When I was diagnosed almost 30 years ago, the doctor told me he thought they would have a cure for multiple sclerosis in five years. I have heard that more than once over the years. I recently watched (sorry,I can't find the link) a broadcast of experts on repair of nervous system damage. The experts agreed that we may have ways to repair CNS damage in… say… five years. I have stopped believing projected timelines.
There an effort to create a website that would predict, based on the user's answers,the course of their MS. Will it bother them once and then never again? Will it come and go with aggravating inconvenience? Will it result in significant disability? Will it move so fast they ought to get their affairs in order now?
I've been asking my friends with MS and other illnesses: "would you want to know?"
Most of them say no.
Almost everything I feared MS would do to me it has done, though not as fast as I imagined it would. I would not want my 20-year-old self to know in advance.
The good news is that living into it has not been as awful as I thought it would be.
I was bothered, in the doldrums of February, by not having anything to which to look forward. We scheduled this vacation and that changed my outlook.
But what can I do next year?
If I were an enlightened creature, I could live totally in the present and not need an imagined future.
It seems to me I have about a year to develop two skills:
- living in the present
- anticipating the simple
I can practice those skills every day.
But first: as soon as I hit the "publish post" button, I'm heading south.