An Excerpt from the Book

from
“Chapter 4 – Symptoms & Treatment

How do you treat a disease with no cure?

You tiptoe around the symptoms

tweaking this and that,

hoping something might work,

hoping the disease can be controlled

in some way. People are working hard,

trying to find a cure, or at least a treatment,

something that can stop the patient’s body

from attacking itself, or at least

slowing the process down.

What were my symptoms that led to this diagnosis?

Number one was muscle weakness.

My whole right hand side was weak,

from my toes to my arms and everything in between.

My balance was poor, making trips and falls

all the more likely to happen.

My lips and tongue were affected a bit,

so I felt like I was slurring my words.

When I saw my neuro for the first time,

my reaction to being hit on my right knee

was way over the normal reaction –

this has a special name –

something to do with a hyper reflex reaction.

On my first meeting with my neuro,

he tapped me on my knees, first one and then the other.

My right knee reaction was much more flamboyant

than my left knee reaction.

I’ve since found out this is a possible sign,

which, added to other signs,

suggests the patient has MS.

I assume most people, when tapped on the knee

with a little hammer, don’t kick out their foot

the way I did that time, and have done every time since,

when a medical person has done it to me again.

It would probably be an interesting party trick,

the extreme nature of my right leg’s reaction –

it looked funny to me when it happened

the first time, even though I wasn’t in a laughing mood,

and it’s looked funny every time it’s happened since.”

Finding things that look, feel, or seem funny, and being able to laugh at them, these are things that certainly help me to get through my time, living with this crazy-arse disease. I’m doing well in my life, my meds suit me well, I’m able to do most of what I want to do.

If that changes, and life becomes more difficult, I hope my positive attitude will keep me still on track. I know I have family and friends there with me, and they will step in to help if and when I need them. This makes me feel safe, and it helps me to keep on with all I want to do.

Achieving things, when one has a disability, feels like it’s more of an achievement than when was able-bodied, although looking at it another way, maybe it’s just pig-headed stubbornness on my part? Who knows? I just know I’m living a great life, and others are involved and doing great things too!

What more could anyone ask for in life?

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