I don’t have Multiple Sclerosis but I know someone who does.
Abigail has been in my life in various forms for nearly 10 years. The first 6 years or so she had almost no affect on my life, but in the last 4 she has been somewhat of a bitch. She’s lazy, she’s obtrusive, she does little or nothing to contribute to our family and worst of all there is almost NOTHING I can do to rid her from our lives. She’s not alone either; she has gathered a group of like minded friends and they’re all interrupting my family’s life. It’s like having a troop of hormonal teenagers invading your home.
Abigail is a lesion.
Her and her friends have taken up residency on my wife’s brain.
My wife Marlo was diagnosed with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis in 2004. She moved over to the UK from New York to pursue a career in music and fashion with her then husband. We met after I auditioned for her live band. An audition which I nailed by the way 🙂 I won’t go in to too many details, and there ARE details, but we ended up getting together after her and her husband separated just over four years ago. After receiving her diagnosis Marlo decided the best, immediate course of action was to head to the pub and order a stiff drink, Gin and tonic I believe. There is something wholly British about this simple act. Diagnosed with life changing disease? World turned upside? not to worry, we’ll pop to the pub for a quick drink. Spit spot, spit spot tally hoe! But I shouldn’t be that surprised, although she grew up in New York she was raised by an Irish mother, an Italian father, Depeche mode and The Cure. She loves tea and half pints of Guinness…She’s probably more English than me.
MS affects around 2 million people and is twice as common in women than in men. There are a whole host of symptoms, but for Marlo she suffers from blurred vision, sometimes doubling, numbness in the left side of her body and pains in her face; which she once described as ‘like someone has stuck a knife into eye and then moved it down the inside of your face’. She also suffers from fatigue. MS is degenerative disease of which there is no cure…Yet! She has to have a monthly infusion of a disease modifying drug called tysabri which significantly reduces the progression of MS, but it’s not without its risks (please see link)
She’s an absolute fucking hero. She is the kind of woman who on discovering her house had burnt down she would calmly say ‘Ok, it’s fine. I’ll call the insurance company while you book us into a nice hotel. Oh it’ll be so cozy’ but she freaks out when I forget to take the bathroom rubbish out and lectures me about the importance of draining the baby’s bath water BEFORE I take the baby out. She get’s up four maybe five day’s a week and commutes into central London where she works as store manager for Donna Karan, where she puts in a solid 12hr day and is rarely home before 8.00pm. She has also written a book called Awkward Bitch, does talks for various hospitals/clinics/universities, writes and records music, is a mother of two, is in the process of writing her second book AND takes out the bathroom rubbish and drains the baby’s bath water. She never looks for sympathy and never asks for thanks. This is what I admire about her most.
There are times when I forget she has MS, and I’ll sometimes ask too much of her or I’ll snap at her because I’ve been watching the children all day and she comes in from work and has to take a nap, leaving me to make dinner. For that I’m sorry.
In short, she gets on with her life and is determined to fight this fucking bitch tooth and nail and not let it stop her leading the life she wants. She does it with breathtaking confidence, a gorgeous smile and those damn 4 inch heels. I truly do not know how she does it.
I’ve heard people say that life only asks of you what it thinks you can handle. I say that’s bullshit. I say life will chew you up and spit you out, and it it doesn’t give a shit. So you had better be on your guard.