My wife had been feeling strange for a year, didn’t know what to make of it, saw doctors, had tests and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
I had just started my career with The Providence Fire Department and was half way through the 42nd training academy when I got the news. They let me leave early that day, but the next it was business as usual.
We have fought together since 1991. We have lived life on our terms, did our damndest and continue to do so. We eat organic vegetables and grass fed meats mostly, fish and chicken too. Every morning we excercise. It’s not a fun, exhilarating trip to the gym or bonding with our Cross Fit pals, we do it alone, assisted with neurological stimulus machines that we found, purchased and learned how to operate.
It can be a lonely life.
My career in Fire/EMS lasted twenty five years. During that time my main concern was my family, but I managed to do a decent job taking care of other people’s emergencies.
People struggle. Life is hard. My problems are my own. Watching my wife fight with everything she had and still get worse put me in a dark place. I compared her and her condition to the addicts, alcoholics, chronic complainers and people who refused to take care of themselves. I judged, and it made me miserable.
It was vital to me to rise above my resentment, and not compare people’s strengths and weakness. Most days I succeeded, some I failed.
As time went on, and we learned about life, and dissapointment, love, dissilusionment, despair and hope through the lens of an incurable disease I became more tolerant, and actually helped a lot of people who at one time I would have simply taken to the hospital.
So anyway, that’s part, albiet a very important part my story. Everybody has their own, and those stories are not crosses to bear; rather they are roads to travel, tests to take, weight to be lifted and life to be lived.
It’s not easy, but I don’t think it is supposed to be.