“Focus on what you CAN do” ~ Jimmie Heuga
Ever had a pain that no one understands? It can hurt until you find someone that does understand. Somehow that person makes the pain less powerful.
Then you find a group of people that appreciate what you are going through. And they make the pain nonexistent.
That happened to me last week. I spent four days at the CAN DO Multiple Sclerosis Program in Denver, Colorado with a group of people who identifies with my struggles with MS.
How did I get to go?
Well, to attend the program, there is an application process. Once you fill out the forms, they will contact you. I applied last year but I didn’t get in. But this year I made it!
Essentially the program is a comprehensive series of presentations and workshops focused on multiple sclerosis. Subjects ranged from how to improve your sex life and intimacy to dealing with bowel problems. There are also private consultations specially designed for participant needs. As well as, separate support partner only meetings.
The coolest part is, the program is sponsored. That means it is free. Well not totally. We paid $100 to hold our spot and we were responsible for the cost to get to Denver. Some people drove cars. We flew. The flight round trip from New Orleans was $700. Overall the program pays for food and lodging for two people. So we got breakfast, lunch, dinner and a handicap room at the Hilton DoubleTree in Denver for five days.
It was a very unique experience to find common ground with people from all types of backgrounds. To spend so much time surrounded by individuals who represented every stage of MS. Some were walking and some were in wheelchairs. I even met someone who has been reading this blog since 2014. Jane Vasquez from Chicago. It was so flattering that she recognized me.
So I know what you are thinking.
Did I learn anything? Was it fun? Did I get some medical marijuana?
Well, days before, I had been feeling a little detached and down. As if I was frozen by distress. This program was like a perfect breeze that sailed away the sadness. Leaving me with a gentle light of warmth and understanding. Fueled by the sympathy of the people whom I shared my thoughts. They showed a unique appreciation of my plight and knowledge of the chains that sometimes holds me back from happiness. Their prospective gave me life. Like a blanket of love covering me. Blocking the bitterness of the cold. CAN DO MS was the magical sunlight that chased the winter away. They made me believe: I AM. I CAN. I WILL.
Also, no I didn’t get any weed.