“You have multiple sclerosis (MS).” My doctor sat motionless, as if to brace himself for my reaction.
“How bad is it?”
He answered simply, “You’re acute.”
In the midst of the dismal diagnosis, I enjoyed some private humor.
Oh, he thinks I’m cute! How nice
Acute meant severe. The MRI of my brain revealed lesions too many to count. The countless scars in my head led the neurologist to report, “Mrs. Chandler certainly has MS.” Not possibly. “Certainly.” It wasn’t good.
Surely, this was a time to cry. But humor is a welcome companion in my life. So I chose to let him guide my thoughts temporarily. It was a brief escape from the serious tone of the conversation.
In the weeks that followed, I endured symptoms associated with my exacerbation. I felt listless. Drained of life. I had no feeling in my hands. A tingly sensation invaded my hands and feet. IV steroids were prescribed.
My son, a pre-medical student, administered some of my intravenous drugs. To make the liquid drain faster into my vein, Rob hung the bag from the ceiling fan. Suddenly, our eyes playfully met. We both were thinking, “What if we turned on the fan?” Yikes!
My exacerbation ended. I had a sense of urgency to clean up clutter. The course of my disease was unknown. The only things for sure: My disease would progress and there was no cure.
I enlisted my son’s help to organize things in our shed. He was willing, but inquisitive.
“Why are we doing this?”
“Because I have MS. . . That sounded like I said, ‘Because I have a mess.'”
We both got a good laugh about it. Both were true facts!
My regular interferon shots left bruises and blotches. Close friends who shared my sense of humor teased about connecting the dots!
Do I laugh all the time? Certainly not! Often, I’ve cried. Having to stop teaching second grade caused grief. Such loss. The untimely, unwanted end of a cherished job and ministry.
But, God enables me to be joyful. “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” (Proverbs 15:13).
Prayer: Praise be to you, dear Father! For You have put a song in my heart. You are the joy of my life in spite of my pain and illness. In Your precious Son’s name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
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Have you been able to keep your sense of humor amid affliction?