10. Accessibility problems in general, bathrooms in particular.
9. MS costs too damn much money. Most years I spend enough out of pocket money on medical expenses to exceed the 7.5% of AGI required to claim medical expenses as a tax deduction, even after insurance payments are taken into account.
8. Because this is a progressive disease, sometimes I don’t know what it is I can’t do until all of a sudden I can’t do it anymore. I spend a lot of times on the sidelines watching people take part in fun activities.
7. I miss all the good things that come with working, including income; sense of accomplishment; sense of being engaged in worthy endeavors; spending time with customers, vendors, and coworkers who are some of the nicest people I know.
6. It’s hard to stay healthy and maintain good body weight when I’m so inactive.
5. I miss outdoor activities like snowmobiling, ATV riding, camping, and actually walking in the woods when I hunt (I still hunt from my wheelchair). No thanks, not interested in handicapped skiing.
4. I am completely reliant on technology. If a disaster struck (nuclear war, asteroid smashes into the Earth, Yankees win another World Series) how would I survive?
3. I hesitate to talk about things in the distant future, because the future is so fuzzy for me. When others talk about their long term hopes and dreams, I don’t participate in the discussion.
2. So many people- my wife, my kids, many others- need to go out of their way to help me. I know they don’t mind, but I’m bothered that I must ask them to.
And the number 1 reason I hate my brand of MS is…
1. No known cause, no disease modifying treatment, no cure.
The Top 10 Silver Linings of Having MS
Let me be perfectly clear about this- MS sucks! But my life has changed so much due to MS, and some of that change has been for the better. It's been a one step forward, ten steps back process. Here are some of the steps forward:
10. I have time to keep up this blog.
9. I’ve met so many wonderful people I would have never otherwise met: people with MS, medical professionals, people who just care.
8. Lifetime, complementary hunting license and state-wide doe permit.
7. I can now justify the “3 movies at a time” option at Netflix.
6. Wheelchair accessible tickets for Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics are so much easier to get than normal tickets.
4. I’ve become a better person in several ways. I’ve had to adopt Zen perspectives like “living for the moment” and “mindfulness” that I should have adopted anyway, but probably wouldn’t have if not for MS. I keep things in perspective better now. I don’t sweat the small stuff as much.
3. I get preferential treatment wherever there are long lines: amusement parks, museums, boarding airplanes, etc.
2. I’m out of the corporate rat race. I run a lot of “if I had it to do over again” career scenarios in my head. If I had a do-over, I doubt I would choose the corporate life again. I missed out on my calling, whatever that was.
And the number 1 silver lining of having MS is…
1. Handicapped parking. Enough said?
For those of you with MS, what are your top reasons to hate MS, and what are your silver linings?