I'm lying on my back on the pool deck at Kiera's mom's house, gazing up at the cloud formations while listening to the kids splashing beside me. I've been in and out of the water a bit, and after tossing each of them several times and repeatedly lifting and steadying them so they can jump from my shoulders I'm content to rest my head in my hands and take inventory while the sun warms me.
The feet are a bit numb and buzzing, and I feel a bit more tired than I would have a few years ago ("before I turned 40", Kiera would say), but that's it. I think back to this morning when I shut off the 5:15 alarm in favor of sleeping in, which killed any chance for a run, but I'll have another chance tomorrow. Soon my thoughts drift to later this evening, when I'll finish off the last of this month's Copaxone injections. This ends my first 12 month cycle on the drug, which makes for another milestone of sorts.
When these little blips appear on the radar I sometimes think of this blog, and how I'm able to look back over the years of posts and find many of the significant moments from the last 7 years of my life chronicled here. I look through my logs and I laugh and shake my head at the level of fixation on my running in the face of everything else going on in my life. I'm happy that I chased the dreams I had of realizing my potential, and I genuinely hope that I helped other like-minded runners by posting as often as I did.
When I look at the past year, I don't get the same feelings or smiles. The posts are therapy of a sort, and while on the one hand I feel it's good to have a record, I'm also beginning to realize that I'm more inclined to keep that record to myself.
The fact of the matter is that I simply don't want to write about Multiple Sclerosis anymore here. It's an incredibly difficult thing to deal with, and there is a difficult stigma that goes along with it. Putting it out of my mind while continuing to take care of myself takes a lot of effort, and having it hang in the air here doesn't help me right now.
I'll always remember the first phone call to Kiera when the MRI results came back with what looked like M.S.. I'll remember the calls that followed to my mom and siblings, and the discussions with my boss and other friends. More recently, I remember telling someone else about it. He wasn't someone close to me, and it didn't really matter whether he knew it or not. A few minutes later as I was thinking about the conversation it became apparent that this was the last person I was going to tell about my illness. What I mean is that for the past 16 months or so I've felt at times that I needed an excuse, and I don't feel that way anymore. I don't owe anyone an explanation for why I'm not as fast as I used to be.
Whether I'm staring at the clouds or at the ceiling fan whirring above our bed at home, the inventory I'm taking is of this moment, and it serves no purpose to compare it to anything in the past. The questions I ask myself at these times assess whether or not M.S. or any other factors are keeping me from being the person-husband-father I want to be, and the answers, while not easy, are better answered in private for the time being.
Thank you for following my blog, and hopefully some more running and training entries will follow once the last year is erased.