Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hell and heaven

Judy, who doesn't blog but "haikus" about her M.S. journey, had something quite wonderful to say in today's installment:
M.S. sucks but I do not.
A worthwhile reminder.

And so, we return to our hero as he adventures along the M.S. highway...

Being an "outlier" in my experience of M.S.—actually, given that all of our experiences are entirely our own, even though we have some of them in common, we're all outliers, in one way or another, but I digress—I shouldn't be so surprised that I'm taking the cold weather so poorly. Now, I know, I spent seven years in Connecticut, and I know people who have lived in New Hampshire, so Southern California's mid-50's don't hold a candle (or an ice cube) to the parts of the country that are really cold. Don't care. It's cold, and I'm cold. My legs are extremely cold-sensitive, and They. Do. Not. Enjoy. This. Time of year. At. All.

The bedroom is delightfully warm—but my legs don't think so. I lie under the blankets and pile extra blankets on top of just my legs... and they don't even notice it. The oddest thing is, I put a heating pad on them, and that doesn't work, I don't feel it—but something living, like a cat or my wife, I feel.

Still trying to work through the "grieving" that's needed doing; that needs doing. That wants to be done, even if I (to be honest) don't want to deal with it. Some of it is directly M.S. related, things that are no longer on my "doable" list thanks to my neurological malfunctions; some of it is my relationship to the world, something that has actually been in the works even since my pre-M.S. days, but having M.S. seems to have pushed it to the front burner; it has, I think, been on some burner for a while, but it's on the front burner now, and it needs to be dealt with. Because as much as it hurts, and it hurts, it's gonna hurt more if I pretend that I can get away without dealing with it.

Which is a lesson—a gift—of M.S., anyway. Some things need to be dealt with, when you need to deal with them... even if you wish you could delay confronting them (and yourself).

My doctor is very quick to challenge me when I personalize M.S. "M.S. doesn't exist," he says. "There's nothing there that isn't you." I'm doing better about that; it's a work in progress. But if there were to be personalization right now, it would be a voice saying quietly, "You have to deal with this."

"You know you have to deal with this."

"I know you don't want to. But you have to. You have to."

"Now."

The inescapable voice of truth. Hell of a gift of M.S. Or a heaven of a gift... depending on how you choose to look at it.

1 comment:

Peace Be With You said...

Thank you, Robert, for your generosity in highlighting my poem. It prompted me to go back and reread it. I don’t know how many of those who read my poems realize that they are as much a reminder to me as anything else. Writing them and subsequently reading them facilitate my remembering what I want to believe in. Sometimes they are a reminder of what is actually working in my life. The line you chose is one that reminded me not to let me be defined by this illness.
Judy