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.