Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Ain’t Right in the Head

1/365 [dazed & confused]
(Photo credit: PhotoJonny)
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. Something happens - nobody knows exactly what - which causes the axons (nerves) to be attacked by the immune system or in some other way degenerate over time. This can’t be good for my CNS. And since the CNS is kinda important to the rest of my body, it can’t be good for me.

Does the fact that some of these lesions are in my brain, not only in my spine, mean that I have a mental disorder? Well, MS is not typically recognized as such, but why not? It manifests itself as a combination of physical and mental/emotional symptoms, but it’s only the physical ones that are commonly discussed.

I think I’d like to be labeled as having a mental disorder. In Maine, we often describe people with mental disorders by saying, “He ain’t right in the head.” Such individuals are handled with kid gloves, and are granted significant leeway to commit all manner of social faux pas, without consequences.

If we can agree that I ain’t right in the head, then I should be allowed to do the following (hint, I already do):
  • Say precisely what I feel, no matter the social norms that I may violate or the feelings that I may hurt.
  • Dress myself in any manner which I deem comfortable, even if that means sweatpants and slippers at a nice restaurant.
  • Occasionally forsake personal care such as shaving, washing, combing, or getting the gunk out of the corner of my eye.
  • Tell the same stories over, and over, and over again (you should never point this out to me, and you must react as if this is the first time you’ve heard the story). This also applies to blog posts.
  • Conveniently forget commitments that I’ve made.
  • Categorically deny having ever made certain incorrect statements.
  • Inexplicably forget your name, even if we go way back.
  • Make you wait while I interact with my artificial memory (smart phone, iPad, and laptop) to supplement my damaged biological memory.
  • Start speaking about a complex and important issue with apparent intelligence and gusto, only to lose my train of thought and my enthusiasm mid-speech.
Don’t be mislead by my occasional wittiness and clarity here at this blog. On average, it takes me 17.25 revisions before I dare publish something. I definitely ain’t right in the head.

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  1. Sorry, Mitch, but I'm not following you. Maybe it's me. Perhaps my MS has finally eaten through the nerves in my brain that allow me to understand this form of humor? Anyway, I will try to remember to leave my slippers at home next time we go to Cracker Barrel. ---Aint right in the head in Delaware

  2. I think we all, MS or not, have some mental issues! (I know I had some, even before the big diagnosis.) Love the humor with which you describe some of our, um, 'quirks.'

  3. anonymous,

    Don't worry. There is often no method to my madness when I write these posts. I just throw bunch of stuff up on the screen and see what sticks.


    I find humor a convenient distraction sometimes, and not in a bad way.

  4. 17.25 revisions? We are neck in neck. Boy, how I miss that part of my brain.

    I read blog posts before the relapse which disabled me and it ain't just the legs which are affected ;)

    Keep up the good writing, however you get there!

  5. Alys,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment!