March 12, 2009

A letter from Multiple Sclerosis

Dear Newly Diagnosed,


     I know you don't want to talk to me right now and I can't say I blame you.  I'm sure it was quite a shock, finding me camped on your doorstep that day, with my luggage packed.  And I know you didn't "exactly" invite me in, but here I am.

     I'm certain you're probably wondering how I got your address in the first place, aren't you?  Everybody always asks me that stupid question.  It was easy really.  I looked you up in a statistical manual, calculated your genetics and
environment, crunched some numbers about your childhood illnesses, relatives illnesses, and basic habits, and I located you.  It wasn't hard at all.  I chose you because I could.

     Now, I'm not saying we have to be friends here. Frankly, I'd be a bit surprised if we got along very well at all.  You and I are very different in many ways.  For instance, I thrive on surprises, whereas you prefer to always know what lies ahead.  I enjoy a big dose of sardonic humor… you prefer a kinder, more mellow approach.  I see nothing wrong with pain and suffering… you try to avoid it.  A good time for me is kicking ass and taking no names… you prefer a reasonable fight.

     Here's the part that's probably really going to piss you off, so I might as well just get it out of the way.  To date, no one, and I mean no one, has ever been able to evict me once I decide to move in.  Oh sure, some people try to slow me down by scaring me with needles and the like, but I don't leave.  I get quiet and reflective sometimes, but I'll never leave you totally.  That you can count on, my friend.

     So here's how this is going to work with me, like it or not.  I'm here and I'm not leaving so we might as well try our best to co-exist.  You do some things for me, and I'll occasionally scratch your back (and anywhere I else I choose to itch you, just for the record).  I'll give you some good days and if I like you, maybe even a few good months or years.  I'll teach you some important life lessons about not taking things for granted, which you'll thank me for later.  I'll encourage you to get out of bed and live today to the fullest and to enjoy whatever morsel of goodness the Universe is throwing on your plate.  I'll teach you how to appreciate the simple things in life and how not to sweat the small stuff.  I'm definitely gonna make you laugh sometimes, even if you don't want to.  Likewise, I'm gonna make you cry sometimes because you need to.  You WILL learn to respect me or I'll kill you trying.

     If you think about it from my point of view, I'm not asking for much in return really.  I just want to have a good time messing you up.  A few laughs when I surprise you with being unable to walk or see.  A little chuckle for me when you accidentally wet yourself because I've messed with your bladder.  Maybe even a full, belly laugh when I make you ride around in one of those electric chairs or something.  It's all in good fun.  And again, if I like you, I may not make it a permanent event.

     So what do you say, roomie?  We got a deal?  Personally I think you're getting the better end of the stick out of this arrangement, but that's just my perspective.

     Take your time thinking over your answer.  I've got your whole life to await your response.


Sincerely yours,
 Multiple Sclerosis
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