My left arm is stuck in the 90s. It parties non-stop like a pill popping raver. It behaves like a 20 year old who has just danced for 12 hours straight with the aid of copious amounts of chemicals. My arm shamelessly drinks gallons of strong coffee to keep itself awake after this orgy of debauchery. It still hasn’t had enough…
I wouldn’t mind so much, if I wasn’t dragged along for the ride. I am the grumpy neighbour downstairs rapidly banging my ceiling with a broom handle asking my nerves to be quiet. I am the nightclub bouncer trying to kick my arm out at the end of a night. Once upon a time I might have envied my arm for its hectic, partying lifestyle, its luminous yellow lycra top with a huge smilie face, its whistles and its lollipops. Now all I want is for it to behave normally, to stop partying and behave like a boring suburban arm who spends his weekends grocery shopping, mowing the lawn and washing his car.
I would be happy if I could touch-type again, use key commands for my work, hold my fork in my left hand (table manners were drilled into me growing up, I’m failing miserably at my attempts with my own kids by the way) and hold a cup of coffee without the fear of spillages. I am so thankful for the anti-shake capability of my camera, even though nowadays it’s usually my phone with something to lean on and steady my rogue limb that capture my moments. Give me a handful of popcorn, and standby by with your mouths open, hilarity will ensue. A normally behaving left arm is one of the simple things MS has stripped away from me. There is no doubt it is not one of the worst symptoms, jeeze it’s a summer breeze compared to my balance issues! Which are playing havoc with my stability at the moment. Ireland is being gripped by some epic storms this winter. Bad news for me because I’m tall, I blow over easily.
I spend most of my life nowadays trying to hide my symptoms, from myself as much as everyone else. I brush off questions about my health and treatments with vague answers. Oh I’m fine, everything is grand – not to worry. Followed up by me changing the focus of the conversation immediately, only my closest friends wear me down, persist and badger me for answers. I’m glad they do, otherwise I’d never talk about how the disease affects me.
I need to reprimand my arm, if he was a teenager, I’d ground him. I’m tired of his tremor party, fed up of his lack of enthusiasm at simple things like picking something up. I’ve had enough of his endless all-night-long stamina and I think it’s time he returned the Ministry of Sound CDs he borrowed from me six years ago. It’s time he started responding to my reprimands & treatments, gave me a break from unsteadiness, and made himself useful by cutting my lawn and washing the car.