I still grieve.
Or maybe I’m finally grieving.
I don’t know.
I thought I didn’t remember the exact day my life changed forever.
AND THIS MORNING IT HIT ME.
Sounds so hokey to say that. But those are the judges in my head saying that it’s hokey. I don’t think it’s hokey and so what if it is.
It was November 22, 2002. I was 25. I was moving full speed ahead. Sure I had gone through 6 months of extensive testing to try to figure out why the bottom of my feet were constantly tingling. Sure I had gone through many phases of FEAR about what could be wrong with me. Yet, EVERY test I had taken till then had come back inconclusive or all looked good.
So why would my first MRI be any different?
BUT IT WAS. IT WAS DIFFERENT.
I entered that hospital to get the MRI on the evening of November 22, 2002 and left a piece of me behind back there. I never did go back to that same area where I had it done to retrieve that part of myself. Not only was the MRI more terrifying than I expected but the LOOK that Technician gave me when I was FINALLY taken out of that God-awful tube made a part of me vanish in horror. In her eyes, all I could see was DEATH. It’s taken me all these years to find the right words to describe her look. That’s what it was.
I was 25. I wasn’t thinking about the END. I was thinking about the BEGINNING. This was it. I had just been a Production Assistant for a couple of short films, I was going to be an Associate Producer of another film, I was working 2 jobs to make some extra money, my full time job was in Television and I was gonna make it big no matter what it took. I had an awesome kitty and a wonderful boyfriend (who is now my awesome husband) and life was VERY UP. That was the reason I left my life in NH to go to LA right? I was gonna do this.
BRING IT ON.
Hmmm. I didn’t say BRING ON MS. Nope. That’s not what I meant.
That next morning after the MRI I was admitted into the hospital for 3 LONG DAYS of HELL. They thought maybe I had a brain tumor. No, maybe it was some kind of infection in my brain. No maybe perhaps, but probably not, but maybe, I had MS. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. My sister who was here visiting (poor thing–this was her visit. But the timing is not a mistake.)
After that it was a Thanksgiving family reunion that I don’t remember much of at all and RIGHT after that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Something REALLY was wrong with me.
4 Days after that I had my first FULL BLOWN EXACERBATION. No surprise.
All symptoms I could ever have ever, you name it, happened in my body.
AN ANXIETY ATTACK.
A HORRIBLE, MEAN, ABUSIVE NEUROLOGIST WHO SAID IT WAS ALL IN MY HEAD.
AND TOO MANY STEROIDS…
Still don’t know how I survived what I found out later was a major overdose of steroids.
AND MY LIFE AS I KNEW IT WAS OVER.
And yes, my life is getting better. BUT it is not how I pictured it would be. In a lot of ways my life is better than I ever thought it would be. I’m forced to live more in the Present. And the Present can be a wonderful place.
And I still grieve…
I grieve over that life I thought I would have BEFORE that terror-filled MRI night. I grieve more now over it because I guess I’m ready to.
And that’s where I am today. I couldn’t figure out what exactly that dark cloud was that had been following me all week and was almost suffocating me this morning. Every year I seem to block out just what day it was that this all happened over a decade ago.
AND IT HIT TODAY.
Both can exist at the same time.
I never thought I could make it past that night but I have. One day at a time. That’s all I can do. Sometimes it’s one moment at a time. And that’s what I’ll take today. One moment at a time is enough.