An MS positive, possibly
This blog is being re-posted in memory of Paula J. Perry, a lovely lady who definitely appreciated a funny story
Myself, and fellow MS’ers like me, have a tendency to blame multiple sclerosis for everything bad. Not just everything medically bad in our bodies, but everything bad. War, death, violence, hatred, Justin Bieber,….…you name it. If it’s bad, it is MS’s fault.
And why shouldn’t it be? MS is a super sucky, very serious, no cause, no cure, scary, debilitating disease. And yes, I said the dreaded “D” word-disease: a super sucky, very serious, ugly word. Sometimes MS deserves to be referred to as a disease and not the less ugly version of the word disease-illness. So whether it’s right to do so or not, I choose to blame everything negative on MS and you can’t stop me!
But what about something positive?
No way! There could be absolutely nothing positive about MS, ever! It’s impossible.
I started thinking about this recently after an “incident.” A kind of cool incident, actually. I was on my way to visit a friend and before I got to her house, I stopped at a liquor store to get us some wine. And then, miracle of all miracles, I got carded!!!!
I had to actually pull out my license and the sales clerk working the cash register stared at it for several seconds before handing it back!
I was beyond thrilled. I’m way, way past my under 21 years. I don’t want to tell you by how much but let’s just say I was diagnosed when I was 40 and that was a few years ago. You do the math.
(If it’s a brain fog day then you may want to ask a grade schooler to help you.)
True, the lady who carded me was wearing super thick glasses.
And true, I had a ton of makeup on as I had just come from a local cable TV station where I was interviewed and I needed lots of makeup to look decent. (And that was just a local cable show- how much makeup will I need if I ever get on my mom’s personal favorite- the Steve Harvey show? Is there enough makeup in the universe?)
Still, I was ecstatic! If anyone wants a natural high, get carded. It will give you more energy and pep than all your meds combined.
As I was carrying the wine and skipping to my friend’s house, a worry did enter my happy thoughts. What if I didn’t have my id? Then what would I have done?
If I ever lost my license I would be so stressed that I would definitely need wine and wouldn’t be able to buy it!!
Then what would I do? Resort to being the lame teenager hanging outside of the liquor store and sucking up to old people to get them to buy for me? No, I couldn’t have that. That is beyond humiliating now. It wasn’t that humiliating when I WAS a lame teenager, but now? No, I just can’t do it.
I made a mental note to dig out my fake id from college. The id featured a horrible picture of me with the name and stats of some girl from New Jersey named Gina Romani.
Dear Gina, wherever you are, you got me through a lot of parties- thank you!
As fake ids go, mine was pretty bad. But it worked in about 30% of the liquor stores I tried so it was a crucial part of my life.
And it was somewhat famous, too. My friend’s mom thought it was so pathetic that she took to calling me Gina Romani all the time. To this day, we will be some place in our small town, church or a restaurant say, filled with people who know us, and she’ll yell- “Hey Gina, how ya doing?”
And people will look at her like she’s crazy.
“Has she lost it?” they will ask. “That’s her daughter’s friend Yvonne. Why does she think her name is Gina?”
And so, to spare any trouble in the future should I lose my real id, I vowed to find my fake one as soon as I got home.
My joy turned to grief when I pulled my house apart and could not find it anywhere! How could I have lost my fake id? I may need it now that I’ve been carded and yet my MS brain has misplaced it- never to be found again!
And there’s the problem. It’s MS’s fault that my fantastic mood turned sour and uplifting feelings turned to worry. If I lose my license what will I do all the times I may get carded in the future???!!!
I decided to focus on the good, the fact that I got carded in the first place. This was a good thing and it had absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with MS at all.
Except that I was all doled up and wearing makeup to talk about my MS book.
Still, no. I won’t give MS any credit for the good thing that happened, my being mistaken for a teenager.
But with the fatigue that comes from MS I do need a lot more sleep; usually somewhere between 10-12 hours a night depending on how effective my bladder meds decide they want to be.
And some people call that much shut eye beauty sleep. I tend to doubt my sleep has anything to do with beauty but maybe that much sleep from MS fatigue is actually resting and smoothing some of my wrinkles?
I was still reluctant to give MS any positive credit for the “incident.” But then I remembered that since my diagnosis I have been eating better and drinking more water (when I’m not drinking wine of course,) and supposedly, those two things are good for you and can perhaps make you look younger?
And stress about MS helped me to mostly kick the smoking habit and smoking supposedly ages you.
And, I have made many new friends since my diagnosis and good friends cheer you up which makes you less stressed which may make you seem younger?
Leave it to multiple sclerosis.
As my body feels like it’s aging at the rapid rate of two years every day, MS could quite possibly be helping me to look younger. Maybe I have to give MS some, teeny tiny bit of credit for something good?
Or maybe the liquor store clerk just needs thicker glasses.
Either way, I’d sure feel better if Gina Romani was still hanging around….
Wish you were still hanging around too Paula. We’ll miss you…