Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My Crystal Ball

How many times have you wished for a crystal ball? It's human nature. We long to know what the future holds.

But what if you already understood that your prospects were bleak? Would you want to know how bleak, or would that serve no useful purpose? Unfortunately, I'm not given a choice, because my crystal ball shows up once or twice a year, and when it does I am powerless to look away.

I don't get very ill, very often. But occasionally I come down with a fever that lasts twenty-four to forty-eight hours, and it knocks the crap out of me. That’s because when my body temperature rises, my already frayed nerves conduct electrical impulses even more poorly (talk to an electrician if you want to understand that), and my MS symptoms become aggravated. This is a temporary and reversible phenomenon. No damage is done.

I've learned that this short-term condition foreshadows what my everyday condition will be after another six months or year of disease progression. It’s my crystal ball. I'd rather not peer into it. The future is never rosy.

This past weekend, I dealt with a low-grade fever. I experienced how much more difficult routine tasks like playing cards, mouse clicking, eating, and drinking will be next year. I won’t lie; it was unsettling.

But a strange thing happened when my fever retreated yesterday, and the crystal ball disappeared. I stopped lamenting my uncertain future and regarded my current normal with renewed appreciation. Living in the moment.

I know most of you prefer the upbeat blog posts, but I think it’s important that I am honest with you. As a reward for your having read this solemn note, I'll give you an upbeat ending.

Maybe, one day, my crystal ball will be wrong. Maybe Biotin, Ocrelizumab, or something else will make a difference. I'm not counting on it, though.

Not upbeat enough for you? Okay, how about this ending?



  1. Hiya Mitch!

    I hear you.

    Thank you.

  2. You ended on a very honest note, and a very adorable note (surprising, coming from someone who uses "lovespups" as their nickname!) I've felt the same way about getting glimpses into what my MS future holds for me, every time I run into a rough patch of symptom flare-ups. My progression started off very slow, but keeps picking up steam, and what use to be very occasional symptoms are now a part of a 'new normal' that is constantly evolving in a negative way. Like you say, learning to live in the moment is so important. Much like aging, you can't keep wishing you were younger, because 5-10 years down the road, you'll be wishing you were at your current age, nor can you live in constant fear of what the future holds. The 'here and now' is what it's at -- and it's all the better if you're surrounded by those cute little guys you pictured!

    1. The ending of this post was written for you!

  3. Well said. Enjoying the moment is the way to go for sure; not always possible, but preferable.
    You can be honest all you want--we are right there with you. And you can show cute puppies all you want too!

  4. Puppies!!!!

    I have the same reaction when I experience a pseudo-exacerbation, but I'm still in denial and just think of it as "being sick" (as in, I'm sick right now, but I'll be better soon).

    1. I hardly noticed the being sick part, because the crystal ball part is so pronounced.

  5. I know what you're saying. Whenever I feel a little more fatigued than the usual fatigue, I can take my temp and it might only be 99 (but my norm is usually below the norm of 98.6).

    I always wonder if it's just ms working it's ugly progression magic. But when the temp is
    high there's total wipeout. Oh, the many joys of this sucky disease.


    1. right. I didn't take my temperature, but I don't think it was very high – just high enough.