Friday, January 28, 2011

Putting it in perspective.

I know, I know, I've been lax about posting the past couple of months. I do have an excuse. Well, several actually. No, really, I do. At the beginning of our holiday break, I rear-ended hubby while we were biking and ended up sprawled on the street with several bruises, scrapes and a cracked rib. And I needed to meet my publisher's deadline for my next book and was falling behind. Good news is that because it hurt just to breathe, I couldn't do much of anything but sit and got a lot of writing done.

Then, when I was almost healed, I ended up having two Meniere's attacks in a row. This disease causes severe vertigo and tinnitus during attacks and impedes normal function. I tend to go into denial between attacks and pretend that I'm normal. Then, wham! I get hit with another reminder that I'm, well, just a little bit different than most. Hubby is great to me during these times but it's hard not being able to walk straight for a day or two and then being unstable for another day or two. I sometimes mope.

So, while I was having a pity party, and doing a fine job of it, I got news that my younger brother was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. Can you hear the brakes squealing? Yep, that put an instant halt to my party. This is devastating news for anyone, but especially for someone who was a body builder and karate instructor and is still religious about going to the gym. My party was over. My brother lost his only son to an impaired driver three years ago, so he's no stranger to hard times. He's taking this current news with more bravery than I would. We commiserated, with me just trying to keep my mouth shut and listen.

Everyone has challenges in their lives and, thanks to my brother, I've learned that mine are not nearly as severe as I sometimes want to believe. So my pity hat hangs in the closet now and it's time to support my brother again. His disease is progressive, like mine. But unlike mine, his causes a lot of pain, sometimes on a daily basis, and makes it hard for him to do things I take for granted, like walking up a flight of stairs. He was acting all brave and whatnot, so I told him to go ahead and have a pity party, with balloons and a big pity cake. He's earned it. After that, he can be the brave one if he wants. Thanks to him, I have yet a new perspective on life. That mine is pretty great.

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