I got to the hospital late Friday night. Now it is Thursday and I am going home. Hurray!
It really was nothing terrible, just an infection. But for most of us with MS, an infection too often means fevers, and fevers mean weakness. For me, it meant extreme weakness. So I spent six nights in the hospital being poked, prodded and explored by what seemed like an army of ‘body archeologists on an expedition’ to discover the source of my infection.
Eureka! They found it, treated me with I.V. antibiotics and are sending me home with a bag of pills to take daily for two weeks. Another episode. Another process. I have become pretty good at taking it all in stride. Why is that? Because I learned to see life events as all falling into one of three categories. They are:
The things we CONTROL.
The things we INFLUENCE.
The things over which we have NO CONTROL.
While this sounds simple enough, at times it can be very challenging. Why? Because my most honest answers require me to take personal responsibility for the life event. Take my current infection as an example.
Was getting the infection within my control? No, I don’t believe so.
Is getting the infection something that I have no control over whatsoever? I don’t believe that is true either.
Were there things that I could have done that may have prevented the infection from occurring? In other words, did I have any influence over this infection? I believe that I did.
There were things that I knew I could do to better defend my body and didn’t. There were things that I didn’t know could be done and now I do. For me, seeing and learning the influence that I could have makes me smarter and better prepared for the future.
It would be easy to just say “no control” and call it all a matter of chance, or just ‘one of those things’. But in this situation and for me, recognizing my influence makes me a better participant in the process and a better combatant of my disease.
Getting MS was out of my control. But I intend to exercise as much control and influence over the disease as I possibly can. There will be other ‘speed bumps’ in the road ahead. My taking as much responsibility as I can means fewer of them and I am all for that.
It is good to be home again.