I am standing in the middle of the veggie plant aisle at our local garden centre and choking up while I am looking for long English cucumbers. Why you ask would I be tearing up looking at plants? That is a great question and one I am going to answer right now.
If you know me or follow my blog, you know that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005 and in early 2016, my Neurologist told me that I was slowly losing my chances for having a decent quality of life. Before I was diagnosed, I knew something was wrong with me – I would be walking and my legs would not do their job (such as walk), I was beyond tired, I had my hands and arms going numb and I was clumsy, more clumsy than usual. I had nerve pain, I had vertigo, my skin was itchy, and I had what I like to call sparklers going off down my spine and in my legs when I would bend my head, all of which I now know is classic Multiple Sclerosis. So ya, I knew something was going on, but my husband and I were so busy raising our kids, I had a busy job in a community development position within a city that was growing and changing quickly, and I was having a hard time keeping up with it all. I was barely keeping my head above water, to say that I was having a hard time coping is a gross understatement. This went on for about 7 years, but a year before I was diagnosed, it started to get worse and I could no longer ignore it.
I had a good long stint of working after I was diagnosed with MS. My Neurologist was helping me manage my symptoms with medications, which helped me be able to work as long as I did, however I am now trying to get off them because they have brought with them a whole new set of challenges, none of which I need while trying to fight a chronic disease like Multiple Sclerosis. My job was my world and I worked hard at it for over 18 years and while I knew the day would eventually come when I would succumb to my disease, I wasn’t ready yet and didn’t know if there would ever be a good time to go off on disability. But that day arrived, smacking me in the face and I finally heard what my team of doctors were telling me. Plus, I was exhausted and deep in my heart, I knew they were right and at that point in time, I thought my life was falling apart. It felt like it was all of a sudden (even though I know it wasn’t) but before I knew it, I was unable to find any balance between work and my home life. I was so tired at the end of the day that all I could do was plop down on the couch and didn’t want to see anyone or do anything, including spend time with my family, I was spent. My body was sluggish, my legs were like cement, my words would get jumbled whenever I was in a stressful situation or multi-tasking (which was all the time at work), my dexterity was getting worse all the time and I had a tough time keeping up with my life.
So, back to why I was tearing up in the garden center. The bottom line is that I am so damn happy that I FINALLY have the energy to do these things. I am overwhelmed and so very thankful that I have the possibility to finally participate in my life. I have wanted a garden for at least 5 years, and nobody was really embracing it, myself included. I wanted it but deep down, I knew that I couldn’t do it. But I am now entering my fourth year of Long-Term Disability and with a renewed energy and freedom, I’m standing in the middle of the aisle crying in the garden center.
For those of you who are at a point in your disease wondering if now is the time to stop working, I say don’t wait. If you can go on a little bit of faith and a whole lot of conviction and intention, you can redesign your life and be in control over your disease. Having MS is tough, it sucks and sometimes it sucks the life right out of me, but what it doesn’t do is take me out of the game anymore, I finally have the energy to fight it. I can go for a walk, stretch my body, make a healthy meal, and plant a garden. Multiple Sclerosis no longer keeps me from participating in my own life. I urge you to have some faith and you could be the next whacko crying in the garden center!
So, that is why I am standing in the middle of the garden centre fighting back the tears and hoping people aren’t staring at me. To celebrate, I got in the kitchen and whipped up this little treasure! You can eat it with Na’an or pita bread, Greek Chicken kabobs or just with some crackers. Once my cucumbers grow, I will be making more and more of it! Go ahead, you can thank me later!
Easy Peasy Fresh Tzatziki
This tangy dip is a perfect complement to Naan bread or Greek chicken.
1 Cup plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
1 Cucumber – seeded and grated
3 Tablespoons of fresh Dill
I like to kick the dill flavor up a notch with 1 drop of Dill Vitality essential oil
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
3 Garlic Cloves Minced (more if you love garlic like I do)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Until Next Time!