Is January over yet? So far 2022 has involved peeking at the world through the half-closed eyes of a sick person. Boy, whatever bug arrived at our door at the end of December was a big one. We had negative Covid test results every other day, though, so I presume it was just a good old fashioned flu – the kind that leaps on top of you when you least expect it and wrestles you to the ground. It’s not fun being sick.
And for me it’s always a painful reminder of my time in hospital in 2010. (The short version? I had a blood clot in the brain then slowly got better). It’s a reminder, too, that both of us have a serious neurological condition that normally simmers under the surface, but now and then (by which I mean now) it makes its presence felt.
Over a decade ago we were both diagnosed in the same week with the same condition. A ‘medical marvel’ apparently (it’s not marvellous, incidentally). Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord, where all our actions, thoughts, even personality, are hidden. So when something goes wrong here, it affects people in completely different ways. Those two little letters – M and S – are random, frightening and unpredictable.
We’ve pottered on since diagnosis, trying to get our heads round it, but mostly just getting on with life. For years, those two little letters have attached themselves to our bodies, merely flapping around like a price tag, otherwise not noticeable. Like all such labels, of course, the time comes when the price needs to be paid.
Relapse. A simple word full of fear and frustration. It’s the word we’re living these days and I’m so proud of Chris for producing this video to talk about his new scary symptom that affects his speech. Courageous vulnerability in action. Plus giggles and smiles, of course.