Thinking Small Picture

This past summer Husband and I moved to a new city. In the midst of a new city, starting a new job, unpacking in a new apartment…I was a bit on new overload. One of the only things that was stable was that I could run. Then all of a sudden I started having this sharp pain in my knee as I ran- a pain that tells you something is wrong. I thought I’d torn my meniscus, Husband thought I had tendonitis and after getting to find an orthopedist in a new city with my new insurance, I was told I had IT Band Syndrome. What?

That was my response. Maybe you have heard of it but I didn’t even know I had an IT Band. I was prescribed Physical Therapy 2-3 times a week for 6 weeks. I was a bit on overload with all of these changes and now this was slowly sending me over the edge. Frustration. Defeat. Frustration. Defeat. The feelings rolled back and forth for about 4 weeks. I also didn’t believe I would ever be “fixed.” I didn’t know IT Band Syndrome made any sense. As someone who isn’t even that big of a runner but just does it as a work out, I felt extremely helpless.

Slowly though, my Physical Therapist got me running. He started with this fancy machine that “de-weights” you. Have you ever seen this? I put on these fancy biker shorts that zipped me into the top of this machine, then the machine fills with air and I am only running on 80% of my weight. It was crazy. I was describing it to my new boss and she demanded to see a picture of the “fat suit.” Since I have no shame, I figured I owed it to all of you to show you a picture too:


The reason I tell this story that has gone way off track is that there were many moments throughout this process where I wondered if this defeat and frustration is what Mom feels. I know she feels helpless. The task of just running without pain felt like a huge obstacle I would never overcome. I imagine that is how Mom feels about standing, about walking, about regaining her strength, about all of it. I have tried to remember that and tried to think how I can help her overcome it. Overcome the huge feelings of defeat, overcome what seems like this huge challenge that you will never overcome, basically overcome your thoughts- because in life and in MS it’s not just a battle of the body but also a battle of the mind. Where do you begin? I say it doesn’t matter, you just have to throw everything you’ve got at it, don’t think big picture but instead think small picture and begin anywhere.

Have you ever had a challenge that seems so big you don’t know where to begin? Can you relate to thoughts of being overwhelmed like you will never improve? What do you think of my anti-gravity running “fat suit?”

5 thoughts on “Thinking Small Picture

  1. Shortly after I was diagnosed I was depressed. I was sitting in a chair in my room looking at the two canes that I required to walk and feeling very sorry for myself. My mother came into my room and gave me the best advice I’ve ever had. She told me that I had been dealt a horrible blow that I had every right to be depressed. Then she looked at her watch and said “you’ve got 15 minutes, go!” I started to laugh. People dealing with MS have issues other people can’t fully understand and it’s awful. But we have a responsibility to ourselves to live a life even if it’s difficult. When I get down I wallow for a while in self-pity then I put on a weepy movie, cry my eyes out, blow my nose and move on. Granted it is easier to say than to do. It’s hard but it must be done. I describe living with MS as being like a boat with the anchor trailing in the mud. We are a whole lot slower than everybody else but we’ll get there eventually. I hope these words help your mom and you.

  2. Your right it doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is that you START—As in your situation I am not the one with the incurable disease and being the “fixer” I tend to be creates more frustration than it provides answers! Where we would start isn’t always where the ones we care for would—I have found (to my dismay) that you can lead a horse to water but…… So maybe the only real effective thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones is be the very best WE can be and along with faith and prayer believe they too will find peace and acceptance in order to be able to move forward with purpose?

    • I too am quite the “fixer.” I think what you said is so powerful because I think my dad, sister and I feel so similar with helping Mom with MS. But like you said above maybe the important thing we can do is be the best we can be along with faith and prayer…all easier said than done but you’ve left me with some good things for my mind to chew on this evening. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. Your post was awesome and nice Mom’s feelings. With dedication, determination and the will to be the very best you can be, anything is possible. I’m sure Mom is so very proud of the love and support you give her! What a piece of equipment you have there! Keep up the great work towards healing!

    • Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate you noticing the comparison and see how they related- I was hoping that would come across clearly šŸ™‚ Isn’t that machine crazy? I am happy to report I am done with it but am glad I have some pictures to “not so fondly” remember it. Take care!

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