Friday, April 29, 2016

76 Things #17: Bruised but not beaten

A hundred years ago, doctors would sometimes misdiagnose multiple sclerosis as chronic alcoholism.

Sounds a bit bizarre but in defense of early 20th century medical professionals, if you were to consider some of the common symptoms associated with MS – loss of balance, dizziness, impaired vision and slurred speech – they have a “had a few too many drinks” ring to them.

Loss of balance is a common occurrence in my day.  I’m very careful going up and down the stairs and have learned to try and avoid other situations that might lead to a fall.

But even with this extra caution, bumping and knocking into things is still a regular part of my life.  What results are random bruises on my arms, shoulders leg and feet. 

The pessimist might consider these markings a painful reminder of living with a chronic disease but I’d rather view them as moments captured in time – ahhh, the time I knocked into the dresser…oh, that was when I stumbled into the kitchen table – temporary tattoos that create a work of art illustrating that living with MS isn’t a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.

It can be embarrassing...even during the middle of the summer I'll be dressed in a long-sleeved shirt to cover up...as my MS-induced artwork might linger on my body for weeks, maybe even months. 

This unintentional body art is the #17 thing you might now know about (my) MS. 


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