The longer I have this (MS), the more it intrudes on me.  In the beginning, it was convenient and easy to deny its existence. Now, it’s hard to find the line where it stops and Nicole starts! It seems as if  I’m constantly being required to yield to it!

It’s the cloud that overshadows my life, constantly threatening to reek havoc on whatever I plan.

It’s so big now I have to remind myself to exercise who I am.  For that reason, I went to a parade in NEW ORLEANS, in my wheelchair, with my damn MS. I managed to dismiss the awkward stares. I tolerated New Orleans’ bumpy roads. I had extra “protection” if need be. I was ready!

I admit.  There is something strange about me asking you to clear the path for my wheelchair. Especially amidst the passing parade! But we did! And they jumped to attention and moved. But I must give you your due respect. I understand many of you have literally camped out for those prime spots on Saint Charles Avenue. Honestly, I would be a bit grumpy too!

I’m not the first seemingly young looking person to be in a wheelchair. Plus, It’s just MS. It’s just MS. At its, worst it’s often a HUGE hassle. My cross to bear. My slow motion stroke. My Inconvenient Truth.

Also, I recently started a new MS medication. It always brings on a medley of emotions. For one, another ounce of hope that maybe this one will be “the one.” Then, on the other hand, you don’t want to get too excited, because the let down is sometimes worst than the disease. In turn, I try to stay as objective as possible, but mix in a little Christian faith buffered with a tad of Buddhist acceptance of the present moment.

My cloud and I went to a birthday paint party. It’s literally a party where you and friends are instructed on how to paint a picture chosen by the birthday girl or boy.  The instructor said this was her first time holding a class so large AND for a 36 year old adult!  Apparently, my girlfriend knew this. It was her intent to have us painting, sipping wine and having a merry little affair!

And we did!

Slowly, I’m starting to see the line.

In order to position themselves in key spots to catch beads, they will be there hours before the parade.