Perhaps most important (though on the surface not too interesting), I am a W-M-D. A weapon of mass destruction? Sometimes I feel that way, when my world seems to be crashing down around me. But no, I am a
Wife: Married for 28 years
Mother: Have 2 sons, both in college
Daughter: My mom is an inspiration as she cares for my dad, who is seriously ill. When I hear the expression the Greatest Generation, I think of my parents.
As long as I’m playing with acronyms, I should note that five years ago I was diagnosed with MS—multiple sclerosis—an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks the substance (myelin) that surrounds and protects your nerve fibers. (So I guess I do have my own little WMD action going on internally.) It’s basically a case of faulty wiring. How it ever passed inspection is beyond me.
Because the lesions can occur in so many different places in the brain and spinal cord, the symptoms associated with MS are very varied. And with the relapse-remitting form of the disease (which I have), between periods of attack your body goes through periods of reconstruction when it tries to heal itself. So you have symptoms that can come and go, and symptoms that may or may not show.
Living with multiple sclerosis is about so much more than surviving these symptoms. The mental/emotional stress can be a real roller coaster. The myriad of medical tests leaves one feeling poked and prodded without end. Dealing with doctors and their staffs can sap one’s spirit super quick. Choosing from the available drug options (and—dare I say it?—the slightly slimy pharmaceutical companies and insurance industry that live behind them) is challenging. The who-what-when-why-where of disclosing a diagnosis requires careful thought, because once that cat’s out of the bag, there’s no going back.
I started writing as a catharsis, to put on paper (figuratively speaking) the conversations I was having in my head. Intermixed with my thoughts are quotes that struck me as noteworthy. And time and again memories-–some very ancient, others more recent–-have worked their way into the essays.