Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Am NOT One of Jerry’s Kids

I guess it's what I get for trying to be good. The other day, a woman asked me why I was in a wheelchair and I told her I had MS. Then she said to me, "Oh, you're one of Jerry's kids. I watched that telethon every year." I just smiled weakly and said nothing. It makes me tired having to explain myself and my condition all the time. Sometimes, I can understand why people with disabilities would rather just stay home and out of sight. At least at home, people I interact with know me and my situation. We take for granted things that might seem strange to an outsider.

I can vaguely remember a time when I was fairly unfamiliar with the medical acronyms myself. In fact when I was told I had MS, I thought about the kids and the telethon briefly, but decided that wasn't the right disease. I remembered that MD stood for muscular dystrophy. For a while, I told people that I had multiple sclerosis so they wouldn't confuse it with the telethon disease. However, when I had to fill out what I had on a form I would put MS because I wasn't sure how to spell "sclerosis." It's really not a good idea to give difficult names like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis to diseases that include cognitive dysfunction. We're confused enough already without having to be in a medical spelling bee. Fortunately, there's spell check because there are some days when I spell a word and can't decide if it's correct or not. It makes you appreciate the complexities of the simple task like writing down a word.

Well, my train of thought has totally derailed but that's the way it goes for me in the late afternoon. Blame it on my disease, my age, the alignment of the planets, whatever, but remember you won't be seeing me with Jerry Lewis anytime soon.

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