Monday, October 06, 2008

Catching up

I've been pleasantly suprised at how many old friends I've bumped into on Facebook--seems like it's achieved the sort of critical mass of users that made eBay the only auction site worth looking at. Anyway, last week I connected with a guy I'd known since I was 6 and went to school with until I went to college.

When you catch up with someone like that, what do you say about MS? Anything? Here's what I said:
Now, the juicy bit: back in 1992, I developed the symptoms of what was diagnosed a couple years later as multiple sclerosis (MS). I’m not sure how much you know about MS, but I’m doing pretty well for someone who’s 15 years into it. I have a lot less stamina than I did 10 or even 5 years ago, which has been frustrating for a guy who’s inclined to be a do-er. I use a cane maybe 50% of the time, mostly for balance, and I’ve had some trouble with chronic pain as a result of nerve damage, but rest of my symptoms are mild-to-moderate indignities. I’m not sure what else to say about it. I think in the last few years, I reached a point where the disease is always with me. At first, it just meant giving myself a shot every couple days and checking in with a neurologist a couple times a year. But now, I’ve got a visibly funny walk and a disabled parking tag, I take a startling assortment of pills, I had a sort of neurological pacemaker implanted in my hip this spring, and I go to bed around 9:00 every night. There aren’t many places I go or things I do without MS coming along with me. It’s almost easier now, not trying to pass for a healthy person.

What else? My mom lives in Madison, but my dad and his second family are in West Salem, so I get back to La Crosse fairly often. Um, turn-ons include comfortable shoes, gin & tonics, and plentiful public restrooms, turn-offs include people who talk too fast, area rugs (tripping hazard), and the McCain health care plan.

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