Writing with Red Toes of Courage


Each year I fight the decision of buying my stage clothes or not. As my MS progresses, I am performing less. Yet my heart shouts out a call to courage — and I am able to write and perform another year.

In spite of my courage, the last few months have brought long periods of my being MIA on social pages and performance stages. My Progressive Multiple Sclerosis has caused several health issues since last November. Last week I had to face the reality that I am no longer fighting a MS Battle, but now am fighting a MS War. Excessive fatigue and chronic pain are suddenly my daily companions.

Last month I had yet another hospital crisis that forced me to face the realities of living with advanced MS. For several years I have dealt with mutated white blood cells. Now, my neurologist has found that my red cells are showing signs of mutation. My body is also rejecting protein cells, due to this red cell malfunction. This new blood problem is causing very painful bleeding and hematomas in the deep tissues of my hips and legs. It is like walking around on a broken leg without a plaster cast or crutch.

My doctor says my resistance and ability to heal is growing weaker and weaker. AKA my body has grown too weak from the MS to fight back against injuries or infections. This kind of acute pain in the body makes the brain weaker even without MS. Episodes of deep tissue bleeds and infections will come with more frequency and severity, until my brain just gets too weak to send signals to the vital organs to function. That could happen tonight, or one-night years from now.

My doctor reminded me that my music and writing is the best medicine.  In fact it is better than any medicine that she can prescribe for me. In other words, keeping my passion and purpose alive will keep me alive!

My doctor explained, “You may only be able to perform a couple of times all year. But you will have the joy of tapping into one of your greatest passions! My prescription is for you to get your new stage clothes and look at them twice daily — once in the morning and once at night. Get this prescription filled BEFORE you go home today.”

So later that afternoon, a very frightened and confused me selected new performance clothes for this year. As I gathered the pieces together, I realized that a signature boot had been selected for me this year. How exciting to know that a boot had been designed just for me! The boots are Carolina blue with bright red flames designs on the sharp-toes. WHAT EXCITEMENT I FELT! God winked at me as to say, “This year you will be kicking Multiple Sclerosis’ behind with your new RED TOES OF COURAGE!” Even if I have to wear my new boots 24/7, I will keep kicking as long as my life-clock keeps ticking!

Tell me about how you have shown courage to overcome life’s obstacles. How often do you have to sound the courage call in your life?