Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Losses and Gains 2011

iStock_000002092385XSmall1-399x301As you know, I try to strike a balance here. I don’t sugarcoat my condition, but neither do I wallow in self-pity. As such, it seems appropriate to render an honest assessment of what I’ve gained and lost in the past year, and what changes may await me in the next couple of years.

Note that with my type of MS, the losses are not transient or reversible, but rather constant and permanent. Frankly, I hadn’t realized how rough a year it had been until I compiled the list.

And the gains? They can be fleeting or, with luck, they may last forever.

2011 Losses
  • Driving (click here)
  • Getting into bed unassisted
  • Dressing myself, including footwear
  • Reaching above my head (click here)
  • Almost anything with my left hand (click here)
  • Reading hardcopy books, magazines, newspapers
  • Preparing my own meals and cutting the food in my plate
  • Some washing/grooming tasks
  • Most handwriting tasks
  • Any hope for CCSVI success for me (click here)
2012 - 2013 Potential Losses (I’ll make a progress report in 12 months)
  • Operating zippers
  • The rest of my washing/grooming tasks
  • The rest of my handwriting skills (signing my own name)
  • Sitting up in bed, unassisted
  • Transferring to and from my wheelchair unassisted
  • Feeding myself
  • A few things that I can’t even imagine (the devil you don’t know)
2011 Gains
  • About 10 pounds (5 since Thanksgiving)
  • A much more accessible neighborhood (click here)
  • A wonderful new home (click here)
  • Kindle e-reader (click here)
  • Great vacation to western U.S. (click here)
  • Long term disability benefits secured until age 65 and Medicare for life (click here)
  • More new friends
2012 Potential Gains
  • New power wheelchair for primarily in-house use (delivery this month)
  • Saving the iBot (click here)
  • Trip to Bahamas (February)
  • Still more new friends
  • Entire summer in new, more walkable neighborhood
  • Stabilization of disease progression (unlikely, but possible)
  • A few things that I can’t even imagine (like a Powerball win or an appearance on Ellen?)
  • Another year above ground
emersonRalph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “We do what we must, and call it by the best names.”

So what do we call this? Life, I guess.

It’s still way better than the alternative.


  1. Beautiful quote and wow, so true. Thanks for sharing your journey and hope 2012 has some wonderful gains.

  2. Good balance, indeed. Odd that it helps to list things, isn't it? And ditto on the new friends!

  3. Glad to hear about the Kindle...was going to suggest that! Was going to suggest the Bahamas for ALL OF US, but you're going to have to report back. Sounds great. Cruising there? Flying?............Ginny

  4. Flying...hoping no snowstorm that weekend on the east coast. Will definitely report back about the trip.