And do you feel scared? I do,
but I won’t stop and falter.
And if we threw it all away,
things can only get better
– Howard Jones, “Things Can Only Get Better”
Things I’m good at include (but are not limited to): writing, playing the French horn, remembering movie dialogue verbatim, organizing, making banana bread, finding perfect gifts for loved ones, taking tests, driving long distances, reading entire books in one sitting, and living with multiple sclerosis, a disease I didn’t know existed until 12 years ago.
I’ve gotten better dealing with MS than I ever thought possible. In fact, when I was given my diagnosis — in the hospital bed where I was writhing in pain, the aftereffect of a spinal tap — I asked my husband, “My life is over, isn’t it?”
In many ways, I was correct. Life as I knew it was over. It’s never been the same since that long, tear-streaked evening.
MS made its first appearance when I was 25. At that tender age, I’d been married for four years, was working on a master’s degree in English, and had designs to become a college professor. One day, I awoke with a little tingling in the bottom of my left foot. However, back problems and pinched nerves are as common in my family as brown eyes and big feet, so it didn’t seem like anything to fret about. But then the tingling slowly moved up my left leg, rising to my hip. Then my right foot and leg followed suit, and within two weeks, everything below my waist was pins and needles.
After an eight-hour wait in the emergency room, admittance to the hospital, and a week of the tests we all know and hate, my doctor (a brilliant neurologist and diagnostician who had the bedside manner of a damp rag) came to my room late one night and said, “You have multiple sclerosis. It’s a disease that affects the nervous system. It’s not the end of the world. There’s more on the internet than I could ever tell you about. Good night.”
Yeah. Just like that.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?