When Saying "No" Just Isn’t An Option

I am so very fortunate in my life.  I have a beautiful family.  I have two healthy sons.  I have a house in the suburbs.  I have a job that I love.

Above and beyond all of this I have me.  I am a very healthy 36 year old adult female. 

A couple of months ago I had health worries.  I had been tracking my monthly menstrual cycle very closely for almost a year and noticed a very bizarre pattern.  I spent some time on WebMD which was a bad idea.  All I did was scare myself.  But, it did cause me to call my doctor and make an appointment.  I have a family history of Ovarian and Uteran cancer, cysts, etc.  I was scared beyond belief.

To make matters worse my OB/GYN’s office called me 2 days before my appointment to say that the office was closed and I’d need to find a new doctor.  Thank God for my primary doctor who didn’t know what to do but punted anyway.  She ordered blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds to rule out all of the things I was worried about.  I called the office a few days after the tests were ordered to hear those lovely words “Everything came back normal”!!!  I still have follow up to do because I am now considered pre menopausal and because none of the women in my family ever really went through a normal menopause I have no idea what this means for me.  The bottom line of all of this though is that I’m quite healthy and doing fabulously.

I state all of this to share with you some of what I’ve hinted at in the past few weeks.  I also share this because I need to remind myself of what I have and what others may not.

I have a very dear friend who was diagnosed 9 years ago with Multiple Sclorosis.  She has struggled since then with various issues related to the MS.  She is currently in the middle of some pretty extreme physical pain as well as movement issues.  She has missed a lot of work but she continues to come back day after day whenever she is able.

My dear friend asked me today what to do.  Others are telling her that it’s time to hang up the towel.  It’s time to accept what is happening to her body and to stop working, apply for disability. 

I did what I could to put myself in her shoes.  I don’t know her pain and anguish.  What I do know is that I’ve known her and loved her for the past 10 years.  Through all of her struggles she has continued to fight.  She has faced people questioning her disability as well as her abilities.  She has moved away from a job she was wonderful at, a job she adored to an “easier” job so that she could continue to work.  She is truly struggling right now but seems to have a few good swings left before TKO.

I told her what I hope that someone would tell me.  For her body’s sake she should absolutely stop what she is doing.  However, for mental health alone, she can’t possibly do this.  It would be saying “I’m done”, “I can’t”, “I quit”, “MS wins”.

How can I allow her to say these things when I refuse to say them about my son, the children I work with daily, my friends’ children.  I will not allow my son or the other children to be defined by their disabilities.  I prefer to focus on the abilities – whatever they may be – and define them based on those.  Why should my dear friend be any different?

She is limited physically in what she is capable of.  Howver, she has a personality that can light up a room.  I’ve adored her from the moment I met her because of this.  She is genuinely caring.  She accepts people for who they are and doesn’t try to change them to fit her needs.  She is intelligent and is willing to share her knowledge with others.  She has called me the sister she never had and I feel for her in much the same way.

I know that she hangs out at this blog from time to time.  She keeps up on the lives on my boys and my life.  Though we live close we don’t get to play together nearly as much as we’d like.  But if she reads this I hope that she feels the love.

I have met few people in my life who can endure the things she has and come out on the other side smiling and making jokes.  I admire her for continuing to be who she is, for continuing to refuse to say no.  I would expect nothing less than for her to go down swinging.

So this is for you big “D”.  Know that I love you and am here for you always – no matter what!  Thanks for making me a better person for just knowing you.  And hugs for continuing to refuse to say “no”. 

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About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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One Response to When Saying "No" Just Isn’t An Option

  1. Alysia says:

    This post was beautiful – not only as a tribute to your friend but also to your kids. Both my mother-in-law and a good friend suffer from MS and neither one gave in (notice I didn't say gave up) and quit work until they just couldn't make the drive in to the office. We all have to do what's best for our families and our bodies. I think it's amazing that you can be there for your friend in that way.Alysiahttp://trydefyinggravity.wordpress.com

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