”Twas the Night Before Christmas’: A Multiple Sclerosis Parody
The holiday traditions at this columnist's household don't leave out the MS
The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year. Multiple sclerosis (MS), of course, has a way of sucking the joy out of anything, but it can’t have my family’s Christmas.
I might miss sleeping in, but our three boys have really brought the magic of the season to our home. As one of our traditions, we read “A Visit From St. Nicholas” or “The Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve. I thought this year I’d put a little twist on it, so with profound apologies to Clement Clarke Moore or maybe Henry Livingston Jr., here you are.
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
and I was a mess.
With last minute wrapping — and PPMS.
The stockings were hung right where they’re s’posed to be.
Family’s on mantle, compression on me.
The kids were in bed and maybe asleep.
I kept my head on a swivel in case one should peep.
My wife in her slippers and I in my chair
Were prepping the room like Santa’d been there.
When from the kitchen there arose such a clatter.
She sprang to her feet to see what was the matter.
Santa’s goodies and dish hit the floor down below.
When my numb, fumbling fingers had let the plate go.
Then down like a thunderbolt other symptoms they came
I snarled and cursed them and called them by name.
Ouch! spasms and weakness, diplopia woes.
Now brain fog and numbness and tingling toes!
Now isn’t the time! I don’t need all this crap!
Why couldn’t this hit me at 2 when I nap?
Wife was there in an instant with ribbons of silk.
Said, “It could’ve been worse. Least it wasn’t the milk.”
“You’re fine, the plate’s fine, so everything’s cool.
Put the cookies back on it. Five-second rule.”
I put them in place and thought, “Wait a tick!
It’ll be my tooth marks on them, not those of St. Nick.”
I quickly dismissed it. Three kids made me tough.
All boys, so ’round here, mostly clean’s clean enough.
We fell back to our work and finished completely.
I even wrapped my own presents, just not very neatly.
I laid them all down as close as could be
To our less than wheelchair-accessible tree.
We admired, all breathless, like we’d taken a jog.
And my wife said, “Well done. You’ve earned some eggnog.”
After libations and one little snack,
I was helped into bed and tucked into the sack.
Then I said to the air as she turned out the light,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”
Many thanks for reading my column this year. Feel free to add your own lines to my irreverent parody in the comments.
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