Thursday, July 30, 2015

Milestones

50. A seemingly insignificant number, unless that is the age you are turning this weekend.

I used to sit and marvel at all the changes that centurians and super centurians had witnessed in their life. When they were born there were no cars, phones, televisions, indoor plumbing, central air, heat was wood.

In the last 50 years the changes may not have been as visible, but there still have been some major events. A man walked on the moon, telephones, cell phones, smart phones,  computers that used to take up entire rooms, now one with that same power sits on your lap. The American landscape has gone from an agrarian one to a suburban one.  Jobs are now more "white collar" than "blue collar".  Educations that ended often after eigth grade, now extend well into graduate school.

I may argue that all of those changes have not been for the better.

I also look back at my life and choices in the past 50 years and realize that I really did not always make the best ones, or the right ones. I have also realized that no one does. No one really has it all put together as some appear to. We really are all just "winging it" in the sense that all of our plans, all our dreams, can be completely for naught by the nature of life itself.

And that's OK. That is what makes life interesting.

We really aren't in control of our life anyway. Life happens.

As I turn 50, I also realize that I have now had Meniere's disease for nearly half of my life.  And guess what? I am still alive.  The disease is not going to kill me, but it has changed me.

I am more willing to reach out to others struggling with the same issues I face. More empathy for those in need. More understanding of what it is like to have an invisible illness and disability.

I am still me. I do not expect people to fawn over me, just understand.  I do not seek attention, but am willing to talk, if you ask.  I still like my alone time and that does not mean I am struggling. That is just who I am.

My beliefs haven't changed, nor my faith. I am an unapologetic Christian. Not the political christian you see clogging up the news feeds, but one who realizes where his strength comes from, and where to go when he fails. One who belives that one should "remove the plank from his own eye" before "removing the speck from his brother's".

50 years. That's a long time of grace, and change.  I am incredibly thankful for many of the changes as it pertains to my disease.  Incredibly grateful to have a world renown clinic-basically in my back yard. I am thankful that one of the top rated ENT doctors in the country works at that clinic and is my physician.  I am thankful, no beyond thankful for a man in Australia who had a dream that one day he would be able to make people like his deaf father, hear again. I am thankful that the technology is so successful, both for others and myself.

And I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read these entries in my blog. I don't really know why I started writing it, I just felt I had some knowledge to share.  As I type this entry, it is very likely that the number of reads my blog has had will top 10,000. That is just mind boggling.  It is also inspiring and humbling as I try to keep content fresh and interesting.......and coming.

I know my life is not over and I have many years left. There will be ups and downs.  There will be times where I struggle with Meniere's and times I will forget I have it.  I just know it is my desire to enjoy it to the fullest potential that I have. and I encourage you all to do the same.  Your life is not over from this disease. Go out and show that to the world!

And if you have a moment on August 1st, eat a piece of cake for my birthday.

'Til next time

Dennis

Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentailly debilitating illness


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