Thank you to everyone who has so kindly reached out to us and prayed for me this week. I had 2 MRI’s done and they both came back clear which is both good and not so good. My brain MRI, which is a big test to determine the presence of MS, did come back clear – but it doesn’t rule out MS entirely because it can be present even with a clear brain scan. (I think it can show up either in the spinal cord or in the brain.) My other MRI was done on my knees and it also came back clear, showing pretty definitively that the problem – whatever it is – is not in my knees (like I had thought).
So now we wait. Both doctors have referred me to neurology and the first available appointment is in January, although the orthopedic doctor said they would do what they could to get me in sooner.
I’ve learned that there are other conditions that can mimic MS, and also things I can do to try to minimize symptoms of my leg weakness. So far nothing has really worked and I am still wearing my knee braces daily.
So in this time of not knowing, I am okay with not knowing. (If that makes sense.) We have had so much fun this week at the hobby shop doing Trick or Treat on the Square, and I have LOVED seeing all of the leaves change here in Marshall over the last few days. (I am planning a blog post about the fall very soon!). Derick has been the best and most uplifting husband I could ask for, and that little boy of ours makes me laugh and smile so many times a day that it's hard to stay sad for very long. I am grateful for the Lord and the comfort He has given me. In the absence of any answers, I still have comfort and His peace. I am also grateful for all of you who have prayed for me - extremely grateful.
My FAVORITE time of day is right before the sun sets. The air is heavy with the day’s activities. Everything is slowing down. A little bit of daylight hangs in the air as nightfall encroaches.
There is something fun and mysterious about that term. And no, I’m not talking about the movie or the series (although those were good too!).
Being outside in the evening air in many ways, I think, is just good for the soul.
One of my favorite fictional characters, Anne Shirley, describes twilight in these terms:
“It was a September evening and all the gaps and clearings in the woods were brimmed up with ruby sunset light. Here and there the lane was splashed with it, but for the most part it was already quite shadowy beneath the maples, and the spaces under the firs were filled with a clear violet dusk like airy wine. The winds were out in their tops, and there is no sweeter music on earth than that which the wind makes in the fir trees at evening.” -Anne of Green Gables
Though she was describing Canada, I see a bit of what she was talking about here in Saline County, Missouri.
Near Marshall we have BEAUTIFUL sunsets in the wide open skies above the cornfields. We hear the songs of tree frogs and cicadas and crickets pierce the thick evening air. We hear the wind play a song through the tree leaves.
A time of beauty and a time of rest. All your work for today is done. Now relax and enjoy the evening like it was meant just for you. In the words of Anne:
"Isn't this evening just like a purple dream, Diana? It makes me so glad to be alive. In the mornings I always think the mornings are best; but when evening comes I think it's lovelier still."
Today was an unexpectedly hard day. A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor to get help for what I thought was my runner’s knee.
First of all, when I was in my 20s, running was all but everything to me. I jogged several evenings per week for health, fitness, and enjoyment. I loved it and competed in numerous 5Ks, 8Ks (never any marathons!), and overall I just loved running. I loved the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement and the rhythm of my breathing. I especially loved running in winter! No matter how cold it was, I didn’t notice once I started running.
About three years ago after a normal evening of running my usual 3 miles, my knees were suddenly so weak I could barely stand up. It took me two weeks to get over the weakness in my knees. During that time I could barely walk without my knees shaking. It was crazy, but I chalked it up to what I thought was runner’s knee, and that was the last time I ever ran a 5K.
Since then, every time I try to run (which is barely more than a mile these days), the same knee weakness happens. So I finally went to the doctor, fully expecting to hear a diagnosis of runner’s knee. Instead, through a series of questions, I heard (to my shock) a possibility that I might have MS.
Fast forward through the last couple of weeks, I have had one test and a visit to the orthopedic doctor – along with a lot of emotional roller coaster ups and downs. I was sure today’s visit to the orthopedic doctor would yield a diagnosis of something related to my knees, but instead, the doctor said my knees looked great and he thought something else was going on.
In just over 2 weeks I’ve had 2 different doctors mention the possibility of MS.
Needless to say, I am still processing all of this. I have two more tests next week and am scheduled to see the neurologist in January. It may be awhile before we find any answers.
As I have thought about all of this I have prayed. I feel sad, but my prayers have been full of praise. That probably sounds odd, but my prayers are not filled with pleas for me not to have MS. I may have it or I may not. Right now while I do not know, I just praise my Father because He is helping me in this weakness I am experiencing and have been experiencing for three years. Mainly I am sad that I cannot just go outside and take off jogging anymore. My legs are too weak to let me do that.
I have felt fear along with the sadness. Fear of the unknown, fear of a possible diagnosis. I mourn whatever my physical limitation is, whatever its name until the day we find out what is going on. Maybe it is a different neurological disorder, or something easily treated. Maybe there are other physical issues going on that we may find out this week. Or, maybe I do have multiple sclerosis. We simply do not know right now. Through my sadness, I do feel peace. I think it must be the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
But for tonight, I will sit and enjoy this beautiful fall evening. I will treasure the time with my husband and son. I am letting myself feel sad. And grateful. And confused. And frustrated. And weak, helpless, and not in control. And as I feel all these things, I think about the beauty of these flowers. Matthew 6:28-31 – “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will be not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry…”
I look at these beautiful flowers. I took these pictures before any of these doctor visits, before I knew anything of the possibility of MS in my body or anything neurological going on. They haven’t changed. And my Father loves me - and you - just as much as He loves these beautiful flowers. I rest in His love and it is the most beautiful place to be.
During our first year of marriage, Derick and I adopted a little yellow cat from the local animal shelter and named her “Grace.” Grace was (and still is) a very timid little kitty who is always cautious and scared of her own shadow. For the first few months we had her, I could leave the front door completely open when bringing the groceries inside from the car and she would walk right to the threshold and stop. She never dared to step over the ledge or go anywhere unfamiliar.
A few months after we adopted Grace, we adopted “Lilly.” Having limited experience with cats, we expected her to be like Grace. However, Lilly was (and still is) a very different cat. Where Grace is timid, Lilly is gung-ho. Where Grace is skittish, Lilly is confident. Where Grace is constantly on high alert, Lilly is carefree.
From the very first week we brought her home, Lilly ran as fast as she could out the open front door and ran off. She still tries to do so to this day, and we must constantly try to keep her inside or chase after her if and when she escapes.
She climbed everything - absolutely EVERYTHING! We had to stack two baby gates and then tape cardboard to try to keep her in her room the first few days she lived with us because she climbed up and jumped out (upsetting Grace) - and then a mad race ensued (see photo above).
Where Grace never climbed stairs or jumped on the kitchen counters, Lilly did. Where Grace never ventured to the basement, Lilly did from the first moment she got the opportunity. Grace would chase Lilly, and Lilly would jump up on the counters where Grace couldn’t reach her.
Lilly was forever on the counters and up high above the cabinets, and Grace was always on the floor looking up.
One day after we had Lilly for several weeks, I walked into the kitchen and there was Grace, curled up on the kitchen counter above the dishwasher. I was really surprised to see her there because while she had tried to jump that high before, she never could. Then all of a sudden, one day, she did.
The point of this little story is:
1) Sometimes I think Grace is wiser than Lilly in many ways. Where Grace senses danger, Lilly senses excitement, and that may eventually backfire on her.
2) Sometimes it takes a friend (or a frenemy) to make us realize we can do something we never thought we could do.
Today, both cats regularly jump up on the kitchen counters and Grace even tries to escape out open doors (and I still can’t figure out why because all she does is hide when she gets outside). But in many ways, Lilly has kind of been Grace’s fearless leader and shown her how to be a more daring cat.
Are you a Grace or a Lilly today? We love both our cats so much for their own unique personalities and the joy and giggles that they bring our family. They’re so similar, but so different.
Sometimes I think I am more like Grace in that I am cautious and sensitive. I can relate to Grace a LOT! There is nothing wrong with being a Grace! She will probably live a very, very long kitty life. But I am also thankful for Lillies in my life who show me how to be a little more daring and take a chance every now and then, showing me I can do things I never thought I could do. Jumping up on the kitchen ledge so I can see a little further than I could before, tempered by wisdom, sense, and of course, a little grace.
And now, Grace and Lilly are the best of friends. Well, most of the time. :)
Thanks for stopping by! I'm a student turned teacher turned writer turned part-time tutor, postcard hobbyist, and landscape photograph enthusiast. I have zero formal training in photography, but I love the art of visual documentation. I lived the first 30 years of my life in Oklahoma until I made a major life change (long story and I'd love to tell it sometime!), met my husband, moved to Marshall, and became a bonafide Missourian. My husband Derick owns our hobby shop, and we have a 2-year old son Rafe who loves just about everything these days (except spinach). If you ever see me around town with a camera pointed at a sunset, please say hi. I'd love to be friends. :)