I used to dance

I used to dance

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This picture hangs above my kitchen table. It was originally a gift my sister and I bought for my dad but has been with me since the day we tried to give it to him. My dad explained art doesn’t speak the same to everyone. The picture always spoke to me. I always fantasized looking at this picture. To be that wealthy, beautiful lady dancing in the rain on the beach with someone she was completely in love with. I find it so romantic too.  My first kiss with my ex-husband was on the dance floor. My first kiss with my ex-boyfriend was in the rain. Ironic? I was already diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I got this picture and I still was able to walk and dance. Today that’s not the case.

When I was younger I loved to dance.  I took dance lessons as a kid as most kids do but I loved dancing. I love hearing a great song a just feeling the beat a moving my body. I danced to release emotion, any emotion, anger, happiness, sadness and just to disperse energy. I’d love to be out with friends getting sweaty and overheated on a dance floor. I’d love to even just be standing by my chair at a local bar bopping around to the jukebox. It didn’t really matter. I use to have playlists that I put on to dance as a form of my exercise. Even as the balance started to go I could hold on to the chair, bar, table or friends and my legs still had the strength to hold me up for hours. There was nothing I loved more. I found it liberating and sexy. I found it to be just a perfect release.

Then the last attack in 2014 happened and I’ll never dance again.  I can never even walk on the sand to make it out to the beach to dance in the rain.  Two years ago it all changed and it never be the same. I’ve always knew that the chances that I one day won’t be able to walk anymore were possible. I can’t pretend I didn’t. I have to be thankful because I still can walk a little. I’m not wheelchair bound yet but I’m not good. It’s a struggle to take steps and the amount of steps I can take per day vary plus I can’t be unaided. What I never expected is my arms to start having issues. I never had in the past weakness in the shoulders. Now holding my hands over my head becomes more and more difficult each day. My coordination is spastic. I realize this when I do my Zumba in a chair. I’m a dancer, I had rhythm and now I’m spastic. My arms can’t hold themselves up for long. I can’t do body rolls or body isolations. I’m just watching pieces of me of the person I was fall away everyday. It is so heartbreaking. I look at my picture, my fantasy and realize that it’s all it will ever be, a fantasy. I will never dance again with the person I love or anyone else for that matter. The best I can do is bop in a chair in an uncoordinated fashion. It is the sad truth to having MS. Now I have to dance in my dreams where my legs, arm and coordination are all normal or look at my picture and fantasize. That’s where I can dance for as long as I want.

10 thoughts on “I used to dance

  1. This is sad to read. It’s these details that help others understand more i think. I wonder if you close your eyes and just move in your chair does it still feel like freedom. Feeling and looking are two different things. as a child I had leg problems so I felt good in yoga or dance but when I looked in the mirror it looked silly and I would stop. But what If you can close your eyes and let go In whatever fashion you can- maybe it’s just head or hips. But as they say, can you dance like no one is watching? Xoxo b

  2. Hi Jamie. I’m Johan. Love your picture I do. You remind me of me a bit. Except I’m a guy. And 47. Divorced about 10 years now, diagnosed with SPMS in April of 2012, stopped working in Nov. 2014 because of MS, and my last dog was an American Bulldog named Scooter. My parents named me Jonathan but friends renamed me when I was about 12 and it stuck. Dutch roots and too many Jon’s in the world. I have no children and I find your post dreadfully sad. Yet at the same time I love it. I do not move like I used to, that’s for sure, but I will never give up hope. And dancing with a beautiful woman, rain or shine, is a hope I will always treasure. Thanks for posting.

    JE

  3. Well first thank you for your wonderful reply. I’m normally very positive when it comes to MS but I happened to be staring at the picture this morning and the realization sank in. I don’t know if I’m put on paper with SPMS but we all know I’m both RRMS and SPMS. it’s a tough disease but I really don’t give up hope in my life maybe just accept what accommodation and adjustments ive had to make.

    1. You’re very welcome. And I am sure you are a very positive person when it comes to your MS. Just a hunch. And as a treat for you, I will share with you, not a picture, but a movie, and its soundtrack, that has been on my mind since I got up this morning, Moulin Rouge, with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. Be well and enjoy Jamie.

      JE

  4. Hi Jamie – You are dancing, just in different ways! Your candid and honest shares via this blog are inspiring and my soul dances sometimes when reading them. When you look at life positively, for the blessing that are hidden within our troubles, that is dancing to the rhythm of life. Your posts show your triumphs and travails with MS and how to look at the positive sides of things. You are still dancing!!! Keep it up!!!

    1. Wow that was the sweetest thing ever. Thank you. You are doing your own thing and changing eating habits and challenging yourself and I think your inspiring. So I appreciate it.

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