Tonight I have ‘cotton brain’. This highly technical term means my mind is wrapped in cotton and the thoughts are taking a long time to work their way out. Sometimes they just get lost. No I am not stoned or drunk but I do have Multiple Sclerosis and cotton brain is part of my reality.
I have other interesting symptoms. Sometimes my right leg drags. There are times when I cannot really feel my hands. Exhaustion is a constant companion. On two occasions I have gone blind. Balance comes and goes as well as speech and concentration. After thirty + years bowel and bladder control is iffy as well. Any day that I can more or less walk and talk is a good day. Now here comes what you are not expecting… I have a very interesting, challenging and enjoyable life. Truth be told I would not trade my life for the world.
You see after I was diagnosed all sorts of good things have happened in my life. They happened for many reasons but I believe primarily for two reasons. Number one is that I asked myself a very simple question; ‘why Not me?’ Truth be told I could think of nothing in my life that made me important enough to pass this on to someone else (if such a thing was possible) so I could continue with the important stuff. The second reason is that I chose to look for what I could do rather than what I couldn’t.
I quickly found that while my life was certainly changed it was most assuredly not over. Nor was it really lessened. It was simply different. In the same way as someone who is five foot tall and 98 pounds is never going to be a Sumo wrestler or an NBA star there were things my physical reality stopped me from doing. But there were just as many things I could do and I chose to concentrate on the doable rather than the undoable. That choice has made all the difference in my life.