Perhaps it’s my age, but I seem to be accumulating medical specialists at an alarming rate at the moment. Naturally, a good deal of this is associated with my MS... but over the last six months, I seem to have acquired several more appointments with various consultants in treatment centres around Nottingham that are nothing at all to do with multiple sclerosis. In a way, this is great news: the longer my MS remains stable and relatively low maintenance, the better. On the other hand, I’m not seeing these other medical specialists just to pass the time of day.
As I was recounting my medical history to the most recent consultant as he carried out his examination, I jokingly suggested that I was beginning to feel a bit unlucky. He immediately called me on it, reminding me of the importance of maintaining a positive outlook in the face of whatever life has to throw at you.
He’s right, of course…. But it made me laugh to hear him say it because I’m pretty sure I must be one of the last people who needed to be told. I sometimes hear myself talking about my MS and I’m aware that I sometimes come across as perhaps the most phlegmatic, stoical man in the world. Perhaps I am, but the simple truth of the matter is that I fail to see the point of wasting energy on things that I can’t change. I might as well howl at the moon. I can’t do anything about what MS (or anything else) does to my body, but I can try and control the way I feel about it. I would never have run a marathon (two marathons!) if I had allowed myself to believe that people with MS don’t run marathons.
Actually, I think that having MS has actually changed me for the better in this regard, although maybe mellowing is just another benefit of age. I’m far less likely to rage about things now than I used to be, and I think at least part of that is down to my health. Considering MS as a blessing! Whatever next? Well, why not? It’s certainly been character building.
And the other stuff? Well, I’ve had a good innings. Chewed a few bones; chased a few cats… perhaps it’s the kindest thing to just put me out of my misery now rather than to let me suffer?
I’m allowed to joke about it though, right?
...as long as everyone knows that none of these indignities have broken me.
Not quite yet, anyway.
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