No wait, this is stupid!

If you get strep throat (which I just did), you go to a doctor and get antibiotics. Right? This is how you fix strep throat.

If you break a bone, you get a cast.

If you trip and fall, you pick yourself back up and if you cut open your finger, you put a band-aid on it.

We seem to have very standard ways of dealing with a lot of problems that can happen to our bodies. If any of the above things happened to me and I didn’t follow the courses of action that I outlined, you would wonder why, right?

If I got strep throat but told you that I wasn’t really convinced that antibiotics would help it, you might be a little confused.

For some reason, people seem to think that this isn’t how it should be for some diseases. For instance, we’re supposed to be chill with the fact that Ann Romney, along with many other MS patients, has chosen to not take any medication.

What? Apparently the PC thing to do about that is to not say anything. We can’t comment because it’s her choice and we can’t laugh at her stupid horse therapy (“hippotherapy,” whatever) and we can’t make value judgments because apparently she has made her own logical choice.

I’m really tired of this.

She’s being irresponsible. She’s opening herself up to the possibility of being literally struck down with an MS relapse at any time which could put her in a wheelchair or cause full-body paralysis or cause her to become incontinent or cause blurred vision or nausea or vertigo or… the list is pretty damn long.

When I’m relapsing, my vertigo is too strong for me to walk. I can’t eat anything without throwing it back up. I can’t take a shower without collapsing on the bathroom floor. I go to the ER and they give me one drug after another until I’m too exhausted for them to do anything else and then they send me home. My (wonderful) friends and family drop everything to take care of me. When I’m relapsing, what I want is to just sleep through it. Since I’m a responsible person, I’m on a drug (Copaxone) which reduces my relapses by 30%. I have an illness/disease/condition/new-best-friend-for-life/whatever you want to call it, and I treat it. Because that is the logical thing to do.

Aside from all the other crap that Mitt Romney does (see my last post for some details), do we really want a president whose wife is a ticking time bomb? At any moment, she could relapse, and all his attention would have to be on her. As it should be, since they’re married. But all his attention wouldn’t be on her because he loves her or because she has MS, it would be because she’s irresponsible, and she’s put herself in a precarious position. I have no respect for that. And neither should you.

Vacation? Heyyo

I went on a brief vacation. Not to anywhere, per se, but from something.

Due to some mix-ups with prescriptions and shipping I got stuck without my meds for a couple days. I know I should be upset, even a little scared (because my meds are protecting me from The Relapses).

I’m just mainly happy. This is what I’ve been asking for since I started on Copaxone a year ago (pretty much exactly a year) because Copaxone sucks. I’ve just been wanting a couple days where I don’t have to worry about injecting, or about needles and sharps containers and do I have alcohol swabs? Is it safe to use Purell instead? Can I use a tissue instead of a cotton swab? A water bottle instead of an ice pack? Clearly I’ve gotten less scrupulous in my injecting.

There is literally nothing worse than the moment every night when I realize that I have to do my injection. There is nothing more annoying than the fact that it’s not already in my consciousness. Maybe if I woke up every day already knowing, already remembering, it wouldn’t be so awful. Or maybe it’s good that I don’t spend all day dreading it.

When I get my MS tattoo (which won’t be until at least October), it’s going to be a set of commemorative arrows. The arrows are going to be

a) going from left leg to right

b) from right leg to left arm

c) from left arm to right arm

d) from right arm to right hip

e) from right hip to left hip

f) and then back to left leg

My mom pointed out that maybe someday I won’t be on Copaxone and the arrows won’t be “useful” anymore. They’re not there to be useful. I am not an instruction manual for my medications. What I mean by it is that for me, it was really hard to start injecting. I spent the first four days crying for half an hour before I even injected (and then, being inexperienced and badly taught, crying for a while about hitting muscle) (if you’re just starting out on Copaxone, you really don’t want to hit the muscle).

They are there to say I am Brave. I spent the first 18 years of my life passing out and having seizures (convulsions? terminology? it means the same thing, @parents) every time I needed a medical procedure involving needles. Now I inject myself every day. I am Brave.

It’s been a nice vacation. The white box on my porch made me half relieved, half terrified all over again.

Naranja y Nada

Under the dorm complex where I lived freshmen year, there are tunnels (that supposedly used to connect the entire campus instead of just the three surrounding dorms) which now are covered in graffiti. Well, actually, I don’t know if they were covered with graffiti back when they were in use too. The laundry room is down there, which I think is the only reason we were allowed to go down. Sometimes another door to another tunnel had been left unlocked and we could go exploring.

We found one room last year that just had trays and trays of rocks, labeled, stacked sloppily. We found a room full of old books. We found, on the wall, a long breakup speech written in sharpie. I doubt the person who it was intended for ever found it. And if they had, how would they have known it was for them?   It wasn’t very specific

In case you can’t tell, I’m a little bit sad today. I took a red-eye back home from Seattle last night/this morning and I wish I hadn’t. I guess I don’t talk about it much, but being in a long-distance relationship is hard. We’ve been making it work (some times more so than others) for 2.5 years now though, so I guess we’re pretty pro?

Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time. The picture above is from the aforementioned tunnels, and it made me think about what I was saying before about staying up late, all night even, for no reason.

Hours have started going faster for me, I think. Hours spent in boring lectures or MRI machines or cramped family roadtrips (dear parents, get a minivan…) seem to pass much faster than they did before. Maybe it’s because as we grow older, an hour becomes a smaller and smaller fraction of our lives? That’s maybe a bit too poetic.

My doctor says that there is a 75% chance that I will still be walking in 10 years. I think he’s kind of ignoring (on purpose) that 25% chance of me being in a wheelchair at age 28. At least I’ll be done with medical school by then, but it still seems pretty young. And I don’t get how a 30% medication (what I wrote about in my last post) is supposed to sound like a giant percentage, but 25% is supposed to sound small.

When I’m just alone at night I have to think about things like this instead of getting to sit up late talking with my boyfriend about anything and everything. I remember when we first met, we walked around Barcelona for several hours just talking and drinking an incredibly disgusting kind of orange juice. Those hours felt pretty short too. Hey love, this one’s for you. Miss you.

A Toast!

to new medication

to large guitars, formerly known as cellos

to cell phone pitch pipes

to fake thanksgiving dinners

to ex-roommates

to good sex ed teachers

to green tea

to toast, buttered please