Knowing Me, Knowing MS
The problem with writing a weekly column is I always need to come up with new ideas. Luckily, or rather, unluckily, MS always throws me a U.S. sports-shaped analogy — one of those trickily disguised curveballs.
I wasn’t even going to attempt to write this week. Not because of writer’s block but due to physical impossibility. It’s now Wednesday morning and it feels like an entirely different year since Tuesday when I could hardly move. Yes, I know there is software available to turn speech into typing. Who knows, one day I might access it. I am still wedded to the physical process of writing, and part of me still regrets the loss of the mechanical typewriters I learned my trade on.
It’s been a week of medical procedures. It wasn’t a surprise. I knew it was coming and took the day off work (the one day each week I have to be somewhere). But the severity still came as a shock!
Last Friday was an MRI. I was taken there and back in my wheelchair by hospital transport. And when I got there, I just had to lie down for 20 minutes in a “2001” interpretation of a high-tech coffin. I felt OK and decided when I got back home to stay downstairs with my family rather than be carried up to my bedroom. It was a joy (maybe not for my family) to be part of things for the day. Getting up the stairs at bedtime was like climbing the Matterhorn, though I’m not sure the wife would then have been so willing to lift my right leg up the last few steps.
I was pretty wiped out on Saturday and had to accept that this was all my own fault. I should never have tried to outfight MS. You have to live within its confines.
On Monday, I went to a different hospital for urodynamics. The urology nurse was an angel and as gentle as possible, but she still had to insert a catheter into my bladder and one up my rectum. It turns out I have what most MS patients she’s seen have: an overactive bladder. Instead of holding 500 mg before the urge to pee, mine is 250 mg. My urologist might now recommend Botox to ameliorate this. “My, your bladder doesn’t look a day over 50.”
MS just can’t take shocks.
This last medical procedure had been organized around my MS and extra time was given for the appointment. Everything that could be done was done. Yet by the next day, I was a wreck.
You can’t beat MS in a fight. Just lie down, take the count, and hope it drifts off in boredom.
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