A large portion – if only a slight majority – of my body decided it didn’t want to be a part of a tenuous union over the past decade and a half, so I understand Brexit better than many of my American countrymen.
First, let me state that I understand this topic to be quite serious, with yet unknown implications for the MS community in the UK. Still, I live by the mantra: ‘if I didn’t laugh, I’d cry and I’ve cried over MS enough…’ So today I go for the laughter.
Just as the news of the election results shocked the world, the words ‘you have multiple sclerosis’ change everything in an instant. We don’t know exactly what it’s all going to mean in the long run but every part of our world seems to be touched by the news.
The best laid plans
Financial futures seem murky at best, employment becomes questionable. Travel, study, children’s futures, retirement... everything for which we had a solid plan are thrown in the air when our bodies turn on themselves. Will the banking industry stay? Will my bladder hold until the next loo? It’s all a matter of perspective.
We with MS know what it’s like when the body votes against the brain – I’ll leave interpretation of that line to you.
I know how EU feel
I can sympathise a bit (but only a bit) with those who 'have had enough of experts‘. If I had a US Dollar for every hour I’ve spent undergoing diagnostic tests, in treatment facilities and reading expert medical opinions of my condition, I’d be able to buy a lot more Sterling than I could have a few weeks ago...
I understand the anxiety of waking to find the next page of Brexit in the day’s papers. Like many of my MS brothers and sisters, my mornings are much different than the nights before. Many things we wouldn’t have even thought about can lay before us with headlines of numbness, blindness, pain… and the list goes on.
People with MS understand frustrations with the status quo. Looking for a radical solution to growing and uncontrollable problems can seem attractive. The problem being that these things usually cost more than expected (and more than they are often worth), have little or none of the desired outcomes and have us right back in the same place at the end of the day – if not worse for the experience.
The British people are going to have a rough go of it for the next coming while. If any of them – elected officials in particular – are having a hard time getting their arms around living with uncooperative extremities, unforeseen consequences, unexpected knock-on effects, unwanted side-effects and murky futures, might I suggest that they sit down for a cuppa and a good ol’ chinwag with someone living with MS.
We’ll get them sorted in no time and they’ll learn what we all know too well - you do what you do until you can’t do it any longer, then you do something else. The key to success is finding the something else. You can quote me on that… perhaps on the side of a bus.
With tongue firmly in knowing cheek I am, as always, wishing you and your family the best of health.
Trevis Trevis' book, Chef Interrupted, will be published in the UK next spring.