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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MS ... Trial and triumph, part 5

Well, time ticked by. Wednesday nights and Thursdays, though dreaded, became routine. Brooke grew up way too quickly, but excelled at motherhood although just barely in high school. The younger kids got used to everything and we all continued to function. About 8 months into it all, I was preparing for my injection when all of a sudden I broke into a sweat. I had a major mental block that froze me solid. Holding the needle over my leg, I counted down: 3, 2, 1 .... Go. C'mon ... I can do this ... Go! But I just couldn't. 20 minutes later I convinced my 9-year old to do the dirty work for me. The older ones were all gone, and it had to be done. Sierra became the shot giver from then on. Everyone morphed into their roles, and although a little out of the ordinary, we were a functional family.
Time passed, Trevor returned home from his mission, left for college, met the girl of his dreams and became engaged.
Brad excelled at his job, was a leader at church, and continued to take the boys on Alaskan adventures. (he would take the girls too - but none of us were too keen on sleeping in snow caves and such).
I saw my neurologist in Seattle 4 times a year - going for an overnight stay in the hospital each time (as required by my catastrophic insurance).

Shortly after I was diagnosed, my sister-in-law took up running. I've never understood the draw to this painful form of exercise, so I asked her what possessed her. She told me that when I found out I couldn't run, she decided to start running because she could. She did it out of gratitude. What a lesson for me! I told her that when the day came that I could run again, my first order of business would be to get in shape and run a 5k with her. (I had no idea, really, that I was committing myself to being a runner sooner rather than later!) Summer of 2005 as we prepared for Trevor and Caci's wedding, my MS symptoms were pretty much gone and the side effects of the weekly injections started to get worse again. I told Brad that I figured that I was clean of MS and the side effects were bad because I really didn't need the medicine. I decided to see if I could run. I could. So I did. I began with once around the track, called my sister in law to tell her, and bit by bit worked my way up to 3+ miles.

I was due for a doctor visit about the time we would be traveling to the lower 48 for the wedding, so on our way down, during a layover at SeaTac, Brooke once again stepped up to the plate and played "mother" in the airport while Brad and I zipped to see the doctor. I had gotten so used to the insane pounding and screeching of MRIs that this last one didn't even phase me. In fact ... I actually fell asleep during it. (I know! Miracles come in all forms!) We were brought in the office to wait for the doctor and were discussing the upcoming wedding when Dr. Roberts walked in, turned on the computer, brought up my MRI for us to look at together. Through the years I had learned to read my MRIs quite well, so I knew exactly what he was going to say when the picture came up on the screen. "There are not only no lesions at all on here, but there is no sign of you ever having had MS. I am honored to have been your doctor, but a Higher Power is responsible for this."

We continued our trip down to Utah for the wedding and for me to participate in my first 5k ever. My sister in law organized a race just for me: Sun Up Run Down. We had t shirts and everything! I didn't finish first, but I did finish. As I was training for this 5-k I would keep myself going by singing songs in my head. Invariably a special hymn would always pop up:

1 I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.I tremble to know that for me he was crucified, That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

2 I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,That he should extend his great love unto such as I, Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

3 I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

As I ran I would imagine kneeling at His feet ... I would report to Him on what I had done with the body that He paid such a high price for me to have. I determined, during my running, that It doesn't matter what infirmities come my way, I will do everything I can to treat my body as a temple and to be able to report that although the cost was high, I was grateful my entire life for my body - my body that never looked like a super model's, and never won races. My body that housed my ransomed spirit. My body that through this life of trials and triumphs continued to function.

It is wonderful to me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. WOW. Just wow. What an amazing story of healing and miracles. You are so wonderful, Denalee, for sharing your trial and triumph with us. I am sure that your story will touch many (especially me).

  2. Denalle, this is truly a miracle. I am honored to even know you.

    What a blessing you were given and what a blessing you are in the lives of others.

  3. I loved this story from the first word to the last. Thank you for sharing it friend.

  4. What an amazing story! God is so good!

  5. I am speechless, you are truly amazing.

  6. Submit to the Ensign ASAP! This is incredible!

  7. What a wonderful telling of this miraculous few years in your life. I learned some things for the first time, and I thought I knew all about it. You are a precious example of faith and determination. I love you and am honored to be your mother!

  8. Thank you for sharing you miracle story. Truly there are 'Divine Signatures' on our life experiences.

  9. Im loved reading this story so much, my dear. Thank you for sharing it. Enjoy your weekend

  10. Your story is almost to sad, but you really come in with a great finish! As they say when one door closes another one opens. See only one footprints when you are ill, and two when you're running up that hill! Hugs my new friend, and thanks for stopping by.

  11. You are strong with a capital S lady!

  12. Wow, this has been quite the story, I can't imagine going through that - you are amazing.

  13. Thank you so much for posting all of this! I am so grateful to have such faithful family as examples to me.

  14. I can't stop crying.

    Thank you Jesus, for Denalee, for her life and testimony, for it all. Thank you.

  15. Your story is wonderful. I am amazed and inspired by it. Thank you.