So, How ‘Bout Some Steroids?

Not that I haven’t heard this question before, but I am left dumbfounded. Is every disease like this? Since Day #1, the doctors have said “these are the drugs used to treat MS. Read about them, and tell me which one you want to take.” Does anyone else find this as comical as I do? Really, someone must be out there. And so, how it went today. Same deal, only with a new doctor. He said “Only you know if your new symptoms are concerning enough to either a.) switch to Tysabri; b.) start 3 to 5 days of IV steroids, or c.) start a 10 day titration of oral steroids. So, do you have any questions about your options today?” Well, um my left front head down to just below my chin is numb. Oh, sure, I’ll close my eyes. Right. So you’re going to prick several locations on my head, face and feet and ask me if it feels like the sharp of a safety pin or the rounded end of the safety pin. I like that you took a pin out of the official supply drawer tray marked with a label maker tag of ‘SAFETY PINS’ in bold black on white tape. Much more official than the doc at Hopkins reaching in to the crevices of his lab coat and pulling out belly button fuzz and tossing it on the floor after a roll between his fingers–and then, reach back in to the pocket not even trying to suppress the sound of his hand rattling through change before he finally pulled the official safety pin pricker out of his pocket. So he starts pricking away and I with my eyes closed, trying to keep up with his fast rotation around my head and face start telling him whether or not it’s dull or sharp. Hmm, “I detect significant numbness in the left region when compared to the right.” I say, Oh??? “Yes, I find it interesting because the active lesion which I saw on the films, was on your right pons–that’s pretty much the brain stem–and this numbness is perfectly consistent with that type of right side lesion.” This confirms that I like this doctor. He confirmed that he listened carefully to what I said, and he must be smart because he remembered what he saw on the MRI without even a twitch or temptation to look at his notes. And, of course, the clean safety pin–which, much unlike the Hopkins doctor who dropped his back into the treasure trove of white pocketness–he immediately tossed it in the trash can after his very scientific evaluation of me. Fine. My decision is made: “Pat, I’d like IV Steroids for 500, please.” Next stop: Infusion room. In the past, I’ve always sat in the community infusion room, but today I was confined in the solo sitters’ room. In a nice comfy padded chaise with crisp, white sheets and a covered pillow too. Top right hand today. Ooh, and I was given the remote to freely channel surf during my treatment. I have arrived. Where else would I be able to watch a 28- year-old episode of Cheers? It was the one where Sam calls a meeting in his office to discuss hiring a new bartender and nobody shows up until he hands each of his employees cash payment upon attending the meeting. I could not sit through the moronic commercials in between segments, clicked the remote like a maniac and wound up losing track of time, so by the time I clicked back, Sam had already met, interviewed and hired Woody Harrelson. Bummer. I used to L-O-V-E Cheers. Chris and I loved watching it together BK. Before Kids. Did I mention that I took a selfie during my hook up and that I’m getting old. Actually, not getting. I look old. My eyelids practically sag over my eyeliner barely revealing its color, and my neck has an actual curvy wave of sagging wrinkles on it. Hmm, for tomorrow’s infusion, maybe I’ll dry my hair with the round brush, some mousse and a shot of hairspray and retake this shot. If I still look old, then I guess I am old. And, if there is a scarf around my neck, I’ll know why.

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