Saturday, March 30, 2013

Back From the Land of the Dead

I truly never expected to celebrate the 10-year milestone of my 'deathiversary' with a precipitous slide down the rabbit hole. The debate of IF MS could kill was answered in swift, startlingly swift, clarity on February 12th. The previous week I was in the local small hospital for an IV steroid treatment and antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. Overcrowding, poor doctoring, and who knows what all led to way underdiagnosing; and just like that my husband finds me on the floor in a pool of feces. Nonresponsive. Almost gone. Kidneys shut down. Brain on Fire. Death. Right there in the room.
Ten years ago, when neurologists first told me that I had a more aggressive form of MS; that it was 'life shortening,' and I should plan for 10 to 15 years. The rest of the conversation blurred out as my brain 'did the life math.' My son was 11 at that no rehearsal dinner, no dandling grandchildren, no purple hat society. The home movie of the life I wouldn't have played in my mind. As I blurred back into the room and realized the neurologist had tossed this nitroglycerin news into the middle of the conversation and moved on. Over the interceding years I imagined a lingering, fainting couch sort of end to my life on this earth. Certainly not this lightening strike infection that simply scooped the life out of me in one fell swoop.
For 36 hours after my hubbie found me was a very sick girl and sometime on Valentine's Day I started to know the faces of a few people around me over the next 10 days I began to live again. Over the past weeks I have even started to want to. More MS losses to add to the list. My right leg has finally given in and now I have losses in all four limbs. Scariest of all are the cognitive losses. My short-term memory is peppered with buck shot and most of the time it feels like my brain is filled with a sticky syrup that keeps me from thinking completely. Now that I know the truth about MS and death, am I ready to meet the challenge and live life as fully and completely as I can in the time I have life?