I’m reading Montel William’s best seller, “Climbing Higher.” It’s a sequel to his first book, “Mountain Get Out of My Way.” He talks about his diagnosis of MS in 1999. Montel very clearly expresses his raw emotions. He describes everything from being unsuccessful at trying to commit suicide, to coming to terms with his condition and finding peace after his diagnosis.
The analogy he uses to explain MS to his five-year old son is intriguing to me, when his son asks a million questions.
“Inside everybody’s body are nerves. Along with your blood and your muscles, your nerves are what make you move, like this wire makes the lamp work. And every nerve has this stuff around it, a plastic coating that protects the nerve. If you scrape off a piece of this coating, in two or three days the wire is going to start to rust, and the light may not work when you turn it on. MS is hurting the stuff around my nerves, which is making them kind of rusty and stopping them from working right.”
I thought this was a brilliant account. I couldn’t believe how closely related it sounded to Spinal Cord Injury. As SCI does damage our nerves.
SCI refers to any injury to the spinal cord that is caused by trauma instead of disease. Depending on where the spinal cord and nerve roots are damaged, the symptoms can vary widely from pain to paralysis.
I marvel at his symptoms that sound like mine. For example, when he describes the pain in his feet in one reading. It was so bad he couldn’t even think right. But he carries on a smile so no one will worry. He pretends he is fine. Let’s not forget he is in the spotlight.
I read while I’m using the elliptical. A big improvement for me is to be able to read and use that machine. It’s the little things…“A key to getting in shape is determination and consistency.” – HealthCoach says. So I read, I train. I read some more, and train. All at the same time!
Montel’s turning point is when his wife asks him one day, “What are your kids going to do?” in Chapter 2. In the midst of his severe depression, this comment triggers something inside of him that causes him to change. He wakes up and realizes he does not want to hurt them. Nor does he want to let MS control his life any longer. He starts to see his condition as a blessing, and as a path to help numerous others with the disease. And he does.
Montel’s story is great because he rises above his condition and learns to go on mentally and physically. I admire him for that.
I think if we learn to see pain as a stepping stone to faith, then we are not bound by disability. Disability cannot bind us. It’s what we do with the disability, whether or not WE ALLOW it to disable us through our thoughts, actions, or self-belief.
One prayer that helps me: