WHOA!

GUYZ. Click this. I’m so (prematurely) excited. Injections suck.

Although, I’m a little freaked out by the thought of Copaxone side effects happening at a certain time every night and me not having any control over it…. other than that, this is awesome. 🙂

The Existential Blog Crisis

(since classes have started and I have no time, I thought I’d post this weird thing that I wrote at like 5AM at some point over break) (an update post is coming this weekend, I promise!)

I don’t spend a lot of time contemplating whether I exist. “Waiting for Godot” (please pronounce it God-oh when you say it in your head) is my all-time absolute head-over-heels favorite play, and the fundamental question (back to AP English) is “Am I?” but it’s not a question I ask. When my friend Wes was having an existential crisis, he asked me if I ever thought about that stuff. I guess if I have to think about that stuff, I’d say we do exist, because there’s not a good alternative. Nobody’s imagination is that layered (and cruel) that they dreamed up all the stuff that happens in the world (ya know, genocide, AIDS, famine, diabetes, Michele Bachmann…). And I think our lives would be more unpredictable if we were just dreamed up. I don’t know. Like I said, it’s not an avenue of thought that I go down.

However, I am having an existential blog crisis.

Does my blog exist? I’m not really sure. Do any websites exist? Do online personalities exist? Does writing exist if it’s only online and not printed? Do things have to be tangible? Too many questions!

And then with my blog specifically: is it a disease blog if I’m in denial about being diseased?

Yeah, okay, I said it. I’m in some serious denial. Wouldn’t you be? Nobody wants to hear at age eighteen that suddenly their life is on a completely different path that they can’t veer off of.

It makes me think about choosing majors (again). My dad pointed out that what I major in Does. Not. Actually. Matter. Whoa. I could major in whatever, and as long as I got decent grades (ha. hahaha) I could just enroll in the Bryn Mawr pre-med one-year magic program-y-thing and still go to medical school. I could major in dance and art if I felt like it (or, ya know, was good at either of those things). So no matter what I do with this particular decision, I can still ditch that path later.

I keep using walking metaphors (paths, avenues) which is probably because my favorite method of thinking is to just start walking somewhere. Especially in high school when everything, every fight every breakup every text message, seemed so significant and painful and urgent, it felt weird to take public transportation somewhere. I guess sitting on a train felt too stationary. So I walked.

Then, for me, to be stuck on one road seems inconceivable. Couldn’t I just turn right up at that corner and go be healthy? Couldn’t I stop, tie my shoe, window-shop, delay the progressiveness that is MS?

Is it really a disease blog if I refuse to feel diseased?

PS: if you are actually having an existential crisis please do not click here because it’ll just make you sadder about the world.

Teach Me How to Taggie

teach me teach me how to taggie

No, but really, I have a serious tag problem. Let me try to explain. My problem is that most of my tags are just inside jokes with myself. To be clear, these are jokes that only exist within my own head. Actually.

I think the purpose of tags (or how I explained them to my mom) (for use on her much more functional blog which you can find here) is to sort of make “topics” (tags) that people can click on in your “tag cloud” to see more posts that deal with that subject. Such as, for normal people, “family” or “recipes” or “new york city” or “roommates.” To contrast, here’s a rundown of some of my own tags that I (and only I) have found clever:

cankles

did i mention cankles?

go watch 10 movies in some air conditioning

hilarity ensued

i don’t want to share solutions with you

jk this isn’t about hipster music

omg its so dark

owls

you have to speak spanish in order to read this post

One thing that you might note about all these “tags” (they don’t really qualify as tags) is that I don’t use them more than once. For some of them (such as “hilarity ensued” or many more that I didn’t list) this is simply because I forget that they exist. That’s right. I forget that I created a tag that (for once) could function for many posts. WHAT. This is awful. I have dug myself into a deep pit of self-referential entirely useless tags. And now I’m writing a painfully meta blog post. Forget MS, this is like the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. #justkiddingthatwastheMS

And there’s a hashtag. Look at what my life has become. I need my mommy.

Literally Every Vote Counts

…in my election. AKA my poll. One reader voted for me to write more about College so I’m going to write about College. Speaking of which, vote in my poll and YOU TOO could see your chosen topic turned into a rant by me. Er… anyway…

College is kind of a weird limbo state. Let me explain.

You’re working, but you’re not really working.

You can drink as much as you want, and nobody will call you an alcoholic.

You can break laws, but not feel like a criminal.

You’re surrounded by all different kinds of people, but they’re all the same age as you.

You get to “live independently,” but can be arbitrarily ordered to live with someone you’ve never met.

You pay to go there, but the people you’re paying don’t have to do anything nice for you.

See what I mean? Or maybe not, maybe that’s just my weird view. Regardless, I love college (oh hey Asher Roth, you’re right, college is fantastic). College is a nice break from the real world where people indulge you and make you feel like you’re in the real world. I guess it’s a good transition for us late adolescents whose brains haven’t fully developed yet (although mine has already started decaying).

Anyway, I get the feeling that said pro-college-voter-person didn’t just want to hear about the theory of college junk that I’m suddenly spouting. Let’s talk about my college experience.

When I first got to Wes, I wanted to double major in Biology (to indulge my weird new science-geek hobby) and Government (my so-called “true” interest) and be pre-law and go to law school and feel all smart and argue with people so we could all show how smart we were and so on. And then be a public defender (just to show that I wasn’t completely shallow). Then, suddenly, I got MS. Curveballll. The whole Government thing seemed pointless suddenly, like why would I do that? It wouldn’t mean anything to me. Suddenly, I was pre-med.

Backtracking a little bit, all the way back to age 5: this is the year when I found out that the sight of blood made me pass out and have seizures. And not just sight, reading about a bloody thing in a book (like, say, the final scene in the second Harry Potter book) would leave me unconscious (and face-down in a plate of waffles. That’s what I get for reading at the table). This whole passing out at inopportune moments thing continued for the next 13 years. Which meant a lot of concussions, and even a chipped tooth (“you look like you got in a fight with the floor. And the floor won.”-my mother, circa 8th grade).

So, as you can imagine, when former teachers run into my mom at the grocery store and ask about me (I’m so popular) (jkjk) and hear that I’m pre-med, they’re pretty shocked. Hey, me too. I watched a frog heart continue to beat in a beaker of saline last year and stayed upright, mind over matter baby.

Anyway, back to the college thing. The problem I’m having now is that I’m still a little bit attached to Government. The Government department at Wes is so popular that it’s pretty impossible to get into courses, and yet somehow I am enrolled in two Gov courses next semester. Whaaaat. I want to take them so badly. They both sound fantastic. But, here’s the catch. To be a double major in Gov and Bio, you need a GPA that I just don’t have. And since pretty much everyone at Wes double majors (we don’t have minors), I’m feeling some serious pressure to ditch my Gov love and find another major to do. English looks like it’ll work, but to be an English major I’ll have to drop at least one of those precious Gov classes. What to do?? I’m very torn.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Should I just take 6.5 credits next semester and hope death will at least be painless?

Also, as my friend Elizabeth and my mom have both noted, I should really link you guys over to the Office of Admissions blog that I write for. clicky clicky. Coolest job ever.

ALSO to the voter who voted that I should write about “Pandas” (and who is not my 15 year old brother, who I suspected), here is a panda for you:

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I don’t actually have anything to say about the panda. But I keep promises. Hope you like your panda, anonymous panda lover.

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.

30%

Statistics. Now there’s a class I haven’t taken yet, and I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to. I wonder if Wesleyan offers some sort of class on the significance of statistics, though. Or if there is such a class somewhere. Kacie likes to say “73% of statistics are made up on the spot,” which is on too high a level for my eight year old brother to figure out.

Most MS drugs say that they will lessen the chance you will have a relapse by 30%.

Doctors seem very concerned about me and my medications. Will I keep taking them? Do I understand how important they are? Have I been taking them? Will I stay on them? Of course I will, of course. To me, this is not a question. If a doctor (well, a good doctor) prescribes me medication and there seems to be a good reason for me to take that medication, I will take it. Even if I don’t quite see the reasoning, I still take the meds. Apparently that’s not true for a lot of people, which is very alien to me. Why wouldn’t you take your meds?

Reasons they could give (that I can think of):

Well, my MS isn’t causing problems now. So why should I have to take meds now?

They’re expensive.

I don’t like needles, and the oral meds are too dangerous.

I’m not sure I have MS (aka denial).

30% isn’t enough.

It’s that last one that really bothers me. 30% isn’t enough? I understand that we all want 0 relapses, aka 100% less, but that’s not currently what’s being offered. But what does 30% really mean?

If weather.com tells me there’s a 30% chance of rain, I probably won’t wear my rain boots (they’re too heavy) or wear a raincoat (too dorky) but I might take my umbrella, because it’s easy.

If I told you that you could make 30% more money next year, or have 30% more sex, you’d pay attention.

If you could score 30% higher on the SAT or have a 30% higher GPA, you would care.

What makes 30% significant sometimes, but not other times?

 

Anyway, this post is in response to poll responses so far, which said that I should write more about MS (duh, should have been doing that already). This is more about me musing than about MS I guess, sigh. And to Cinda, who said I should write about a creative writing class, I happen to be taking creative writing next semester, so you’re in luck 🙂

Also, just a side note, my blog had 96 (!!!) views yesterday. Not sure how that happened, but to all 96 of you, hope you enjoyed it and let me know what I can do better 🙂 so cool!!!

Fear

Self-analysis is so weird. I was looking through my posts here, and I noticed that the ones I have saved as drafts are the ones where I’m being more serious. I think I kind of have a fear of being honest/serious/emotional/a real person online that I don’t have (as much) in real life. I guess because in real life you can’t edit yourself all the time, and if you did you’d be so stressed (more stressed than I am already) so it’s not really worth it. For me at least.

My mom recently mentioned that she thinks the word I use most in my texts to her is “stress.” I don’t really like that. I went through high school with all this drive and this “exuberance is beauty” mentality and I think now my mentality is more “stressed.” How are you? I’m stressed. Can’t talk right now, stressing about X.

Since this will be the first post of the new year (as long as the world doesn’t end), I thought I’d make it very honest.

And I’ve also noticed that something I don’t talk a lot about is disease. Ironic, right? That’s the whole point of this blog. I never blogged before because I thought it was kind of conceited of me to think that people might want to read about just my life. And when I got diagnosed I thought hey, now I have something that’s actually worth sharing. Maybe I can help someone else who’s going through the same thing. Maybe I can meet someone (still hasn’t happened yet) who’s going through the same thing.

But then the blog became a lot about my life and not a lot about being sick. I guess because I don’t really think of myself as sick? It’s hard to think of myself as being a sick person. A person with a disease. And yet when I’m planning a trip (like to see friends in New York and Boston this month), I have to consider when can I go? It’s easiest if I go on leg injection days because I can do those myself. And I have to bring my injection kit and my sharps container and all my medications (even the just-in-case ones). And I have to ask people if they’re squeamish and I have to find a place to do the injection where I won’t bother anyone.

And I can’t really ever be carefree. I think it’s already really indulgent and weird of every generation to see their college years as years where nothing is real (“you’re not an alcoholic until graduation” is a common saying) and you can do whatever you want, but that didn’t stop me from wanting that for myself.

Sometimes I just don’t want to sleep. Sometimes I just want to stay up late for no reason and watch the hours go by and read books or write or talk to whoever happens to be awake or wander around my house or stare at the ceiling and wish I had imaginary friends. And suddenly I have to be very conscious of that tendency in myself, and tell myself to go to sleep. Because losing sleep puts me more at risk for symptoms. But I don’t really see it as losing sleep, I see it as gaining hours just for me. Maybe by being sick, then, I’ve lost a little of myself?

The last time I wrote something I really liked, I ended it by saying that it was a story without a conclusion or a moral. It was just a story of real life, and not all real life stories have punch lines or final thoughts. Usually they’re just continuing on.