Life is too Short

i can’t believe this has happened again. I returned from my vacation and learned that 3 people had died. One was my favourite radio personality from the trini radio station I listen to regularly (he was younger than I), one person lives here in Atlanta and was one of the older Trinis who welcomed us into their homes years ago when I was a starving student and then there was Carlet. I met Carlet in primary (elementary) school; I think we were about 9. Over the years we didn’t stay in touch but whenever we saw each other, we would lime for a few and catch up. She was battling her own disease but you would never know it because she was ALWAYS so full of life, very positive and ALWAYS smiling. Goodbye my friend…my condolences to all those who loved her. I saw the following posted on her wall…

Speaking of making my life the best story in the world. I went to Barbados for vacation and had a fantastic time. One of the things we did was take a catamaran sail along the west coast of the island. Now Barbados, like Trinidad, is not the most “Stacey friendly” (read accessible) place and when we pulled up by the dock my cousin had to go inside to see what accommodations could be made for me to get on the boat. As she went inside, I got out the car and started making my way over because I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen but I knew that it couldn’t happen with my sitting in the car. There are only 5 people whom I would actually ask to lift me up to take me somewhere cuz they’ve each done it before and quite regularly too – I know I’m not the heaviest person but I certainly do not go around assuming that someone would lift me up if I asked. As I was walking to the dock, a guy came out and I heard him say, “yeah. We can pick her up and take her in”. He went back inside and came back out with another who scooped me up like a rag doll and took me straight on the boat without a second thought. Gavin, the captain picked me up and Reynaldo was his first mate.

the trip included 2 stops – the first to swim with turtles and the other to see 2 ship wrecked boats that are sunk off the coast. As everyone got off and went swimming with the turtles, Gavin told me that he’d take me out at the next stop – I was sceptical, slightly afraid…I am on that (now) self imposed ban from the ocean after all – but how could I say no to that offer. I’d certainly have to put all my trust in this man I didn’t know but could probably assume that he knew exactly what he was doing and signing up for. What the hell? You only live once…I have a a short clip of  our getting in the water but alas, I am unable to load it for u.

The next stop was for lunch and fellas with jet skis approached. I remember looking at them and thinking, “sigh…if only.” I couldn’t see a way that I could end up on a jet ski at all. My eyes made 4 with Gavin’s and I guess I motioned or mouthed something to him cuz he indicated  that getting me on the jet ski would be lil tricky (steups! – just as I thought). 5 mins later, I heard my name, looked around and Mone was calling me over. The guy whose jet ski she was riding was happy and willing to get me on.  I eh go lie, it took about 6 men to get me on. Reynaldo was in the water holding the jet ski steady near the steps of the boat, Gavin was holding me under my arms with his partner jostling with my legs (because u know they weren’t working on their own – especially under all that pressha), one was swinging the legs where they needed to go and finally I was on. Fella jumped on behind me and we were off…

Was great – that day was certainly the highlight of the trip for me. When we docked, Gavin took me back to the car – no questions asked; he was wonderful…the entire crew was.

aye aye captain!

Take your life and make it the best story in the world. Life is too short for regrets and we get no “go backs”.

That Samuel-O’Brien Chick!

Indulge me…I going and toot my own horn a lil bit.

it still amazes me after all these years that I have such a positive attitude about having MS. It’s so not like me; I’m usually so pessimistic about things. Maybe deep down somewhere I knew that my outlook will make it easier for everyone around me to cope? I know they feed off my energy/feelings/outlook. I was reminded of that last week Saturday while I was talking to one of my aunts and she was talking about getting old (in fact, for years she been telling us young’uns not to get old because it is in fact a bitch) and she said, “u are amazing…how u deal with everything. It’s because of ur attitude that we can be positive about so many things.” It eh easy trust me, but it is what it is, wha ah go do.

from the moment I was diagnosed my doctor always encouraged me to exercise…that’ll help things he said – years ago it was thought that exercise was not a good thing for MS patients – of course that train of thought is no more. Back then I hated the gym, sweating, exercising, weights…all those gym things. Slowly but surely over the years that has changed and now I actually like working out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever get to that point but here I am. Now I certainly eh no gym rat and there are days when I can do without it but I like working out. Problem is, I can’t go by myself- well I could but why tempt fate; u know that I’ll be moving from one machine to the next and will end up on the floor! Enter Spree – my personal trainer. we’ve been together for the past year and a half and she’s talked about how nervous she was in the early days. We talked on the phone and I told her that I can walk but I’m in the scooter…I have MS…blahblahblah. She was cool and said yes no problem but was a bag of nerves because she didn’t know what to expect/couldn’t figure out how we’d be working out etc.

i think from day one I put her mind at ease though. I told her from then that working out was no problem for me. In fact, I’m willing to try any exercise or machine. If while doing it, I take extra long or we realise that maybe this isn’t a good idea then we know that maybe we shouldn’t do it again. (In fact, a dream I have is to start doing pull ups but not sure how we going to get me in position – but I know that one day we will try to make it work; that may be a story for another day. who knows!). Her biggest fear of course was that I’d fall “on her watch” and so the day it happened and I kinda dragged her down too (as strong as she is, she was no match for me!), she was mortified…me? Not so much – all in a day’s work…in fact allyuh know I started laughing especially when I realised that yes I pulled her down but we were both just fine. She also feeds off of me…she knows that she can throw anything at me and I’ll figure it out as we go.

i don’t need reinforcement but it’s always nice when anyone, including those who don’t know me, say encouraging things to me. I’ve had strangers in every gym at which I’ve worked out tell me that I inspire them and give them the strength to come out because if I can come workout, then they have no excuse whatsoever.  It tells me that “hey! it’s not all bad right?” and clearly I must be doing something right.

Hopefully, I will be able to maintain my positivity/upbeat outlook and my wretched disease won’t throw me a curveball that I can’t (or don’t want to) handle – time surely will tell.

P.S. I’ll be out of pocket next week so I sure won’t be posting anything.

The Inner/Outer Circles & MS

“I have a circle, a circle of best friends, a circle of bredrens Yeah!… (I) have the best circle, the best circle around, (I) have the best circle in town” Kerwin Dubois – Circles 

MS doesn’t only affect me…it affects everyone around me as well.  I always make decisions with my inner circle in mind because a lot of what I do could impact them as well.  I’m not a burden to anyone (or at least I don’t think I am ;-)) and anything that I can manage on my own, best believe I do it. Those times though when I do need help for anything, I know that I can count on any one of my friends at any given time. I’ve observed over time that that also extends to other people around me. I don’t party or go out as much as I used to and that is not only because of the MS – at times I just feel that I’ve been there, done that so I have no desire to put effort into going here, there and everywhere- these days, it’s all about quality not quantity for me.

One of the few times I make the effort every year, is to go a rooftop breakfast fete. The issue with that rooftop though is that there is no elevator. I have a few friends who will pick me up and carry me whenever necessary without batting an eye but on the rare occasion that none of them is around, we’ve actually asked other folk and they have always been happy to help. Asal’s response to my “but Suite Lounge has no elevator” is always, “doh worry. We go find somebody to take u up”. All of the inner circle knows that the legs need to be manhandled when I am struggling because if not we would take 10x as long as necessary to go wherever/do whatever. If a stranger is helping me I tell them, “just do what u need to do to get them where they need to go.  They are not going to break and u’re not going to hurt me.” If I notice that they’re still handling me with kid gloves, I tell them again and add “trust me! cuz if u take ur time, we’ll be here all day” and that usually does the trick. On the rare occasion that I have to hold on to someone to walk for whatever reason, I always try to make that person feel as comfortable as possible. I’m sure it must be a lil unnerving feeling as if you’re responsible for a handicapped person so I always try to be cognisant of what the person is going thru and do my best to make them feel at ease.

I swear I actually saw terror on an old friend’s face before. She’d never helped me and the bad thing was I just kept yapping and yapping – completely forgot about trying to make her comfortable.

I’m very open about having MS so I always assume everyone knows. I guess knowing about it and actually seeing me walk or in the scooter are 2 different things and I ran into an another old friend who hadn’t seen me in forever. Although we were in a carnival fete, his tears flowed freely because he just couldn’t handle seeing me that way. I assured him that things were okay and I insisted that he stop crying cuz there was food to be eaten and drinks to be drunk 😊

G always says that we need to make the MS work for us whenever we can.  She’s right…I mean the shit is here and it’s here to stay, might as well take advantage of it whenever we can. Last Saturday 4 of us went to a football match. We all had separate seats but they came to my seat first to make sure I was squared away before going to theirs. Because of where the handicapped seating is (I have some of the best seats in the house) there were many officials around manning the area ensuring that no one was congregating and there was a constant flow of people. They were moving ANYONE who stood still even for 2 secs, in fact I saw someone call a cop for a patron who ignored his 3 requests to move.  The match started and I realised that my 3 friends remained standing behind me…hmmmm, that’s strange but hey I wasn’t complaining. At half time, the 2 guys went for drinks and I said to Sdee, “what allyuh do the officials that they leave u alone for the whole time?” She said “girl. meehknow but I just happy they eh say anything.” P and K came back with the drinks and we kept limin and then it came up again.  That’s when I heard that P told the official who bothered them the first time that “they were my medical staff and had to stay with me“. I think I almost fell out my chair laughing with that one. It was a perfect example of G’s philosophy. P saw an opportunity for them to take advantage of the MS situation and he took it and made it work in our favour. If you ask me, this was nothing short of Pure Genius! the fact that the official actually believed him? not our problem!

Said by G telling someone a story:
“yeah, that boy was winin on Stacey and he almost mashup her foot.  She almost lost her foot and he almost lost his life”…the reason she said that was that we had to talk SD down from a ledge because he was ready to blowout the boy in question because he really made a kind of jackass move

Those are the kind of friends and family (near and far) I have – I’m lucky, I do have the best circle in town.  I know that anywhere we go/anything we do (even if I’m by myself), they always have my back and will provide me with support at the drop of a hat. They truly are amazing!

Soca Scooter vs Bumblebee

I haven’t posted in the last 3 weeks.  it’s because I had a full house and just didn’t have the time.  Alas, all good things must come to an end so back to our regularly scheduled program.

it’s a good thing that even though I upgraded, I decided to keep Soca Scooter around.  Regular folk have 2 cars…I have 2 scooters.  That was actually never my plan though. I had organized to give away Soca Scooter but because of  timing issues I ended up having him longer than I thought I would, and that led to my discovering that he is better for (at?) some things than Bumbleebee. You know how cars of yesteryear seemed indestructible but the ones these days will crumple up like paper? same concept…I just don’t trust that Bumblee will be able to “take the jammin” like SS. I already talked about SS being my party/fete scooter and the other day I made another decision.

The area in which I live is very “scooter friendly”.  I’m off a busy major road with EVERYTHING (read stores/groceries/restaurants) that I need/want and there are sidewalks on either side so I can (and do) scoot with ease.  2 weeks ago, a sidewalk was completed on my actual road but I didn’t mind scooting on the road itself before, because as busy as the major road is, my road isn’t. I scoot up my road and can go right or left depending on where I need to go and if I need to go right, I go thru a gas station to get to the pavement of the major road; going left I go thru a bank parking, again to get to the pavement of the major road.

Well one day, a work day, I had something to do and I left my apartment and scooted up my road.  I didn’t think of the time because that day was the first of my vacation and who thinks bout time or days of the week while on vacation.  I was almost at the top of my road and noticed that there was a line of cars at the red traffic light.  that’s when it dawned on me that “shit! it was lunch time…more traffic on the road.”  No worries, by the time I get there the light would be green and the cars would have moved besides, I will be going thru the gas station and because of the position of the driveway, i’d be good. Well don’t u know it; I got there and the light was still red.  On top of that, the car that was in front the gas station driveway was angled such that I couldn’t get around it to enter.  I had to join the line just like everybody else to wait for the green light! Camry, Benz, Toyota, Stacey in Soca Scooter, Mazda etc…the ridiculousness of the situation did not escape me and of course I started to laugh – probably looked like a mad woman – that light could not change fast enuf!

The other day Obs and I went up the road and I used Bumblebee. I swear that since then, he hasn’t been the same (it’s too hard for me to explain). He still works just fine and he is the one I use anytime I’m heading out on my own or being picked up, but I think SS is more suited to handle the rugged terrain on the sidewalks in my neighbourhood. Part of my reasoning too is that Bumblebee’s platform is narrower and the center of gravity is higher than SS and I feel nervous driving over the slightest incline – especially at an angle – I have a slomo video in my head of my toppling over (this actually happened before…luckily I was with some alert, quick thinking and acting men) in the middle of a road somewhere.  Can u imagine how distressing/mortifying it will be if it were to happen if I’m by myself?!? so the verdict?

Stax3.25 aka Soca Scooter – fetes/parties/driving around the neighbourhood
Stax4.25 aka Bumblebee – liming/going out anywhere else

Blogger Recognition Award

thank you Alicia at Homes + Hammers (check it out for some DIY tips and tricks) for this nomination!

As part of the nomination, there are a few rules:

RULES TO FOLLOW:
1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog on your blog post.
2) Write a post to show your award
3) Give a brief story of how your blog started
4) Give 2 pieces of advice to new bloggers
5)Select, nominate and comment on other bloggers you want to give this award to

  1. How My Blog Started
    it was 2009 when I was pushed (kinda strong word) into starting this blog to tell my Multiple Sclerosis story.  I’d been diagnosed 4 years prior and at first I had to be convinced that the blog was a good idea but eventually it turned into something somewhat cathartic that I really enjoyed.
  2. Advice to New Bloggers
    Publish consistently
    Make the appearance/layout of your blog inviting so that your audience will keep coming back.  Additionally your writing style should make for your visitors’ “easy reading”
  3. My Nominees
    Astrid @ Lady with MS
    Opinionated Man @ Harsh Reality
    Nicole @ My New Normals
    Bryan and Brandon @ A Beer for the Shower
    Christe @ The Lesion Journals
    Elle @ Meanderings of the Mind
    Funmi @ Mangoisms
    Matt @ Matt’s MS
    Cheryl @ Plucking at My Heartstrings
    Janice @ Mostly Blogging