Dide lives in Eugene Oregon in the Willamette Valley. I love hummingbirds and grow special flowers in my garden that attract them.
Dide and Vinnie
Why MS Turned out to be a Good Thing
MS has been one of the best things that happened to me. No really.
I spent most of my life taking care of other people. I worked in nursing homes, foster care homes for the elderly, and people with disabilities and it became my passion. But I worked long hours. I worked twenty years helping people with disabilities live alone in their own apartments, I was an outreach worker helping them with a myriad of tasks, shopping, banking, advocacy, problem-solving, crisis intervention. I was on call for five days a week and it was very stressful. There were days I worked 16 hours a day coming home and working well into the night to get my paperwork done, write care plans, and plan for my staff meeting where I supervised three assistants.
So it was ironic when I got MS and I was forced to retire at the age of 53. It allowed me to stop taking care of everyone and to focus on my health. I slowed down, enjoyed my gardens and potted plants, cooked by scratch, enjoyed more time with my boyfriend and my new life because I was around home more often
Well, one day when cleaning out my closets I found my journals from when I first moved to Oregon when I worked in the Wallowa Mountains doing timber inventory, living in my tent, working in
Wilderness areas. Well, as I sat there reading and chuckling, I thought this would make a good book and I started writing and produced three books that are in The Eve Chronicles by Diane DeVillers, If I wouldn't have gotten MS I never would have had the time to write my books. Check out my author page at amazon.com. The biggest shift in my life was realizing that toxic emotions, people with toxic emotions were people I couldn't have in my life anymore, they made me physically ill, draining all my energy. So, I started taking care of me, I joke' It's all about me!! and that was the biggest thing I had to learn, with MS if I do too much or get too hot it sets me back
I have the Progressive MS and in ten yrs. haven't gotten worse, I have a half-paralyzed leg and wear a brace to keep my foot from dropping down and tripping me, I have severe back pain from pulling that leg around when walking, and the fatigue that people with MS well know.
The best thing for me is I'm into exercise, twice a day I ride my inside bike for nearly an hour and twice a week I swim laps for an hour. I swear that I feel better mentally and physically and I think the exercise is keeping my half-paralyzed leg keep from atrophy.
Finding Joy Despite Having a Disability
So although the fatigue gets me I have to save my energy to last all day it's like I have a bucket of water which is my energy and every task I do it's like taking a ladle full of water out, so I have enough energy to last all day I see my bucket getting empty as the day goes along. If I don't pay attention to it, I pay by having to lay in bed the next day.
I also produced my CD named Camas Swale, check it out on Bandcamp or Tindeck. Although I can only play about four or five songs before my back pain makes me sit and rest awhile.
My yard is my pride and joy, my lush flower gardens are brimming with fern, Hosta’s, calla lilies. I have two porches full of big pots filled with salvia, marigold, lavender, heather, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and Lily of the Nile, I have a raised bed garden where I grow everything to make my homemade salsa onions, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce and spinach for our salads.
I have to pace myself, working a half-hour at a time before I have to lay down and stop my back pains. Then it's up again for another short spurt of energy.
MS has been very good to me.
Who knows what the future will be but I'm fine with it.