That’s what happened to Karen Magill on June 5, 2000. Nine days later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and just over three months after that, she had to leave the best job she had ever had. Ms. Magill started on a frightening, confusing journey that was her life now.
Then something interesting happened. Once Karen began adjusting to her new circumstances, coming to terms with the fact that her former life had vanished, she realized that the MS was a gift. Her eyes opened to the possibilities around her.
On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success looks at Ms. Magill’s life with MS and the factors in life, which influence her. This isn’t a how to book on living well with chronic illness, but rather a touching, opinionated, sometimes humorous story on how one person has gone from partial paralysis to jumping to touch low hanging tree leaves.
As long as we aren’t six feet under, we are on the right side and anything is possible. That’s the philosophy Ms. Magill lives by and hopes that readers will come to realize that they too can overcome hardships and live good lives.
1. First thing in the morning, I am not fully awake but I do know I have to go to the washroom – that room calls me as soon as my eyes open. Sometimes even before. That Monday I crawled the short distance between my bedroom and the bathroom where I hauled myself onto the toilet, took care of business, and then dragged myself up to the bathroom sink. I leaned against the vanity and brushed my teeth, watching myself in the mirror as I did so. It was strange. Nothing on the left side of my face moved. It was as if someone had drawn a line down the center of my body and everything on the right side was fine but the left side didn’t move. What was going on?
2. All sorts of possibilities go through one’s mind when he or she is waiting for a diagnosis such as this. Could it be cancer? Or something I have never heard of? Was my life going to be cut short? So many possibilities. But that wasn’t what was worrying me.
I was terrified that the results of the MRI wouldn’t show anything and once again medical professionals would think I was imagining things. I began to silently chant to myself, Let the MRI show something. I chanted that refrain the entire time I was travelling downtown.
3. Yeah, there was a fair amount of self-pity. I resented the fact I had finally got a job which paid well enough for me to have a future and then this happens. It seemed that every time I was making positive advances in my life, something would happen to derail me. Like the accident on the horse – I was going to college in Vancouver and on my summer break when that happened. What dastardly crime did I, or one of my ancestors, commit so that every time I got something good happening in my life, I would get knocked off my feet again.
4. Perhaps I was also afraid. This was my opportunity to prove that I had writing talent and could succeed in the literary business. What if I didn’t have any talent? What if I was just a dreamer with no talent, no ability, and destined to remain the way I was until I died? What if all my previous failures were a sign I wasn’t capable? What if there was no hope for me?
5. The Safeway I shop at stocks pre-made packages of food for the Food Bank, which cost $5. I do my shopping once a month and I add one of those packages to my cart. I once was interested in starting a program called Five For Food where I would encourage people to buy one of these packages – or the equivalent – at least once a month. I feel that most people can afford five dollars even if he or she has to cut back on an extra. According to Stats Canada, the population of the lower mainland was 2.4 million in 2006. If even a third donated $5 worth of groceries to the local food bank monthly, think about what a change that would make? I haven’t got it going though one day I might. So watch out for it.
Karen is having a Facebook party today and you are all invited!
March madness has begun and Karen Magill is publishing her first non-fiction book. To celebrate she and Ms. Tamy Burns are hosting a party for the release of On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success on Facebook on March 5. It is an open event with lots of prizes so join in and help Karen start her new life adventure in style. http://goo.gl/g3gyQK
Want to know more about her and her books?
On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success, eBook – http://goo.gl/AhSOa3
Blog, Vancouver Vagabond: http://karen-magill.blogspot.com
On The Right Side Blog: http://magillrightside.blogspot.com
Amazon page: http://goo.gl/0LrRK
Face book: http://goo.gl/1VL3f
FB Fan page: http://goo.gl/ulvSy
Author/Speaker fan page: http://goo.gl/SjnsrW
On The Right Side group: http://goo.gl/LWZKme
Thanks for taking the time and wowing Karen with me. I hope to see you all in her party today!