Life with a Myositis Disease

The laughter and tears that come with living with Polymyositis

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Location: fort worth, texas, United States

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What's 'ordinary'?

I caught a small part of an interview on NPR with an author who had written a book....I think it was called 'The Extraordinary Search for the Ordinary American'.

It tweaked my interest since I recently was contemplating how unusual the average person's story is.

For example, as I was chatting with the home health nurse who came to oversee my IVIg treatment I learned a lot about her and her 'ordinary family'. It seems her daughter has Lupus, her sister was once in an abusive marriage to a cop and was saved by a guy she met in the internet who conspired with her family to sneak her out of town. She now lives with him in Virginia.

I have a coworker who has a port wine stain. Aside from the social problems that you know every child with a visible physical difference goes through, I learned that there are serious medical problems that come with this physical condition. He and his wife are very active in educating and supporting others with port wine stains. Looking at either one of them, you would never guess their extraordinary story.

I have another coworker (young!) who set her life on hold to raise her sister's children.

I have an old friend with one of those fathers who went through her own personal hell trying to find a way to respect herself after her father did his best to teach her she was not worthy.

I have an email pal - an older gentleman with the eyes of an artist, the soul of a poet. He also suffers from IBM and has lost much of his ability to physically enjoy life and explore his gifts. He spends much of his time delighting our online group with his sage perspective and quirky sense of humor.

I could go on with so many of the stories I have heard from people who I have come into contact with.

When I was in my self-centered and depressed teens....all right, all right - and twenties!..... I can remember being bemused by the seeming happiness and contentment of those around me. 'Are they really happy?' I wondered 'Or are they just too stupid to see how miserable life can be? How much pain happens seemingly at random?'

Does someone look at me that way? Ignorant of my travels across the country, my oddball childhood, my disasters, my fight with a rare disease?

I now can see and respect how ordinary extraordinary is. It seems to me that most people have a story to tell. A story that includes a fair share of challenge, pain, drama, recovery, love, excitement, etc....

Extraordinary IS ordinary.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from wishing for a little less extraordinary in my life ;-)

Reading over this, it sound incredibly trite. Maybe I should go on Oprah! Oh, that's right - MY story is real!

Trite or not, people really are interesting in the stories and experiences they have to offer.


Blogger C.W. Cale said...

Yay! Here's to 'ordinary'! We should all get tee-shirts made! ;)

8:25 PM  

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