Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Journeys to Urinetown

Today was my weekly examination/treatment/dharma talk from my MD/neurologist/acupuncturist. No painful or at-a-spectacular-spot points, I'm happy to report. A very profound treatment, though, and shortly after you and I conclude our chat, gentle reader, I'm packing it in, because it was a very profound treatment.

Our neurological discussion was very simple. I told him, this is misbehaving, and this does this when I don't want it to, and this isn't failing but it's hardly working the way I wish it would... the usual list of mild yet nastily aggrieving malfunctions.

His official, professional assessment: Yeah, that stuff happens.

He never used the "N" word ("normal") but the basic gist of his replies was that what I reported to him was hardly unexpected or uncommon; so I guess it pretty much passes for "normal," given my situation.

And somehow, I found that ... gently reassuring.

Nothing was a sign of "things taking a turn for the worse." Actually, things working as well as they are (even if they're not working "well" by most standards) is itself at least a little reassuring. Yeah, my bladder has its issues, but at least for the most part it works as designed; he's had patients that need mechanical assistance to empty their bladders, because they can't empty themselves without help. Now, let me hasten to add that I don't find other people "suffering more than I am" to be in itself in the least reassuring; but "still mostly able to execute its most important function, to store and release on cue" to be... not so bad, really, all things considered.

At least as of this writing, I can't play musical instruments that I've played all of my life. I can't make music that has always been very, very precious to me.

But, I can pee and—even more importantly—not pee, pretty much on my own terms. Most of the time, at least.

Hell of a cry of victory. "I can pee! And not pee! On my own terms! (softer) Mostly..." You'd think I was shilling the musical Urinetown...

I can no longer lift people's hearts by playing the organ—not the way I used to, at least. But at least I won't make them slip on my puddles.

Not exactly what I'd call a "fair trade," but you take what you can get on the M.S. Highway. And with luck, you won't leave a trail as you travel it.

As I've often said: M.S. is a never-ending source of humor that you can't write. Our M.S.-accessorized bodies don't always want to do what we ask of them... but we can always, always, laugh.


Gail said...

Hi, all good news considering the topic and the endless possibilities. sigh....and ya, keep on laughing.
Love Gail

Muffie said...

Robert, you always leave me encouraged with your positive attitude! Today, I won't mourn the fact that I can no longer play the piano, or paint and draw, or do needlework. Instead, today I shall rejoice that I'm still vertical!