Why I’ve been MIA

Sorry to all those that have kindly been reading about what I’ve been undergoing lately–it’s a very time-consuming affair, this fund-raising business! My family and I have taken a stance of ‘giving back’ for the generous donations that people have made, are continuing to make, and that they plan on making. For all my familiarities with the vast array of words at my disposal, I’m truly running out of ways to say ‘thank you’.

The simplest things; I love to complicate them! This is almost certainly why, at age 26, with these awesome dimples and that killer smile, I am still circling in the tub of bachelorhood. All good, I think there’s still enough water left before I bottom out and get swallowed up by the ‘drain-of-life’. lots of time–so despite my griping and groaning, I refuse to see life’s cruelties as the end-of-the-line. I still hold fastidiously to one day having a family; to one day being able to attempt to impart some of what my life has taught me on a child of my own.

Anyway, back to my original content–anyone out there who writes, creatively or otherwise, will almost certainly understand me when I say ‘I’ve got nothing’. Until today, at least, as I find myself settling back into life at 3,500′ above sea-level, in beautiful, sunny, warm, and friend-filled Calgary. I am most certainly the exception to the rule, but I just can’t get enough of this city. The trip I’m on now is certainly not a true measure of why it is I love it here; it really messes with one’s barometer of ‘what-makes-something-good vs. something bad’.  this apparently infinitely expanding and sprawling metropolis–most people I talk to who live here don’t think quite as highly of it as I do. I suppose the grass is always greener (though, in Calgary, one may be more inclined to say ‘browner’) on the other side. This trip that I’m on now, though, has allowed me to reconnect with people from different parts of my life–from near infancy on one side of the country to the one person who I will forever be indebted to for what he has not only taught me, but has made certain that I am aware of, ensuring my eyes remain open to the goings-on around me, to never take life too seriously (this one is a total work-in-progress), and to be thankful for all the wonder & amazement that my life holds.

Sometimes, a spade is a spade and must be so-called. But sometimes, a spade is a shovel, a tool, an implement, to be used to dig yourself out from a pile of merde that, sometimes not by your own doing, other times that are completely and totally because you pulled a real bone-head move–I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes the bad is actually good. you just need to find ways of looking at it from a different angle.

MS sucks.

Tremors suck.

Clonus sucks (this is that uncontrollable shaking of my legs, the symptom that I poke fun at by saying I must’ve been a dancer in a previous life–anyone who knows me now should be well aware that I have the dancing abilities of a legless Vietnam vet (my apologies to the poor soldiers to whom this fate has befallen. I mean no malice here). And that’s pre and post diagnosis of what my Neurologist seems to think is ‘relapsing, remitting MS’, but what I have affectionately dubbed relapsing MS. This whole remission portion of it doesn’t quite play the role I’d like it to!

Muscle spasticity sucks. Try getting my legs bent once a spasm has gotten a hold of them. My kind barber who helps me transfer from my wc to the barber’s chair compares it to bending steel pipe. It requires enough effort that he often feels it replaces the need for him to hit the gym after work!

Urinary incontinence sucks. I would love to explain to everyone and anyone who reads my seemingly endless drivel and ranting exactly what urinary incontinence actually means; but I’d like even more that my diatribes continue to be read. So I will spare you the gory details and allow you to infer as to exactly what not being able to control your bladder muscles undoubtedly leads to – désastre.

Luckily, no such occurrences have come to pass since my arrival; I suppose I got my fill by making an impromptu landing in Winterpeg. I’d take that trade-off any day!

Being in a wheelchair, to most people, would suck–but the silver lining here is the freedom it allows me. My thoughts on the subject, therefore, is that my wc is just a tool to help me live my life; if I could just get more people to see it that way, I might stop circling in the aforementioned tub!

There’s no way I’m getting everyone in here, so if I’ve forgotten you, feel free to blast me by posting comments. But there are so many thank yous that are in order for the past 4-5 days since my arrival here: thanks to the Hagan crew+ for your unbelievable support–a trip to Edmonton is due in my near future; thanks to Mark Gross, thanks to the entire Gross family; the aforementioned man who I will forever be indebted to, Balloo and family; thanks to the Corsi crew who made it to the fundraiser: the Lemme family with whom I was able to pick up without missing a beat: thanks to the Besner family–the whole lot of you who were instrumental in helping put this most recent fundraiser together; my thanks to my old-school P-Crew, who’ve done everything from aid this fund-raiser get legs, be a roaring success, to making me feel like I still have a home in Calgary; my thanks to the Todd family for their benevolent generosity; my thanks to the proprietors of Caffe Crema for a donated venue for the evening’s entertainment; to Mr. Mike Watson for his assistance in making it a night to remember; to Charissa, Angela, and any staff members from Crema whom I’ve either rudely forgotten or failed to introduce myself to; to Tony of Antonio’s Garlic Clove who provided an extremely generous raffle prize (to anyone ever in Calgary–2206 4th St SW–my most favourite resto in the city, quite possibly in the country); to Mike with one ‘b’ and two ‘t’s; to Angie for showing up, albeit a bit later than I would’ve liked, but nonetheless made it way down to Bridlecrest to brighten the room with that awesome smile; to Stephanie and Jens who made it down for the awesome night and played my favourite card–a unilateral show of support; to Balla and Shelley for their presence and behind-the-scenes work in helping me achieve my goal; to Amit, Kavita, and their little ray of sunshine whose name, sadly, is escaping me at the moment; to Cole for being the most adorable scene stealer whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting; to those damned Reids who I know were there in spirit; to Dave Reid who was there in the flesh; thanks to Lynda; thanks to Selena; and, lastly, due to a mix of beer, wine, and pub-tender, though I’ve most certainly overlooked a large number of people, I’ve now officially been putting this post together (one-handed as I pulled on of those ‘bone-head’ moves I alluded to earlier and forgot to bring my headset mic, thus negating my ability to use the life-saving piece of software known as ‘voice-recognition’–I talk, it types–a massive time saver, as you may be able to imagine), I will end this post with the final and most important thank-you to my Mother, the woman who is entirely responsible for everything I was (though she may be loathe to admit it; my younger days were rife with misbehaviour!), everything I am, and everything I will ever be. Her caring patience, her resolve to do what a true Mother does and hold her child’s hand through the dark days, leading them back towards the light, and her unwavering assistance as we have both  been forced to watch as my health deteriorates to the point it is at right now; doing all the things a Mother should never have to do for her child but does so regardless, always forcing herself to make my strength what it is by imparting hers upon me; I suppose you could see great fortune in all of this impacting me at such a young age, allowing me more time to reciprocate and pay all the kindnesses bestowed upon me back, sideways, and forwards.

I’ve been furtively working on this post for 2 days, 8 hours, 6 minutes, and 6 seconds, and, somehow, it just simply feels as though it falls short of the mark.

But I’ve grown accustomed to adjusting my expectations over the last 3 1/2 years, continually changing my desires to allow for attainable goals. Achievement is important to me, and though long and drawn out, I feel that I have attained the goal I set for myself when I started this post.

$3,995.00. though secondary to the life-altering experience the last couple of weeks have brought, I owe at least an equal number of thank-yous as dollars raised. So, one more time, thank you to everyone who organized/donated/sent warm wishes my way throughout this Western stretch of fund-raising.

Departure date is set for Nov. 24.
Surgery is slated for Nov. 26.

And none of it would have been possible without each and every one of you.

Again, my heartfelt thanks to each of you that have helped lay the groundwork on my road to recovery. I’ll post further developments as they arise, but, for now, keep throwing positive thoughts my way; you can’t imagine how deeply this has changed my life and the person I am.

C0sta Rica–watch out! I’m en route!

-A.D.

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One thought on “Why I’ve been MIA

  1. Ruth says:

    Andrew,
    your tribute to your Mother was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
    Your stalwart spirit, your laughter “between the lines” and your courageous determination brings me to my knees!
    Then..I stand up (weirdly..’cause I have MS too) and I shout BRAVO!!
    You have such an amazing gift with your words…please write the story of your life:)
    Cheers to you and your Mom!!

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