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Diagnosis

Forgetting MS

Sometimes I legitimately forget.

It’s 9 am and the moving truck is coming in an hour. I’ve been up since 5:30 and still haven’t finished packing up my clothes. Or- doh!- the basement. I wish I could just power through, like I had planned.
My legs, though, they’ve quit- they up and decided that they’d had enough.
And now I sit and wait. Wait for my mom to get here. Wait for my ex to get here. Wait for my legs to feel up to the task of walking; a task that I’d taken advantage of for the 30 years before I started to show symptoms of MS.

My message is this: don’t take advantage of the things we all sometimes take for granted. The ability to see, the ability to hear, the ability to walk.

Love to all <3

Forgetting MS
My baby, sleeping on the floor, next to one of the many moving boxes throughout the house.

A Letter to One I Love

Hey you,

We have to talk (you hate clichéd phrases, I know, but in this case it just seems like the right thing to say). Simply put, I’m hurt. Irrevocable harm has been done; you seem to have turned your back on me completely. These flaws showed up about four and a half years ago, and, call it intuition: I knew, yet I was still dumbfounded.

I mean, how could you?

And, believe me, I know I’m no saint. I’ve made some poor choices in my life too: I smoked for a time (which, unfortunately did nothing to increase my coolness), I consume alcoholic beverages (my fair share, as well as the fair share of several others), I had a diet coke addiction for a while there (mmm… aspartame), but this, THIS is unforgivable!

I’ve changed, but unfortunately so have you. Some can blame time, blame age. I don’t know. It’s been nearly 37 years now, and you decided to revolt. I loved you… I love you. Please, PLEASE return to your normal, healthy state, and stop attacking yourself.

I promise to be good to you from here on in. You’re my one and only body, and I truly want you to be healthy.

Love always,
me

Something Isn’t Right (Part 2)

“Just be careful. Don’t fall again.”

He was referencing the week before, and the week before that, when, both times, I had tripped, coming down directly on my stomach, landing me in the hospital for test after test. The nurses knew me in the maternity ward now, and I was embarrassed to do it again, unless it was actually go time. I concentrated on my footing as we yelled hearty thank-yous to the elderly couple who stood on their front porch and waved goodbye to us.

“I’m good,” I said to him quietly. Then excitedly, “Ooooh, look! Snickers! Full-size!” It was the little things.

I was looking back, not paying enough attention. Off-balance from my sizable stomach. I fell. Again.

“Oh my God, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, as I brushed the grass and dirt off. What the hell was wrong with me? “I’ll go to a few more houses and then go back,”  I told him. I looked down at the bump that extruded from my purple sweater.

“You’ll be alright,” I whispered. “Hang in there. I promise to be more careful.”

**********

A week later, just a few days before my due date, a regular office visit with my obstetrician turned into a fast-paced walk over to the connecting hospital. Hunter was born unto this world, healthy as an ox, the next day.

I was actually feeling pretty damn good after the whole rigmarole, and I looked forward to getting my body back in working order.

Finally, I’d be able to walk across the room without fear of toppling over!

Unfortunately, my balance didn’t return. I knew something was going on, after all, balance had been my “thing” at gymnastics class as a kid.

Must just be an old-age-hormone cocktail, I lied to myself.

 

Something Isn’t Right (Part 1)

There were many hours that I spent on the computer during my second pregnancy, tirelessly investigating the type of fruit that the fetus inside me compared to in size.

I needed to distract myself from the nausea and disgusting metallic taste in my mouth that was not unlike chewing on a Duracell. I watched Avery play as I absent-mindedly clicked on an advertisement for shoes. Four-inch heels in buttery teal leather that I could not afford, nor could I even wear without teetering over, but still, I had to look.

I waited for my husband to come home from work so that we could take our little girl out for her second Halloween. We’d help her to knock on our neighbors’ doors and say “trick-or-treat!” and add candy into the pumpkin that she gripped firmly in her little hand. She’d sleep soundly after all the day’s excitement, and then I would pick through the container until I got hold of the good stuff. I could almost taste the peanut butter cups already, and the thought of it made me salivate.

Halloween

In the past, before children had altered our ritual, we would sit on the front patio, cursing under our breath as we attempted to carve faces into pumpkins with plastic tools from the drugstore. Our neighborhood would fill with zombies, witches, and princesses, all with outstretched hands, begging for goodies. We’d oblige, and then, as dinnertime approached, the costumed tykes would begin to dissipate in a fog.

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