I was feeling very smug the other day in work.
We’re currently on an outside project and the sun was blazing.
I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter as the day went on, so I disappeared at carefully-staggered intervals into the shade and called my mum for a random chat or scrolled through Twitter or simply watched the sheep stroll past (It’s Wales, we were up a mountain).
Anyway, as we were wrapping up, I remarked, ‘Oi, boss, see! I’m not as red as I usually am! Result, eh?’
He glanced my way, burst out laughing and told me to look in a mirror. I did. Oh. Bright red, round face. But! I wasn’t lying stunned on the grass, flapping my arms like a hot-weather snow angel, felled by Herr Uhthoff, Master of Heat Intolerance. I was being proactive and mature (for once), taking time out to cool down before I collapsed in a soggy heap.
This made me think. Have a I finally grown up with regards to MS? Or am I just fed up shaking my fist at it, daring it to strike me down? Perhaps I am, and MS has fully integrated itself into my life, like some kind of tapeworm, but without the added advantage of rapid weight loss.
I decided to clock just how much I now regard as normal:
- Tripping over the bath mat every single day. Also, doorstep, dustballs and the kitten.
- Having to hold a cup of coffee with two hands and will myself to keep hold of it.
- Dozing off at the good bit during telly programmes and dropping my bag of chocolate buttons.
- Mixing up my words and making people laugh, when sometimes, I’m actually telling them something quite sad.
- Forgetting simple words and using a lot of Italian gestures to make up the shortfall (quite a natty effect, I think).
- Fumbling with buttons and zips (my own, tsk).
I’m also applying my new-found maturity to my studies. Before, I could sit for hours thinking about different ways to say the same thing in essays. Well. I now have a handy list. For example, if I want to give an example, I could say:
- as an illustration
- to demonstrate
- for instance
Which means my essays are now full of lots of examples, but I need to find lots of examples to use the example phrases. Confused? Me too.
Anyway, it may have taken almost four years, but I think I’m now at the stage, largely through repetition, where what was once odd and disconcerting is now, well, normal life for me. I struggle to forget what life was like B4MS, not helped by my goldfish memory.
Did I tell you what happened in work the other day?