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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MS: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Well I can tell you that last week was filled with stress and adventure. We, my husband & I, began the week with car trouble. As I write this I am still waiting for them to finish the service. *Sigh* Anyway, my MS was really kicking my butt last week. Just feeling weak, and stumbling more...some pain, just not at my best. I had my evaluation at physical therapy and there was no improvement on my grip, so more visits have been ordered. I'm not sure what to expect from the PT as it isn't a cure, but how long can it be beneficial? I definitely can see that the exercises I am being taught can be done on a daily basis and maybe that answers my question. Using these techniques could help my overall mobility and strength. I actually commented that once I get these down I could add in the "MS Yoga DVD" that was sent to me.

This past Saturday was my 20 year High School Reunion. It was from 8pm-Midnight. As I'm sure you are aware, I am usually asleep early as my energy is limited. I intended to take a nap that day, but some other occurrences, that I will touch on next, prevented this from happening. But I had the wonderful Provigil on my side. My anti-fatigue medicine and my Darvocet for pain, as well as Ditropan to help with bladder issues. I was armed and ready with my drug therapies! As I met early with an old classmate, we discussed my MS & how I was handling it, etc. I began with telling her all the meds I was taking to (Makes a circle around her body with her hands)"Make This Happen"! ;) Basically, I explained that the nightlife and I don't usually mix, but I had taken my precautions to get me to enjoy this once in awhile event. I told her I try to stay positive & keep my sense of humor with me at all times. I said when I start tripping or swaying, don't assume it's the alcohol. I can sway on a good day! It was really a lot of fun to see everyone. No one was scared off by myself & my cane...well at least most weren't. I think one guy was put off, but that is his issue, not mine. Many asked why and some ventured into more questions. But after that, MS was soon forgotten and Tammy just burst back onto the scene because MS doesn't hold the wonder that is "ME" back for long! LOL!!

So, onto the next stresser of the week and truly the most adventurous. One of my fears has been, "What if my kids needed me fast? What if I had to RUN to them? Could I? Would I be able to do it? Would adrenaline kick in and allow me to run as fast I could?" I got my answer on Saturday morning. To be clear, this did not involve my children and they are fine. In fact so am I. I am fine.

I was at Kroger on Saturday morning doing a little shopping. I had stopped after my newspaper route to pick up some fruit and a few things for dinner. I stop here a couple of times a week in the morning. It is my "safe place". Truly it is. People know my face. Many know my name. And some know I have MS. I feel like I can be here and know, if I needed help health-wise they would assist me or find a way to contact my family. So I feel good this morning. I decide that I want to thank my husband for all his support and love. He has done so much for me lately that I want to acknowledge it with a greeting card. So I head to that aisle.

I am shopping with one of those new shopping carts that are stubby, like half of a regular cart, but with a double-decker basket. When I use this cart, I put my purse on the bottom basket and put my groceries around it. This way it is doubly secure. So my cart and I are at the card section, with my left hand on the handle and my body standing close, I'm deciding which card deserves my picking it up.

I hear a noise behind me and I start to turn to see if my cart is in someone's way when another cart wizzes past me and crashes into my cart. So I look towards the crash. Then I hear running behind me. So I turn that way, thinking "why is he running?" Then, the realization of what is happening hits me. I look under the cart. My purse is gone! I turn and begin yelling, "Stop him! He has my purse! Stop! Stop! Stop!" And I am running. As I get into full view of the front of the store, I see employees & customers yelling and running after this guy. Telling everyone who he passes to stop that guy. I make it all the way out the doors & I stop because he has already made it to the main mile road & I think that I certainly am not going to catch him. I think, my purse is gone, my phone is gone, money is gone. I also think that this idiot picked the wrong girl to do this to because I only have $8 on me. And that card isn't going very far because it's linked to my checking account and it is not very plentiful.

At this point the employees that continued running to the mile road yell to me that someone caught him. While this was happening, someone had called the police and the sirens begin blaring as the patrol cars race to the scene. The employees wave me to the mile road saying they will need my statement. So I walk to the mile road & see 3 different men holding this creep on the ground. I hear people commenting that the guys were hitting & kicking the creep before the police arrived. That the woman who flagged down the first guy was hitting him over the head with her bag of returnables. As I come into view, I see the police cuffing the creep on the ground and hauling him up into the first patrol car. They tell me to stay by the third car so I don't have to go near him. They seem to be protecting me from him somehow, although I'm not sure why since he is in custody. What can he do to me now?

I look around at the scene and see a new Jeep Cherokee that has jumped the curb and is parked on the lawn next to the grocery store. I am told that the car belongs to the first man who was flagged down by the woman in the parking lot. He apparently jumped the curb, threw his car into park and ran after the creep. He tackled the guy to the ground. As he did this, two other men from a nearby home came out and helped keep the man restrained with various tactics. It was unbelievable to me that so very many people came to my assistance. No one stood there and gawked. People were either running, yelling, calling the police or trying to stop this creep in one way or another. It was amazing!

I gave my statement and asked if I would be able to talk to the individuals who caught the man? They brought the 3 of them over to me. I hugged each of them and thanked them profusely. I couldn't believe what they did for someone they hadn't met or even seen until after they acted on my behalf. For all they did, my thanks seem so little, but it meant so much to me in my heart. Nothing really would seem to convey how I felt. The police returned everything to me. My purse handle was ripped and that was really the only damage. I was bummed about that because it was this designer purse that I actually found at a thrift shop for $3. So while I didn't lose any real money, how often do I get a designer purse? But that isn't what's important. I was surprised at how much of my stuff he was able to grab as he ran. He had my cash out of it's sleeve, my credit card and all my gift cards were strewn about. He accomplished all this while running from all those people. He clearly knew what he was doing.

Later when I went back to my cart, I realized he'd been following me through the store. He had one item thrown in his cart from each section of the store I had visited. I thought how would I even know to look for someone following me in the grocery store? Everyone is following each other as they shop. So, the police finished with their statements and then one of the officers escorted me back to Kroger. He said a detective may contact me and that a court date for the guy would be set. They informed me that they found his van waiting parked along a side street to get away faster. That was impounded.

I returned to Kroger where all the employees were recalling everything that had happened. Quite the adventure at 7:45am on a Saturday. They all came up to me to see if I was okay. The tremor in my right hand was worse then ever. Probably from the stress and the adrenaline. But I assured them I was fine. I didn't want to allow the tears that had been threatening to fall out yet. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop them once they started. The woman who had flagged down the first guy came up to me and asked if I was okay. At that point one of the employees said they had a meeting about purse snatchers recently. They were told that the targets were usually the elderly and at high traffic times for shopping. This situation didn't fit that profile. I explained how I delivered the paper & this is why I am usually here so early. That is when the woman from the parking lot chimed in. She asked if I was the one who gave her the Macomb Daily at the voting polls early that week with a coupon to sign up for home delivery. Yes, that was me. I couldn't believe it. At the time I did that I had walked all the way out to my car just to bring her a coupon to get a better deal on the newspaper. I never had seen her before and now she is the reason the creep was caught since she flagged down the first guy who tackled the creep.

God works in mysterious ways. How both our paths crossed. How Karma works. I did her a kindness and it was returned to me. I live my life this way normally. I believe in the mindset that you treat others the way you want to be treated. You do good and hope it is returned to you. I don't do things in order to get a thank you. I do good and remain positive in order to make myself happy and pass that along to others. I share my smiles, I share my joys, I spin my life to the positive because it is within my power to be happy.

This terrible adventure happened to me, but it propelled a lot of good from it. The sense of the community that bonded with no hesitation to help a neighbor in need, the triumph of good over bad, and the wonderful question that was answered for me. I CAN RUN! I can run if I need to get to my children. I was able to forget and run. I paid for it with exhaustion and soreness the next few days, but I don't even care about that. If I have to get to my babies, I will get to them.. MS be damned!

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