December 26, 2008

Reunion at last.

I am sitting here looking out to the ocean; this is as I remember it. The breeze has remained the same. Everything else has changed. The Island now resembles a suburb of ‘Anywhere’, same everything.
Here we are, twenty some years later, vertical, self supporting, self sufficient and ‘virtually’ normal. How fortunate for us to find the good doctor. FDA you blew it, big time! One beneficial side effect of MS, you age slower (you also live less). Small consolation, but a consolation. We analyzed the state of our world, and consider ourselves very, very lucky indeed. We share memories and catch-up.

Question: ‘Doris, how do you do it?’

-back to the opening paragraph. I am sitting here trying to unlock the Doris Code. Well, I do not take myself that seriously, but at the same time, I have figured some things out. After age 60, most things become obvious, I am sure that is true off all of us. I laugh at myself all the time - and I am self-deprecating. I have a black sense of humor about my life, the good and the bad.

As for Doris’ Code, it is a satirical commentary on women’s magazines, fashions, beauty, diet, health tips – the whole nine yards.
Usually, that stuff is treated so terribly seriously, and it is all very repetitive – we all know what diet’s about, we all know what we are supposed to do. How do you get to benefit from your personal experience? That is what I am talking about.

At a certain age, you stop wondering what is in style and you figured out what you can get away with. Purple socks! Indeed. I have stopped caring what people might think. With age comes the liberty to be you.

Oh yes, MS and the weight issue. We became liberated in the ‘60’s, I discovered dance, hiking, and other ways to be physical. In my twenties, I settled down with a husband in California. I started cooking for fun and gained plenty of pounds! I started to run and it worked. (I later found out that the neighbors were betting on my times around the lake – just like a horse!) Then, post MS diagnosis and treatment, it was possible for me to stay active. It was move or perish. I stayed mobile and retained lots of energy. If you are not naturally athletic, you will find it more of a challenge to stay fit. To stave off total deterioration, walking is best. In addition, forget about age being a negative factor. If you are walking and breathing then there is hope for you. You do not have to be perky, sporty, or politically correct to be in shape; you can be bohemian, eccentric, artistic, intellectual, left wing, right wing, or even existentially alienated and still benefit from being fit.

Keeping partners post diagnosis is a painful and private subject. Let us keep it private. I can be demanding (so I have been told). Not to tolerant of laziness. I have been through some rough periods, black moods, and excesses (no details). However, I now can access my ideas faster and my vision is clearer. It is all in there. A lifetime of acquiring knowledge, whether I knew it or not. I select what I am taking in, so as not to be controlled by it. I like to produce a body of work that makes sense to me and that says something positive as well.

We have lived a whole life already, and we are still here. Breathing, moving, with an incredible resource within us. We are the children of the post-war generation. We became the ’60’s generation, a unique group. Baby boomers worldwide tried to change everything. I meet people in their twenties who say ‘You are so lucky you were young during the 1960’s’. The post war period was an incredible sterile shutdown, driven by a crazed economic striving – and a sanitized, smug view of life. We rebelled against all that in the most violent way. Living through all that and surviving is the story of my generation. Many young people now look at us for inspiration; we are back in the ‘50’s again. We just do not learn from history (are you paying attention Clive?).

That’s it, so far-


somewone with MS said...

thanks for this

another person with MS said...

thank you for sharing.this has helped putting things in perspective

coping with MS said...

thanks, this was the best christmaspresent

old friend said...

wow, i had no idea

old fan said...

oh, that's why

coping too said...

thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

most insightful read

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this post has helped me put my life post MS diagnosis in perspective. I hope, I will be coping as well as you seem to have.