Just when you thought you had it bad, someone else can always top it with their story or experience.  This is not about that, what it is about is learning.  Learning from someone else’s experience, how they handled it or didn’t and what YOU can walk away with and apply to your life.

This story is about me and it’s meant for someone I don’t know except for on twitter, have never met, but I care a lot about.  Why ?  Because this person could be you.  So excuse me while I forgo the usual #FollowFriday Frenzy on twitter and take a moment to share.

Dear Friend;

Dream, Believe, Dare and Do is not just some cutesy Disney phase I picked up, it’s a daily walk.  A way of being and a means by which I get through a day, week, and year.  And it also works well as a business practice.  So I share with you something I haven’t  and may only have alluded to so that you may learn from it and hopefully share it with someone else you may know.

While listening on twitter I pickup on words, and things people say and how they say them that indicates their mood and how they are feeling about themselves.  On a particular day, I was alarmed by what you said, and it indicated deep depression and pain.  I wanted to Yell “Don’t Jump !  It’s not worth it.”  But I see your OK and you have enlightened me about your pain.

Yes physical and mental pain. Not to make light of it, but been there done that and still doing it.  I have an autoimmune disease call Polymyositis, where the body attacks the muscles.  Much like Arthritis where the body attacks the joints.  Not only do I have Polymyositis but also Dermatomyositis which causes a rash from time to time on my face and neck and affects the skin.  Top that with Fibromyalgia and I’m just one big ball of pain and nerves.  It took two years to get a final diagnosis, but thanks to a great rheumatologist in Lewes and the great people at Johns Hopkins where they now have a whole clinic devoted to myositis, I am getting treatment.

At first diagnosis I was told that it would be five years and I would be in a wheel chair.  I was walking with the help of a cain at that point.  I started treatment with mass doses of prednisone and a chemo therapy drug call methotrexate to stop my immune system from attacking my muscles.  It would help for a while, but I would have relapses and things would get worse.  I found out that me and prednisone did not get along and my poor wife had to deal with periods of anger and depression.  So I took depression drugs, that didn’t help.  At one point I even left home for 6 months.  I had to stop the prednisone as it was affecting not only my mood but my liver.  So that caused a flare up and I had to go on pain medication and an increase in the chemo, which I took by mouth and at the doses I took literally burned by stomach and digestive tract.  

You name it, I’ve been on every pain medication there is.  I finally settled on Oxycodone.  I Took Lyrica, and a muscle relaxer to keep from having muscle spasms and various sleep medications, so I could sleep as well as various mind numbing, mood bending drugs to keep me sane.  I was a zombie !

Was I addicted ? Probably.  Was I dependent ?  For sure.  It had been five years since I was diagnosed and I decided I want to go to Disney World, and take my boys who were 20 and 18 at the time.  This would probably be my last big trip.  I was having difficulty getting around.  On top of that, I had recently started taking a higher dose of Chemo and had to convert to self inflicted injections weekly.  I lost my hair, got fat and looked like a weeble.  I made it through Disney World with a cane and one of those motor scooters.

Somewhere along the way I discovered the MOUSE.  Yeah Mickey Mouse.  I became obsessed with With Disney and the Dream Believe Dare and Do Credo of Walt Disney which says “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.”  With the grace of God I had a moment of clarity.  While DBDD was mainly meant for business, I found I could apply it to my personal life.

By now I was sick of being in pain, sick of being numb and sick of being sick.  I had chronic bronchitis and had bouts of pneuomonia at least once a month (the lack of an immune system plus the disease attacks the lungs).

I had a dream, that I was not going to be in a wheel chair, I was going to get up, dust myself off and make the best of the rest of my life.  I tested my dreams against my beliefs.  I am a Christian, I am a junkie, these two do not walk hand in hand with each other.  I dared to take a risk and make a change.  I went to my doctor and said I want to stop this madness.  What can I do ?  He advised what I should and should not do and how it might impact my health.  So I went on to DO.  I stopped all the pain meds,  cold turkey and it went surprisingly well.  I decided that I’d rather feel the pain and know I’m still alive than to walk around like a zombie and not be sure I was alive.  I lost 50 lbs, changed my way of eating and now that I could, changed my way of thinking.

I have found that the brain has an amazing way of dealing with pain if you just train yourself to use it.  I try to exercise as much as my body will let me…I can easily pull muscles because they are week.  I rest as much as I can.  I’m a work-a-holic, and a stress junkie,  so my wife has to help me out in this area.  I leaned my limitations and still push the envelope as often as I can get away with.  But most of all I am ME again !  No cain, no wheelchair, no pain drugs. 

I have learned to love myself with my limitations and enjoy every day as much as possible. Thank you Jesus for that moment of clarity.  I have since cut back from 10 different dugs a day to just 5 a day, 3 blood pressure medication (the disease affects the heart and blood vessels over time)  A muscle relaxer to keep the spasms to a minimum and Klonopin which reduces the shaking (but I only take these before bed time).  Oh and yes I still take the Chemo, self inflicted once a week.  

So my point in this letter to you my friend is this, Don’t give up hope, when you do that the drugs become your only hope.  Get help managing your pain without drugs.  You know the mind is a terrible thing to waste, use it !  You can teach it to manage your pain. Get good help with your physical problem.  Learn your limitations, make plans and goals for the future and then GO DO.  Talk to someone if that helps.  There is always someone who is worse off that you are, helping them helps make you better.  Learn to love yourself and then you can love others.  

So now you know the rest of the story.  I hope there is someone out there this may help.  Share it with them.  Social Media is a great tool to use to do this.

Remember, it all started with a mouse.

Your Friend,

David

If you are interested in how Dream, Believe, Dare and Do can apply in your business life, may I suggest you read “The Disney Way”   

Advertisements