How ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Reminded Me of Life With MS
The other night I was watching the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, my favorite film box set, and it occurred to me how similar life with multiple sclerosis feels to life on a pirate ship.
A particular scene sparked this idea. Two pirates were happily mopping the boat while singing sea shanties. They went about their duties without a care in the world.
Suddenly, the music faded and silence filled its place. The pirates sensed a change. Fog surrounded the ship as the sky turned dark.
A loud BOOM struck out of nowhere. The pirates stopped what they were doing, and looked at each other in confusion.
“What was that?” one asked the other, curiously looking around for the cause.
Another BOOM rocketed through the ship, sending vibrations through the boat and ripples across the sea. The pirates threw their mops to the floor and clung to each other, fearing the worst. The rhythmic BOOMs continued, becoming louder and louder until, out of nowhere, gigantic tentacles encompassed the ship.
Within minutes, the newly mopped decks had been abolished by the tremendous kraken, leaving nothing in its wake. The pirates and the ship were gone.
You may be wondering, why did this remind you of MS, Jess?
Because for a long while, I was like the pirates at the beginning of the story. My MS was stable, and nothing ever happened. In many ways, I felt like a fraud, like I was too well to be ill. I went about my day in a lah-de-dah way, taking everything my body could do for granted. I ate whatever I wanted without caring too much about the effect it would have on my body. It didn’t matter if I didn’t exercise that day.
Skip forward to this year, and I feel like I’ve had my most challenging year yet, even though it’s only May!
A few months ago, my hands suddenly felt burnt for no reason, I went numb from the neck down, I’d get tingles down my spine whenever I looked down, and recently, my leg just decided to switch off. I couldn’t lift it or walk. Combined with the tablets I was taking for numbness, it looked like I was drunk (without the fun part of actually drinking). It was not fun.
“What the heck is this?” I thought. I realized at that moment how much I’d taken my former stability for granted.
I was a happy, carefree pirate until the kraken, aka MS, found me, surrounded my ship, and took me down without warning, just like our poor pirate friends in the film.
Has a film ever reminded you of MS? Let me know in the comments below.
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