I recently watched a show on the Food Network Channel starring Ann Burrel and have decided that if my life hadn't included MS I would have had her 'food life;' hard working, practical kitchen, earthy ingredients, food that looks so good you can smell it through the screen. I imagine a house full of friends, fresh sea food on the grill, a luscious pear torte cooling in the pantry: the pleasant thrumming of a life busily fully lived. Not perfect by any means, but as complex and alluring as Paella with Dungeness and as soul satisfying as Rogue River blue cheese.
My fella and I started together 25 years ago this month. Life was simpler then. A box of Mac n Cheese cost .39¢ and when we were flush we would throw in hamburger, onion, and, sour cream. It seemed like our lives flitted from the next term paper, pay check, or invitation to dinner with little thought beyond the immediacy of that day or moment. Life was full of bits and pieces that blended together into the rich broth that has seasoned the rest of our life together.
Our son graduates from Tulane University in May of '12. Hard to believe that this milestone has come on soft feet into the forefront of our lives. I find myself dreaming of visiting New Orleans and enjoying his life there for a few days next spring. To sit at the neighborhood cafe he described eating sweet potato fries with pecan topping. To see him graduate from college didn't seem possible a few years ago, but now, I can almost reach out and taste it.
The past few days I've wrestled with an altogether different beast. One of the cards I've drawn in the MS deck is Occipital Neuralgia. If you asked me how I was feeling today, I would use the lay person's term of headache, when what I mean is: on the right side of my head, from the taut tendons in my neck, slowly fanning up and over the scalp before narrowing down to my eye, lives a creature that seems to writhe and slither just beneath my skin. Randomly it bites down on my eye with an ice pick of pain. The sensation is close to the drop at the bottom of the ferris wheel, pit of the stomach, nausea while also being cloying, burning, and electrical. At times, it burns so deeply I think smoke should seep from my hair follicles. Light and sound intensify every sensation. For the first time, motion makes it worse as well.
My big plans? My 'to do' list for the decade, year, hour, or minute? Sitting as quietly and motionlessly as possible. I am downright witchy. Talking on the phone hurts, maybe if I stare at it it won't wring. Maybe if I don't breathe, my headache will go away. Maybe.