Can little things change the world? They say that if the ‘little’ Dutch boy hadn’t plugged the ‘little’ hole in the dyke, the whole country might have been lost to the not so little sea. Or how about, “But for the shoe, the horse was lost, but for the horse, the soldier was lost, and but for the soldier, the battle was lost”? As examples, they give rise to an intriguing question: How many ‘little’ things have I been missing in my quest to see a ‘big’ improvement?
So, with that in mind before I figuratively threw a mental shoe (that would lose some poor mental horse!), my daughter and I sat down and started counting the ‘little’ things that have changed for me lately. Her goal in life is to see me ride horses again, and especially for me to take lessons with her. My goal, on the other hand, is a ‘little’ less aggressive right now: Walking again without help would be first on my list. Driving again would be nice too, and regaining the ability to drive her to her riding lessons would be enough without having to take them myself.
Those improvements would be considered ‘big’ improvements, and ‘big’ improvements aren’t necessarily happening right now. Little things are still changing though, and I’m trying to keep my focus on them. In the last month I think I’ve only used the walker on one really bad day. So, that is an improvement. Yes, I’m still using a cane, but not too long ago I was bemoaning the fact that I was still using a walker. If I’m bemoaning the use of a cane now, that’s a step up, isn’t it?
The next thing on the improvement list is rather strange, and not yet verified, but seems an improvement to me nonetheless. Over the last six years my eyesight (a particular problem for many MS patients) has been something my optometrist has been specifially ‘keeping an eye on’ (pun intended!) with something called a ‘field of vision’ test. I’ve needed stronger and stronger glasses, and have had a difficult time adjusting to them. Since the turn of the new year though, I’ve discovered that I’ve begun to read many things (specifically my Bible in my morning devotionals and also many of our homeschooling textbooks) without having to resort to my glasses at all. I used to have exceptionally good eyesight (20/15 in both eyes), but since my MS diagnosis it has been steadily declining. I have not made an appointment for new glasses yet, but I will be doing so by spring. It will be interesting to see if there has been a recordable change.
We’ve already discussed sweating and the number of bathroom breaks I have or haven’t been taking, so I won’t go into that again except to repeat that those situations have improved. However, the leg twitches that we’ve also discussed before, are still an annoyance, though there must be an addendum to that as well: I also used to have frequent muscle twitches in my arms that have completely gone away. So, one negative and one positive on the matter of twitches, which might be considered breaking even. In fact, every one of these things might be considered breaking even, because none have been a loss. Instead, I should probably label each of these things ‘little’ victories.
And ‘little’ or ‘big,’ victories are still something to celebrate.