Friday, October 16, 2009

Hope on the Horizon

Many of you may have already heard about this from my Facebook page. Since some of you are not on Facebook much, I thought I'd share it here, too.

A new discovery is making news in the medical and scientific communities. Scientists have identified a new virus that is linked to CFS (as well as fibromyalgia and autism). While it is being reported with cautious optimism, the authors of the study are pretty confident that his may be the answer that has eluded so many people for so many decades. XMRV is a retrovirus that is similar in many ways to HIV. Because of all the work that has been done on HIV, researchers feel that we should be able to find effective treatments for it relatively quickly. They are also hopeful for a vaccine. A commercial test for the virus is expected in about a month.

Two and a half years ago, when I was about a year into this illness, my dad gave me a blessing. I remember it distinctly. He said in the blessing that 1. I would be diagnosed; 2. a treatment would be available; and 3. I would be healed completely. After the blessing, I confidently went back to my doctor for months of more tests. Everything came back negative, and I was so disappointed. I had to remind myself that sometimes things happen on the Lord's timetable, not on ours. So, I settled in to wait. Like most of you, I thought that maybe CFS was in interim diagnosis, that the doctors missed something, and that some brilliant doctor would some day discover the "real" reason I'm sick. Maybe, just maybe, my waiting is close to being over.

Hope is a dangerous thing. As I've thought about it since the news broke last week, my mind keeps wandering to thoughts I never allow myself to have. If I get healed, my kids can have birthday parties again. I can clean my house, even scrubbing the toilets and showers and mopping the floors. I can invite Nikki and Shandee over for a casual little get together. I can volunteer to host our book club at my home. I can take the kids to a pumpkin patch and let them choose their own pumpkins. I can help them carve the pumpkins. I can walk with my kids around the neighborhood to trick or treat. I can start substitute teaching and get the ball rolling to become a middle school science teacher. I can take walks with my husband in the evening. I can stay up and watch stupid sitcoms on TV and go to bed with him instead of hours before. I can stay up past midnight talking with my daughter when she comes home from college. I can drive down to visit family even if my husband is working!

I can sit with my family during Sacrament meeting and listen to wonderful talks ... or boring talks ... or mediocre talks. I can go to Sunday School when my husband is teaching. I can sneak into nursery when he's not. I can go to Relief Society again. I can share my brilliant insights with the sisters! I can hear the announcements. I can sign up to volunteer when someone else needs service.

I can exercise! I can get in the water at the beach, go out past the breaking waves, and swim until my arms ache. I can do situps and yoga and belly dance. I can get on the computer as a reward for getting things done, not because it's the only thing I have enough energy to do.

Ah. See? Hope is a dangerous thing. It makes me impatient.

This is a great interview with the people who discovered the virus. The ads are annoying, but it's worth wading through them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Because If I Didn't Laugh, I Would Cry

Some days are just crappy. So, to combat, I find fun and funny wherever I can. Here's a gem Kyara introduced me to:

People Of Walmart

Anyone look familiar?