Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to MS for a Minute

Given that Jim Dandy was just recently nominated as 'Best MS Blog" and granted a spot in the Blognation directory, I suppose I ought to post an entry that has something to do with MS for a change.  The fact is that in hte last two years or so I've written very little concerning MS, preferring to write mostly about my experiences here in Bali, my family life, political and religious matters in Indonesia, and so on.

Why is this?  Am I suddenly MS-free?  No, of course not.  I'd like to say that I am -- that the combined lifestyle balm of retirement in the tropics, the sunshine, and sea and surf have been somehow curative, but that, sadly, would not be true.

I guess the reasons for my comparative silence are multifold.  For one thing, it just kind of gets old.  MS gets old.  Like so many things in the world, at first it is new and interesting, there is an acquaintance to be made, learning to be done.  One suddenly has a new life, unplanned for and unasked for, yet nonetheless new.  There are a lot of questions to be answered.  What does this mean?  Who am I now?  What can I do?  What should I do?  One becomes rather consumed in all the details, feeling his way forward, making new acquaintances -- people one would never have met had they not been sick.  But then the years pass and things settle in and the situation becomes the status quo.

MS becomes normal.  It's the way it is, the way I am.  You become accustomed to the various deficits, at least in some degree -- the aches and pains, the numbness and tingling, the confusion and disorientation.  You don't really remember being without them in any more than a very detached way.  How does disease remember good health, and to what end, what purpose, resulting in what meaning?

We simply move on.  There's no choice, really -- unless you want to count a life of moaning and complaining as a choice.  We move on in our own wobbly, stumbling, disoriented way. We are our disease, as surely as we are blonde-haired or blue eyed, woman or man, handsome or homely, old or young.  We did not choose, but were chosen.  MS does not define us, yet it does change us, both outwardly and inwardly.  It is the ultimate character of change that lies always within our command.

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