'Oh, it won't change me...', 'It will all be just like before...', 'I'm still the same person...', 'I'm too old and set in my ways now...'
Back in the days when MS was all new to me I must have heard those phrases, or a hundred variants of them, so many times that I can't guess at the number without recourse to cliche. Back in the days, I might even have believed many of them.
Nowadays I find comfort - small comfort, but we take what we can get - in the knowledge that MS has changed me, that things are not just like before, I'm a different person, and I may be old but my ways have altered.
I'm not for one minute suggesting that I have metamorphosed from a scrawny caterpillar into a resplendent butterfly (or even a quite striking moth), but there have been changes above and beyond those necessary as part of the condition. In last week's slightly darker-than-usual commentary I bemoaned the fact that so many of my postings seemed to end up looking at the sunnier side of MS,but perhaps that's not really so surprising. After all, putting it bluntly what is there to take comfort from other than the better things that this horrible condition brings with it?
One of those 'better things' is a new perspective, and more precisely, the ability to look at things from more angles and deeper ways. It's probably just as well, because this week sees me actually looking forward to going into hospital next week for a 'radiofrequency thermocoagulation treatment' (or more prosaicly, to have a bunch of nerves in my face burned to buggery so the trigeminal neuralgia gives me a break for a year or two). Before the MS I would never have contemplated an operation with something approaching a light heart, let along the glee I feel creeping up on me now. If only all things looked as delightful from this new perspective.
I miss, perspective change or not, simple things like running (or even walking with the drugs I currently need to cope with the neuralgia), and I miss taking the dogs out for hikes through the dangerously uneven woods (they must have been designed by the same guy who did the fjords). I wish I dared explore the sandy cliffs with my eldest grandson, where at his age myself I discovered fossilised sharks teeth. At least he is old enough to remember me playing football with him, something denied my other grandchildren now.
I'm a different person in so many ways. I've gotten used to falling over and yet I still look for the non-existent 'thing' that tripped me (be fair, it's hard to look inside your head at the lesions). But of all the hopeful sayings we once heard, maybe once even said, the worst by far is 'it will all be just like before'.
No it won't. This is a new,different world, and sure some things are undoubtedly better (if we allow that new perspective to take wing), but a lot of things aren't. The message we really need is 'Start checking things out in greater depth. And keep checking, just as MS keeps progressing for the SP and PP variant sufferers. Find the new perspective and treasure the benefits it can, and will bring. But keep it real, huh?'