Friday, November 22, 2013

76 Things You Didn't Know About (my) MS

As I continue to share about my life with multiple sclerosis (including updates on my health), I wanted to create another avenue to communicate on a more consistent basis.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that I have a *very* difficult time cranking out short blurbs or updates.  Because the impacts of MS are so unique, I believe there is tremendous value in providing a story where anyone reading it, can relate to the subject matter.   
I liken this situation to the standard post-game interview (think Super Bowl or World Series).  I always laugh when I hear a sideline reporter ask, “What are you feeling right now?” to a coach or player that just won.  Do you really want to know how they feel?  They want to be celebrating with their friends, coaches, teammates…they want to be sending texts, popping champagne and basking in the glory of their success.  And the last thing they want to be doing is putting all that on pause to fulfill an obligation to the TV network televising their game.
When I try to shorten or change my writing style, I often feel like one of those athletes/coaches, giving the canned response of….”give the other team credit”…”I owe it all to my teammates”….”we’ve worked so hard” and it just doesn’t feel right.
I’m not writing for number of web clicks, or getting paid and I’m pretty sure no Pulitzer Prize is in my future.  I do this to raise awareness for MS….so at least one person understands the disease a little better.  And if I believe what I’m producing doesn’t feel like it is succeeding in that goal, then I’m not posting it (let alone finishing).
In “76 Things That You Didn’t Know About (My) MS?”, I will provide short glimpses into something that you didn’t know about (my) MS.  To borrow from both Arsenio Hall and Johnny Carson (a historic moment in the annals of literature), I’ll be aiming for “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…I Did Not Know That (About MS)”.


An important point.  Use of the parenthetical (my) is intentional.  The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are as wide-ranging as the degree in which they might disable you.  The moment I was diagnosed at The Mayo Clinic, the neurologist told me that I could wake up the next day and be mostly symptom-free well into the future…or not, and instead wake up that next morning and need a wheelchair.
Many similarities certainly exist for those of us with MS but the reality remains that no two cases are the same and none follow a projected course.  That’s an important point for me to stress.  As I write about my condition, I’m fully aware how blessed I am compared to many others with this disease.  I also know there are many whose MS is not as aggressive as mine and may never impact them to the degree that it does to me.  But this isn’t a competition….to not have control over your own body, to have something interfering with your brain’s communication…and to not be entirely sure what your future will hold because of this disease (and nobody knows how or why you got it) – it sucks for anyone, period. 
I originally thought “101 reasons” because that seems to be the standard reference but 101 has no significance to me, so it rings hollow.  Why 76?  Well, as I remind my wife every 4.2 days, I was a bicentennial baby….in fact, I was supposed to be born in 1977 but there was no way I was missing out on entering this world on the 200th anniversary of America.  So, 5 days before Christmas in the year 1976, at 11:57 a.m., I greeted this world with a smile, Santa hat and Uncle Sam costume.  Ok, maybe not the final one but I do take great pride in that birth year, so 76 it is.
I’ll start this up on November 25th, and share the 76 things you don’t know about (my) MS on a very regular basis.  I have a dentist appointment first thing that Monday…and as it works, the 1st thing you might not know about my MS has to do with just that, going to the dentist.
I’ll also continue to write longer stories, too (and have nearly completed my post about some of the setbacks I had this summer). 
Please share my page with others that you think might be interested in learning about MS.  Also, if you have any ideas of your own, or questions about (my) MS, please leave me a comment here (or shoot me an email), I’d love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I'm glad that you plan to add more content going forward. I really enjoy your perspective.


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