Thursday 29 May 2014

breathe, keep breathing....

Following on from World MS Day yesterday, today I'm posting a couple of films made by Shift MS.

The first, "Circle of Truth",  is about the dilemma of telling people at work that you have multiple sclerosis.  It is beautifully made and features a couple of familiar faces.

For myself, I've never made a secret of my MS at work.  I'm lucky enough that I've never had to take any time off because of relapses, and I don't walk around the place wearing a badge proclaiming my health status, but it's out there.  If people ask me about it, I'll always answer them as honestly as I can.  MS is for many people a completely invisible disease, and there are lots of preconceptions about what it means.  I don't know what's going to happen to me, but I can tell you how I feel now, and if that makes someone better informed in a small way, then I feel it's all worthwhile.  Then again, perhaps it's easy for me to say that because I'm not visibly affected by my condition (unless you're really, really observant) and it hasn't noticeably affected my work.  My employer hasn't exactly been challenged to show how flexible and understanding they really are yet.  If that day ever comes, perhaps my views might change.

Anyway.  It's a nice film and you should watch it and think how you might react if a colleague told you they suffered from something like MS.  How much do you know about it?  How would you react?  As someone says in another of Shift MS's films, once you've told someone you have MS, they can't unhear it.

The second film is actually an earlier film by the same guys.  "Gallop" tells the story of someone getting diagnosed with MS and dealing with the uncertainty that little time bomb sets off in your life.

This one chokes me up a bit.  It's really fucking scary waking up with bits of your body not working properly and not knowing why. I can remember so clearly sitting in that MRI scanner and wondering what my brain would look like and what might be hiding in there.  It took me four years from first symptoms to diagnosis, and without the support and understanding of my wife, I don't know how I would have managed.  I don't know how I do manage.

Before I sign off, I'll leave you with one more video... another one that's guaranteed to make me tear up a little bit.  "Beautiful Day" was made for World MS day a few years ago, and I find it so powerful.

I've been there.

Watch and enjoy, and tomorrow I'll serenade you with some Snoop Doggy Dogg and other such shizzle.

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