As the clock strikes midnight and the date changes at the bottom of my computer screen, I'm reminded. 8/27. That was the date I heard the great news.
On the morning of 8/27/2003, I clearly recall sitting in my car in the parking lot of the scanning center, trying to get myself together. I was flicking the paper script back and forth with my fingers, staring at the writing. Shaking. And nauseous. It all came down to that day. Four years of avoiding the doctor's office until I could no longer ignore the fact that something was very wrong had culminated in prescribed MRIs of the brain, cervical spine, and thoracic spine. Flick, flick, flick...
Inside the building was an open MRI machine that closely resembled a ginormous version of my Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven from childhood. I remember thinking that, then recalling how Mom threw it away. Her reasoning? "Do you know how long it takes to bake a cake with a freakin' LIGHTBULB???" What I think really happened there was that I was trying to bake a creation, made a mess, Mom was in one of her phases where she was trying to quit smoking, and the Easy Bake was collateral damage. That's my assessment.
So once the scans were over, I was given copies for my doctor. I got back to my car and immediately dug them out of their enormous envelopes. I held my brain scan up to the sunlight and thought, "is this what brilliance looks like? Ha ha ha...oh come on, this is no time for joking. Whoa, the brain looks a lot like those things that used to fall out of the trees onto the road, those green ball-lookin' things that my cousin used to throw! Hey. What's that big black spot? And that one? And that one...eh, maybe they're supposed to be there. Put these away. You don't even know what you're looking at. Aside from brilliance, perhaps. Oh behave." No seriously, these are the ridiculous conversations I have with myself. I self-entertain. That's okay, right? Don't answer that, really.
Well, of course those black spots weren't supposed to be there, but boy did they help fill in the blanks. While it was devastating to some degree to hear that ms was the verdict, there was also a sense of great relief. Relief in finally knowing. Because I have a way of creating all sorts of scenarios that are simply horrible. Surely if I was walking into walls, falling, and forgetting passwords I had for years, I was dying. Or I had a tumor, something like that. So hearing those two little initials, which hit me as two HUGE initials at that moment, was awful-yet-not.
I think of ms as something I'm having to learn to live with. Like a bad roommate or something. One that doesn't let you sleep, makes you pee a lot.........purposely unplugs your refrigerator so your food goes bad, throws her dirty clothes on your bed, smokes in the room all day when you're allergic to it, until you snap and throw her belongings out of the 2nd floor window, get thrown out of the...wait. I've gone off topic. Only consider the non-sleep and the peeing. Don't pay attention to the rest...
So Happy 7th Anniversary to you, ms! Love ya like a heart attack!
And a special thank you to my family and friends for supporting me in this journey. God really does give us all we need, and the way He cares for me is often through each of you. I am truly, greatly, and abundantly blessed.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life...(from Psalm 23)