All Quiet on the MS Front
It hasn’t been that quiet in my surrounding world!
Last week there was a crow fight so loud in our back garden that it echoed down the chimney into the front room that now is my bedroom. It sounded exactly like being in Hitchcock’s horror film “The Birds.” My family reported the crows were chasing a magpie!
If you’ve seen the film you’ll understand my reluctance to investigate. It would be like “crossing the streams” with “Rear Window” as I’m also in a wheelchair. Looking out the back of my house, there are definitely too many filmic tropes for me to deal with. Still, it might be nice to imagine myself as James Stewart despite being pecked to death!
Their song may now be sung. The shops reopened in England this week and traffic noise is returning with — perhaps not a vengeance, but certainly a staccato vroom.
So the old MS has decided to take a step back. Typically it’s mocking me with something I will never do again!
A tertiary measure of my more recent MS relapses is how they spike my trigeminal neuralgia (TN). “Spike” being the operative word. More correctly, it’s like bad dental surgery. As I’ve once again smashed through the presently closed doors of cinema by going on a reverie of filmic analogy, let’s do another one. The pain of TN in my left lower teeth is what the dental torture scene in “The Marathon Man” must have felt like. A sincerely sinister Laurence Olivier as a fugitive post-war Nazi digs into the teeth of an uncomprehending Dustin Hoffman while demanding between each excruciating scream, “Is it safe?”
I probably haven’t seen the film since it came out in the ’70s but that seminal scene has never been forgotten! TN has brought it flooding back. Hoffman’s character suitably escapes and, as the titular “Marathon Man,” he easily outruns those who, ironically, are on the run.
OK, this is a complete sidebar but it is one of my favorite showbiz stories. Hoffman, a dedicated method actor, stayed up for 72 hours before that dental scene. Olivier, one of the world’s best stage actors (at least for his time) declaimed waspishly to Hoffman, “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?” To be fair, it wasn’t that much of a stretch for Olivier to play a sardonic, buttoned-up Nazi!
The TN has finally settled down. It was so bad that I munched my way through two months of supplies in something like 10 days. There were lots of imploring calls to my doctors for extra supplies. They’d never heard of “The Marathon Man” and were just glad to be rid of me. Who’d have thought being a bad raconteur would actually be useful?
My eyesight! But in a strange way. We all know that MS affects eyesight. If you get optic neuritis you can lose it entirely! In the early days doctors found something wrong with mine, but since it didn’t affect me, I cavalierly never took note of it. I think it was part of the evidence used to prove that I had MS.
I bought expensive new glasses last summer. They stopped working overnight. Fair enough — MS works in mysterious ways. In desperation, I tried my wife’s and then a pair that are probably five years old. Eureka! I’m using them now. They’re by no means perfect but at least I can actually make out all but the smallest type.
I was going to write about the START team that began last week but they’ve been waiting for a risk assessment. So little has happened except a bed bath every day.
As I’m a big bloke with a big bed, I’ve ended up with two burly, laughing men who are exactly the size and demeanor of the doormen I’ve spent half a lifetime working with.
They, however, never gently washed my private parts.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t have a movie scene for that one!
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