My first attack of MS, in 2004, affected, mainly, my cognitive abilities, my sense of awareness. The second relapse, in 2007, affected sensation in my feet and legs, my sense of balance, my cognition and my memory. This third attack has affected my hearing, my eyesight and (again) my cognition. Wonder where the third event will strike. Can't wait to see.
This is just something I posted on Facebook, looking back at how each relapse has manifested itself in my body. Even though the none of the effects are pleasant, the disease always seems somehow interesting to me - to think that something can be 'touched' somewhere inside ones nervous system and cause a specific result on the outside. It's kind of like that old kid's game, Operation. Remember that? On a game board, you operated on this poor two dimensional guy, seeking to remove various parts of him with tiny tongs. If you hit the edges of an operating site, a buzzer went off and, as I recall, his nose lit up.
In this case, some malicious, misguided cell, bit off an edge of whatever nerve center controls my hearing. My nose didn't light up, but my ears certainly are ringing. It nicked off a few bits of my eyesight, too. I had just recently gotten new glasses, and was feeling enthused about being able to see again -- well, sort of able -- when these nasty little munchers chewed the myelin off some of the nerves that regulate my eyesight.
I have said before that these things -- things that are suddenly damaged, made imperfect -- continually remind me how amazingly made we have been. Every inner particle is working together to actuate, to realize, to animate the human being according a plan we ourselves did not make and cannot truly understand. And another amazing thing about this machine is that, when it is broken, it cannot be repaired. I'm not talking about a broken leg, of course, or a malfunctioning heart valve. I'm talking about the essential pathways that underlie every gross part, the electricity that runs through the wires, the 'lightning that comes from the east and is visible even in the west'. I am reminded again of psalm of David -- which I have quoted before, and may as well quote again.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
(Ps 139: 14-16, NKJV)