new blog . I purchased the domain name that immediately came to me. It is msangel.org. If you click into right now, you won’t see much. Actually, it is supposed to be locked down right now, but I seem to be having some technical difficulties that I will be ironing out today hopefully. The idea is that I will go to others in their crisis moments. After dealing with this for thirteen years, what jumps out at me is the fact that doctors deliver the diagnosis and just walk away, leaving the patient to pick up the shattered pieces of his or her soul. They have a job; they have to move on to the next patient. I get that.  But those are the moments when people need help the most; picking up the pieces. That’s where the angel comes in.

In this blog, I write under the name DarkAngel because that’s where I have been in my journey up to this point. When the time is right – notice I’m not putting an exact date to it – I will be re-emerging as MS Angel: Messenger of Hope for People with MS.

May these be the finest hours of my life. . .





Into the Light: Seeing the Intertwining

5 10 2012

I was not planning to publish today. In just a few thoughts, that all changed. This is a post, not a page. As my life is transforming, so is my blog. All of the sudden, chronology does seem important. I’m not sure why, but it does. My ten debut pages are just the foundation upon which this transformation is being created. Things are changing so quickly now that it seems like I can hardly keep up. Just earlier this morning, I set about tackling a massive list of chores related to cleaning up the chaos that is currently my life. As I was working, I was thinking about my ten debut pages and trying to form patterns. The obvious pattern that emerged was a pattern of chaos. Much of this chaos is my own damn fault. However, a lot of it arose from my inability to even just think. I was in a fog of pain for a very long time. The pain was so bad that it consumed my every thought. What else can come of that except chaos? That fog clouded all that was happening around me.

Now that the fog is lifting, the light is shining so much brighter. And it is harsh. I am beginning to see the intertwining. Some people compare our lives to the four seasons. I can see that very clearly. But I’m looking beyond that, even. Like all of our lives and the seasons contained within, the earth will one day end. For all we know, we could be in earth’s autumn right now. Beyond the end of the earth, there are now theories that the universe itself undergoes death and rebirth. We’ve all heard about the big bang theory of the universe. I do not currently subscribe to that. I believe, instead, in another theory of the universe. It’s called the big bounce. It is about how the universe will expand only to a certain point, then it will collapse back on itself. Just before it reaches the singularity, it will bounce and begin expanding once again, undergoing an endless cycle of death and rebirth. To me, the bouncing universe is much more congruent with the cycle of life with which we are all familiar.

If you read any of my foundation pages, then you know that I had undergone five surgeries on my neck to cure excruciating headaches. All five surgeries failed. The only way out for me was to shift gears entirely, but why did it have to take so long for me to figure out that the surgeries were not the answer? The connection I am making here is to my job prospects. Just as I was in the midst of a flurry of researching, writing, and fine-tuning to present my blog to the world, I got called for what appeared to be a great job opportunity with a pharmaceutical company. I went on two interviews for it. The first interview was a three-person panel and it lasted two hours. The second interview was also a three-person panel, and it lasted almost three hours. I was given a tour of the facility and got to be awed by the state-of-the-art equipment. I had meticulously put together presentations of my finest technical writing for each interview. This consumed my entire week and every bit of my mental energy. It has now been over a week since that second interview and I am told that the company is ‘still deciding’. I had already applied to get my job at the crime lab back, and was told that they had given the position to an internal candidate. I think I am supposed to see something here. How is it intertwined? Is it related to my thick-headedness in taking so long to pull myself out of the headache hell? Am I being guided into a different direction? I don’t know the answer to that. Not yet, anyway. This is looking very much like my decision to let go of the rope of conventional medicine.

I am now turning back to the work ahead of me; cleaning up the chaos. Thoughts of those interviews will not be allowed.








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