Recently, a multiple sclerosis website asked me and some other MS bloggers, about the “one thing” we can’t live without as world-class Trippers. Most said things like relationships, family, or –barf me to death – hope. Someone even said nature. Nature. Where spiders live and winter comes from. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not slamming these bloggers. No. These bloggers are better than me. These are obviously wholesome, decent people who have their priorities straight and their shit together. I, on the other hand, went with something from a store, because I’m shallow and materialistic and anyway, I can’t tell you to love your kids, but I can tell you what’s on sale at JCrew.
As blogger after blessed blogger blah, blah, blah’d their devotion to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I was beginning to think I’d misunderstood the assignment. I feel like the website thought so too, because they put my contribution dead last. Probably in the hopes that people would have stopped reading by then. Thankfully, one kindred spirit in the comments section said ‘wine’ and I felt validated.
But Mitch Sturgeon of Enjoying the Ride said something along the lines of never labeling anything you can’t live without because, as he had learned, MS is a thieving dick that will snatch away almost anything you love.
Mitch listed his gratitude for his voice, which he uses to tell his wife he loves her (of course), after having lost all the function in his legs and much of the use of his arms and hands.
He uses his voice to write his book and blog and to operate everything from lights and fans to the tv. Because we live in the future. I’m getting side-tracked here, but I was humbled into my own gratitude for that which remains, and for a moment my cold, black heart was warmed; the cynic in me, subdued.
When that strange feeling wore off, I started thinking about what valuable insights I could provide. Clearly, this crowd knows all about the importance of networks, of support systems, of dogs. Of all the things money can’t buy. Okay, technically money can buy a dog. And money definitely buys booze. But what else comes from a store and can make MS suck a little less?
That’s right. While the rest of the MS bloggers were talking about how much they love, and can’t live without, their wives, I pledged my allegiance to a tiny, plastic tube that helps me pee. And I stand by it. I love this product so much, I almost don’t want to tell you about it, because sometimes they’re back-ordered and that is the literal worst. This insanely expensive, thank-God-my-insurance-covers-it, desert-island-item number one, is the size of a mini-mascara. The kind you get for free when you buy too much makeup. Also on my list – too much makeup.
While we’re talking toilets, let’s just get the scatological out of the way. It’s hard to talk about bladder problems, and even harder to talk about bowels, but if you’ve got MS, odds are yours is an asshole. I finally found a product that helps me keep things under control. The secret ingredient is magnesium hydroxide. And like, unicorn tears. Remember, everyone’s different, so talk to your doc.
This is the last poo-related promo. I promise. Align is a high quality, life altering probiotic. Please don’t ever go out of business, makers of Align.
The only appliance I use every damn day. Breakfast is always a nutritious, fibre-y smoothie because, if I miss it, I pay. I guess I wasn’t done talking about poo after all.
A shoulder-strap bag.
So my hands are free to hold my drink and/or break my fall when I trip on the curb. I got a beautiful one for my birthday from my Brooklyn Bestie, who moved to Manhattan and now I don’t know what to call him, but that’s another story.
Shout out to blogger Jennifer Digmann who pledged her love to Grape Ape, her badass wheelchair. I baptized my own mobility aid Optimus Prime because, like a real life transformer he converts from a cool blue rollator to a transport chair. And he can destroy Decepticons.
Spring is here but that doesn’t mean I’m not still wrapped in a blanket, typing away through fingerless gloves. My brilliant, battery-powered, heated socks are technically for skiers so you know they’re cool.
To keep my mind from wandering into Worst Case Scenario day-mares, I try to always have things to look forward to in my calendar. Technically, this is more elusive than the promise I made that you can buy everything on this list. So I’ll qualify it by pointing out that what you can buy is an appropriate outfit for said plans. My xmas party is 8 months away and it’s already in the calendar.