Hands In The Air

By Doug Ankerman

I compare my MS experience to that of riding a roller coaster.

Buckled in I began a long, slow climb up the hill having all sorts of weird numbness and tingling. A draggy foot. A few falls. Heck, I didn’t know what was happening.

As the coaster reached the very crest, I was given a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis just before the speeding plunge down the other side. Hairpin turns, twists and loop de loops followed. Some riders screamed, putting their hands in the air – but not me. No way. I held on with a death grip. I was too terrified to let go. I mean, who knew where this out-of-control journey would take me?

Treatments followed. Medications, IV’s, steroids, MRI’s by the dozen.

A racing mind and body hushed by flat stretches of track before once again being thrown into a whipping 360.

Phew, only MS could make Space Mountain seem like a kiddie ride!

Over the years the hills have gotten smaller. Drops not quite as deep. Even the turns aren’t so tight.

It has taken me a long time to settle…to get used to having MS. But I have adjusted. Relaxed.  For after a scary 25-year long ride on this MS coaster, I am finally comfortable enough to let go and put my hands in the air.

Hands in the Air by Doug Ankerman

Doug writes about MS & other silly stuff on his humor blog at myoddsock.com.

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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