Heidi is a BAMF,
Guest Blog at MSUnderstood
Guest Blog at MSUnderstood
I had a moment the other day, sitting outside the post office, waiting for Glenn. I was doing what I have been doing for a couple of years now; observing. I am mesmerized, quite honestly, and watch others with full mobility just move. The simplistic way in which they walk in, just moving to get from here to there. Barely a thought in their minds. They want to run, they run. They want to jog, they jog. So on, so forth. And I sit here, watching them.
I am drawn to young and old…the young that lock their knees on cue just for the fun of ‘walking funny’. …the old, and their slow and steady shuffle….a couple of adolescent girls that clasp hands and run as fast as they can to the storefront….the teens that are skipping and stomping and kicking as they walk….
It is just surreal to me. Do you know, I honestly cannot remember what it even ‘feels’ like, to hop on one foot? I am unsure how I would even begin to physically do it. Apparently, the lack of ability has caused some sort of amnesia.
Still, fact is, I used to be able to do what they are all doing. I used to do it effortlessly, and with little thought about doing it.
Perhaps before I get into it, I should dish out my MS resume:
- Cannot walk without assistance. That is just a way of saying I need a fucking arm or a wall in order to keep from falling on my face.
- Knees and ankles that give out with absolutely zero notice. Keeps going up and down stairs really interesting….also adds fun when I am at the sink trying to brush my teeth.
- Spasticity…..OMFG. I am forever stiff, have chronic pain and when my legs move to walk….I actually kind of resemble the Tin-Man from the wizard of Oz…sans oil.
- Numbness. From the waist down. You know, I am not even going to go there. Use your imagination.
- Weakness and fatigue. Well, I went an entire year of having an active diagnosis of major depressive disorder. MDD, for all of you DSM freaks.
- Nystagmus…it has a ‘life of the party’ element to it…gather round, and watch my eye bounce.
- Electric shock sensations, crawling bugs sensations….shit, a whole gamut of sensations that should be foreign to me. When my numb feet touch cold cement, they feel like they are burning. My demented, destroyed and dyslexic little nervous system. Etc, mostly etc.
Ok, so I have dogs…2 dachshunds and a GSD. My dachshund, Rocky, had a disc disease. An irreversible degenerative disc disease. His little vertebrae is basically mineralizing as we speak. He has been paralyzed twice, he recovered both times. Took him a while, but being a stubborn & fearless little badger hound, he did it.
Now, here is my thing: I am here, watching him. (This is when he was paralyzed.) No matter what, he kept going. He didn’t let it stop him. I had a cart made for him, which he hated….he would much rather drag his little legs behind him than have them dangle from the cart. If you met him once, you’d get that. He is a noble & stolid little thing. A whopping 28 lbs of hell. Ok, so he would drag his little lifeless legs through the tall grass after a bug, or if he heard an imaginary sound that would cause him to speed off in a direction barking his head off. He never stopped enjoying his life. He kept his passion. Yes, his dog lust for life.
And I know…he doesn’t have the brain capacity for insight, he isn’t contemplative…he just was spurred forth by pure animal instinct. I know all of that. I am also aware that even while he was dragging himself around over the grass in the yard, my other two dogs never once said ‘hey, rocky…are you disabled? Do you need help? “
They never even noticed. Because it didn’t matter.
If only that were the way for us dumb-ass humans, huh?
Nah. And before anyone allows themselves to read my words as purely negative, or to view me as a complete misanthrope…keep an open mind. I am a realist. And reality isn’t all sunshine beams shining out your ass. And just for the record, not everyone wants you to shoot sunshine beams up into their ass either. Sometimes they just want to bitch and be heard and be done with it. Just like any other (based on assumption) chronic illness, there isn’t going to be a ‘happy day’ every day. That said, there also isn’t going to be a negative day every day. (*except for the Pollyanna’s and the total assholes….they are either all of this or all of that)
My MS has done a lot for me. In so many ways. It has given me excuse slip after excuse slip. It has given me a pity card. It has lacquered me with a thick coat of guilt that I can’t seem to shake off me, no matter how hard I try. It has given me people that do not know how to act around me, or has caused them to sound like a moron because they don’t know what to say. It has caused them to be ironic, and apologetic, and I seem to inspire the inner-life coach in a lot of folks.
The ones that say,:
‘well, it could be worse’. yeah, no shit.
‘things will get better’….really?
‘you have to keep positive’….mmmmm, that is one of my favorites.
‘everything happens for a reason’. great. So, basically some divine providence has some serous fucking explaining to do. So I then ponder my life, trying to mull over the profundity of my ‘sins’.
Nah, it is just something for them to say. We hold onto sentiment, warm fuzzies make us feel better. A positive attitude doesn’t make me walk any better. In fact, I am not getting any better.
But, all of this makes me a negative asshole. Then, after my reality crashes into someone’s sunshine filled daydream, I am the one comforting them.
I am not negative. I laugh when I think shit is funny. I read, paint and play with my dog. I gossip with my sister and we bitch about life. I am a college student. I have been in a relationship with Glenn since the late 90’s. I am passionate about art and music. I have beliefs, and hopes and dreams.
And, I have MS.