I've talked before about making up t-shirts that say things like:
"I Have MS, Be Nice To Me"
"Today I Am Weak, Be Nice To Me"
"Today I Am In Pain, Be Nice To Me"
"Today I Don't See Well, Be Nice To Me"
"Today I Am Angry, Stay Back 500ft"
I'm considering adding to that...
"I'm Not Drunk, I Have MS"
The thought came to me on Friday night, when I had been treated to late night "breakfast" by a dear friend. Previous to breakfast, I had a very stressful incident that woke ms from slumber and it decided to weaken my legs for good measure. So in I walked, somewhat shaky legged. No one noticed a thing, because it was about 10pm. But hours later, at approximately 2am, I had a hard time standing from the booth and walked very gingerly to the cash register. Everyone in the diner, consisting of truckers and drunks, stared...and I know what they were thinking. FLAGGED!
I made my way to my car and noticed an officer sitting in the parking lot. As I started down the road, he pulled out behind me. Great. All I could think was that he saw me walking crookedly out of the diner and slowly ease into the driver's seat. He followed at the traditional "let's see what this nut's gonna do" distance.
I was already going through it in my head. Handing over my license and registration...wishing I had that MS Membership card I've poked fun at...and explaining, "Officer, I know how my diner exit must've looked? But I haven't had anything to drink. Truth is, I have ms." Followed by, "so rather than falling backwards while closing my eyes and holding my arms out, rather than face planting while walking heel to toe, and rather than sticking my finger in my eye while trying to touch my nose...could I save you the trouble of all that paperwork by just giving a breathalyzer?" I followed those thoughts with a quick prayer that went something like, "Lord, I've really been through it today. Could you spare me the hassle?" A few miles down the road, after I successfully stopped and restarted at 2 red lights and entered the highway without swerving, he turned off. Whew...
As I made my way home, I wondered how many times people have thought I was drunk when I wasn't. I do stagger around at times. I've got beautiful bruises on my right arm from banging into things. I've walked directly into a wall before. My car has a flattened dent in the side. I've had to replace 3 of the 4 wheels over the past 6 years due to whacking curbs with such force that I've bent them. I've held my keys in my hand and dropped them for no reason. I misplace my words in a sentence sometimes. And the pseudobulbar affect? Who wouldn't think to themselves, "drink much?"
Maybe I really should get that membership card from the NMSS...