Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Dating Game

Dating with MS is definitely an adventure of its own. At what point do you tell the person you have a chronic illness? It adds to the multitude of unknowns in any relationship. You know ... the questions of when do you tell them that you're really falling for them ... or when do you call after a date ... or any of those silly quandaries that we manage to create for ourselves. After three dates? Three months? We do make things complicated, don't we?

I live with a sense of fair play that others sometimes find a bit ridiculous ... but really ... don't you think someone should know something like this before they've totally committed to a relationship? Don't you think they should know what they're getting into?

You see ... in many ways, I am incredibly fortunate. To the casual observer ... and sometimes even the not so casual ... MS is virtually invisible in my life. An outsider can't see my fatigue ... or know that the pain in my neck and shoulder are making focusing on the simplest things difficult. Even that invisibility is double-edged, though. It means that I have the benefit of not having an instant strike against me when people first meet me. And as much as I would like to believe that a wheelchair or a cane or weakness in an arm or leg don't produce bias in others, I don't really believe that. Now, don't get me wrong ... I believe those are hurdles we can overcome ... I just find it unfortunate that the overcoming is necessary. Who I am hasn't changed because I have MS and my intelligence hasn't been diminished by my time keeping its company.

Oh, and the fear that comes along with the decision to tell! The wondering if the person will bolt in fear ... or treat us differently ... or judge us for not telling sooner ... or a million other things. And the immeasurable joy of having someone merely say "Oh, okay" and treat you no differently.

Your comments and contributions on the topic are eagerly anticipated ...

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A few years ago ... before the diagnosis ... I decided that I'd been told not to dance long enough. So I talked some friends into coming along for the ride and I began to dance. At first, free-style and fun ... then I decided I wanted to do some of the cool things I saw other people doing ... and signed up for lessons. Of course, by the time I reached that point, I had officially been told that I had MS ... and had some (very minor) balance issues when I became excessively tired or overheated. I began slow ... with waltz and some social/ballroom kind of stuff. Then some country ... and then some Latin. There is a distinct hum in the background - the sound of dozens of people saying 'can't' or 'shouldn't' - the naysayers. But do you know how much fun I'm having? Do you realize that three or four nights a week I get a work-out that is not at all boring or unpleasant? Do you understand that I'm living life and squeezing every second of joy from it that I can? Do you see that I refuse to allow a moment of life pass by unlived? So I will never win a dance competition ... instead I'll laugh and make friends and treasure the moments. And, as they say ... "Dance like no one is watching." :)

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible. I choose to risk my significance. To live so that which comes to me as seed ... goes to the next as blossom. And that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

How many moments of your life do you allow to drift by unused because of the MS label?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Your Health

Previously mentioned article ... let people know that you want action taken on these drugs. They've been on the back burner long enough.
About 400,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis, and up until now, the only drugs offered to them to slow the course of the disease had to be injected or dripped into a vein. But soon, it seems, they will have an alternative to this painful regimen: drugs that can be taken by mouth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MS Patients May Soon Bypass Painful Injections

The first round of testing for two oral MS therapies has been completed. Go here to read more in this story from NPR. Not only would these therapies eliminate the need for regular injections, their results are significantly higher than that of therapies like Copaxone.