From the Archive: The MS Bear

I am going through the archive of posts I’ve made to this blog, saving them as text docs to my hard drive (time waster?), and I found this. I wrote in this April of 2005, while I was still working, driving, and able to take walks. But I thought a pretty good insight.

“I thought of a good way to describe what it’s like to live with multiple sclerosis. First of all, most of us live with one or more annoying and constant symptom. For me, it is “spasticity,” when two opposing muscle groups don’t get the same message from the brain, causing stumbling gait and stiffness. Some MS people have it far worse on a daily basis than me. But then, along with whatever the daily issues might be, there is a big black grizzly bear right behind you. You can feel his breath on your neck, so you are always aware that he is there, right on your heels. If you’re lucky, the bear will ignore you most of the time. Occasionally he might reach out and casually swipe at your foot, tripping you, or push you in the back, knocking you over. But you always know, because he is a huge grizzly bear, that at any moment he could rear back and smack you with a huge paw, and you have no way of knowing when it’ll come, or what it’ll do. Break an arm? Rip off a leg? Crush a few vertebrae? The bear might never touch you, even though he’ll always be there, but he might pounce on you and rip your spine out. You just never know. But you can feel his breath on the back of your neck every minute of every day. That’s what it’s like to live with MS.”


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