Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Annual Report 2015

It’s that time again, when I take a moment to assess what I’ve gained and lost in the past year, and what changes may await me in the coming one. As you know, I try to strike a balance. I don’t sugarcoat my condition, but neither do I focus only on the negative. And I reserve the right to inject humor no matter how serious the topic.

My MS journey should not be considered typical. With MS, there is no typical. Everyone’s experience is unique. But, because you read this blog, you’re intimately familiar with at least one person’s narrative.

So, how did 2015 treat me? Could’ve been better. Could’ve been worse.

2015 Negatives:

Because of growing weakness in my hands, I continue to have more difficulty getting food and drink into my mouth – feeding myself. This begs the question, why are our mouths so high up in our bodies? If mouths were where they should be, just above the navel, I would have no trouble consuming food and drink. Furthermore, I’m sure a one-inch-long esophagus would be much easier to manage than the monstrosity of any esophagus we are burdened with. This argument pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of intelligent design.

2015 Positives:
  • Physical therapy continued to help me maintain my strength and flexibility in my arms and shoulders.
  • Occupational therapy continued to help with my activities of daily living.
  • I announced that I’m writing a book, and I’ve made great progress throughout the year. I will update you in more detail in a separate blog post.
  • Started on a new MS treatment in April of 2015 – Biotin. Will evaluate in April 2016, but it ain’t knocking my socks off.
  • I bought an Apple Watch and an Amazon Echo.
  • We went camping for the first time since 2008.
  • Hosted a wedding in the backyard.
  • Son, Zachary, graduated from college.
  • Another year above ground – still preferable to the alternative.
2016 Potential Losses (if my disease progression continues, this is what could happen next): 
  • More eating and personal grooming struggles.
  • More difficulty operating a mouse.
  • Eventually my bladder is going to stop working, and that will suck. This could be the year, but I’ve been saying that for a few years now.
  • Something I can’t even imagine (the devil I don’t know).
2016 Potential Gains: 
  • More writing success at the blog and elsewhere.
  • Find a publisher for my book or decide to self-publish.
  • My daughter, Amy’s, wedding in August.
  • A few positives I can’t even imagine.
I conduct this thorough review only once each year for a couple of reasons. First, it takes that long for me to determine if certain changes are the result of permanent disease progression or are merely the normal ups and downs from aging, seasonal affective disorder, or my body’s sympathetic response to the menstrual cycles of the various women in my life.

Just as importantly, I only do this once a year because it can be a harrowing process. As I contemplate my losses and gains, I tend to extrapolate – envision what my life will be like down the road if the disease progression continues at this rate. I am concerned for my future health and fearful for my future happiness. But, at to this moment, Enjoying the Ride is more than just a clever blog name. It’s the truth.


  1. I hear you buddy!

    Thanks for the update.

    1. Darren, I bet your annual report would read a lot like mine.

  2. OMG! Sympathetic response to the women in your life??? I nearly died coughing in my chicken noodle soup when I read that 😂 I should have learned long ago not to read your blogs while I am eating! Wishing you more positives in 2016 --- I have a feeling we will be in contact in a few weeks ... Surely the Patriots and Broncos will play each other ( they kind of deserve to play against each other since neither team has been too exciting these last few weeks)
    Take care Mitch!

  3. Sharon, I would hate to learn that I was responsible for your choking to death, so please do be careful! Regarding our football teams, the Broncos are hoping that the Peyton Manning of old can have one more run in him. The patriots are hoping that players returning from the disabled list will push them over the top. But yes, both teams are prime for being upset in the division round. Still, I hope we're trash talking before an AFC championship game.