Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stable With Medication

Sometimes “stability” is highly overrated - like when you are trying to have a mental breakdown or sprain your ankle (grin). However, currently, having stability means everything to me...

I sat in my doctor’s office in early July for my 6-month check up and a new term was used to describe my condition. My doctor said that I am “stable with medication”. 

No, I am not in remission, my extensive MRI’s prove that, but what is happening is that some of the lesions have actually decreased in size; which means my medication is working and working hard. 

In the midst of all of this I have been steroid-free for ~ about two years and counting! Yeah! Being steroid-free means that my body is dealing with the issues, not needing additional aid and my life isn’t being seriously interrupted by the funky nature of my disease.

Being “stable with medication” is extremely satisfying, because it means that for me the decisions I have made are finally paying off. It is a bit daunting to try and maintain composure and control over such a delicate thing as my body. 

But if I listen, focus, and try to understand what it is my body is really saying to me, I can generally figure it out, and I completely trust that I do know what I need – I am not ruled by fear in this disease. 

Not being ruled by fear is important when decisions regarding my medical care need to be made. I feel that I am in-tune enough with myself to know when I really do need certain medications or not. 

I have the power to decide these things and I trust that I am informed enough that I am making the correct decisions. Continued medical management is definitely a collaborative effort and I am a knowledgeable participant in this collaboration.

I was able to go to the 'The Leonardo' in downtown Salt Lake City last weekend and go through the Body World’s exhibit (

Going to this event was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was simply amazing! I was able to see and understand so much more about my body and I am in complete awe at how we function and what power our delicate bodies are actually capable of. We are an amazing species!

Taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally is vital... the hardest part about this “taking care” business is (1) the listening and (2) accepting the things that our bodies are really saying to us.

Currently, my body is screaming “feed me salmon fish tacos with refried beans!!” and my emotions are saying, “Breathe, have faith and in time you will be where you need to be.”

Friday, June 13, 2008

5 Years Ago Today

A sign that says it all! Found it in a Tennessee Farm Museum.

Just like playing a game of Chess, only I can determine the moves that will make me succeed, and regardless of my opponents’ choices, only I get to decide where I move next.

I may be compelled one way or the other,
but I still have a choice.

Five years ago today I sat in a medical office and was told that I have Multiple Sclerosis. I made an immediate and decisive move that made all the difference in the world. 

I accepted the news and then allowed myself to experience all of the human emotions that you could imagine (grief, anger, fear, peace, etcetera). 

That decision has worked for me and I don’t regret it. Denial at that stage wasn’t for me. Hearing the diagnosis and going through the motions wasn’t for me either.

Given the options my next move was to become as pro-active as possible. But I wanted to decide what was best and right for me and I still live this way. 

If a suggestion, recommendation, or anything else doesn’t sound right or doesn’t sit well with me, then why waste time to evaluate? If a suggestion or recommendation has empirical data, I would study it before I decided anything.

Simply put, the ability to decide my next move in life always has been and will forever be, up to me. Maybe this is why I like the Tennessee sign so much (see above).

This life and the afterlife are what we make of it,
so why not live that way now and get acclimated to it?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poetry Corner: Rubber-Band Girl Syndrome

So I have a stash of clothing of various sizes that I have to keep in storage. The reason I do this is because of what I call the “Rubber-Band Girl Syndrome”.

My body does this thing where it...fluctuates in size before, during, and after steroid treatments. This doesn’t seem to happen to everyone who has these treatments, but for me...let’s just say ElastaGirl has new meaning to me.

So, to add humor to the situation, a while back I wrote a poem about my ElastaGirl/Rubber-Band Girl Syndrome experience that I thought was pretty funny.

Note: this poem should be read with a sea-man sounding voice.

Parable of the Bosom

‘tween Me and Myself
I seldom forget my panties –
but much to my dismay,
when all put together,
do I notice my bosoms
dangle too low

so I heave and I ho
Me pulls the straps on my left,
Myself tourniquets the right;
‘til no more blood graces my veins
shoulder and ‘low

when mirror confronted
I see how silly this be
as bubbled in the center
is the makings of an udder…

in defeat I lower the anchors
and batten down the hatches,
telling myself:
‘tis better to surrender

in the end a good lesson is learned
for I am blessed to jiggle
there’s more of me to be yearned.

By Diana M. Bateman

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Want To Laugh

Diana going down the Zip Line at the Utah Olympic Park.
Turn the volume up and press play to laugh at her and her very serious fear of heights.
I want to laugh, so I am just gonna' put some things on here that are guaranteed to make me giggle. So I hope they work for you too.
From Lily Tomlin in the hit play The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (written by Ms. Jane Wagner).
  • “All my life I’ve wanted to be somebody. But now I see that I should’ve been more specific.”
  • "I'd do better at something creative, but somehow I lack talent to go with it, and being creative without talent is a bit like being a perfectionist and not being able to do anything right."
  • "You'd think by now evolution could've at least evolved us to the point where we could change ourselves."
  • "I can take reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle I think it's too confining."
  • "Goin' crazy was the best thing ever happened to me. I don't say it's for everybody; some people couldn't cope.”
  • “I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore.”
  • “What’s reality anyway? Reality is nothin’ but a collective hunch.”
Jack Handy, American Writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1991-2003. Jack is famous for his Deep Thoughts.
  • “I hope that someday we’ll be able to put away our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.”