Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hey, I'm cured! Oh, wait....d'oh!

No, the lesions are still there, and that's the beauty of it.  The lesions are right where they were two years ago, no more, no less. That is called stability by the doctors and a reprieve by me.  It does not mean I am out of the woods, but I made my own trail and I'll keep doing it until I run out of trees. Brain re-wiring is highly recommended. And keep swimming...

Today was my last aquatic therapy class for a few weeks, but we'll start again in May.  Now there's decent weather to begin my six month long yard cleanup so it will look decent again by mid or late October, or the first snow whichever comes first.  And there's this novel writing thing. And my wife is around the house now as she left her job. I should be able to function OK.

Look, I would like to apologize to the many many of my MS Brothers and MS Sisters out there on the planet who are having it tougher than  I could ever imagine.  I can go to Facebook and in the MS groups read of people having terrible times with a bastard of a disease that will not kill you, but is glad to wear you down to a nub and then step aside to let one of the classic killers finish you off.  I am in a group that meets once a month, and I hear of the struggles of people trying to balance family life, jobs, and a disease that no one can see unless you have a spasm of some kind.  There are lesions on their spines and in their brains. Many are battling for disability benefits, and I really did cruise through it. They have true pain and they are not believed. There are family members who think they are helping by ignoring you or how you feel.  My family keeps its distance, and that's fine if it works for them.  I was used to being by myself and there are enough scars in the family to go around.  But today is my brother Bob's birthday, #69, and best wishes to him. It's National Siblings Day, anyhow.  Why is the Siblings' Day on a Thursday?  You only have two parents, biologically speaking.  You can have a lot more brothers and sisters.  Hallmark is missing out on a real deal here.  For only me kids, you can compensate by having grandparents and parents spoil you rotten and get all kinds of stuff.  The rest of us wore hand me downs (and I had a big sister).

There's your family, and there's Your Family.  The first is the result of genetics.  The second is a choice.  It can start at the age of three or so and go until your last breath.  The people who choose to accompany you on your journey, and you treasure them.  My fellow MSers are my family, as are the Social Services workers, and folks battling mental illness. Even you are.  You are important to someone, even if its just the person you see in the mirror.  Its taken a long time and a lot of pain to get to where I am (well, not the couch where I am right now, but you get the idea). And, as I've written before, there are angels in your life, if you can find them, even if they bark, say meow, or squeak - but if any these three examples are human shaped, make a note to get out more.

I bring this up to talk about "my affair".  Once a year I get together with one of my dearest friends from college for lunch or dinner.  We talk about sports, literature, life, etc. for hours and laugh about days long ago. Me boy. She girl.  We were never "like that" in college, but we remained close and danced at each other's weddings.  We meet on Good Friday each year (its Good Friday because when we first started this in the early '90s, Albany County gave their employees Good Friday afternoon off - a holdover from the Irish Catholic political machine days - that has since changed). Over the past twenty years, you must condense 12 months of living into a couple of hours, when you're not eating or drinking and running to the bathroom. What is important? What really matters in the story of your life, when you get this chance to tell  it?

I think about this in my writing a lot. What's the most important moment of the last year for you?

Just keep swimming.  Thanks for reading.

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