My good friend Mitch Sturgeon, founder of the MS themed blog Enjoying the Ride, has written a compelling memoir, also called Enjoying the Ride. Mitch's book recounts his life both before and after MS forever altered its course, and the story he weaves makes for a fascinating read. In his straightforward and episodic style, Mitch tells tales both entertaining and poignant, including those of his special relationship with his mom, a quadriplegic from the time Mitch was a small boy. On so many levels, echoes from the past ricochet into Mitch's experience with his own progressing disabilities, revealing subtle truths and even some family secrets along the way. I recommend this book wholeheartedly, so much so that I was honored to write its forward… Enjoying The Ride is available from Amazon in both electronic and paperback versions (click here)…
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Sorry, but this is yet another post – hopefully the last – about my ongoing struggles with kidney pain, catheters, and UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). I've written three previous essays in this rather regrettable series, the first detailing my waking with horrendous pain in my right lower back, which led me to visit the emergency room twice in three days (click here), the second delving into the myriad pleasures of having a catheter inserted into my wing wong (click here), and the third detailing my contracting a UTI (Unwanted Trickle Interference) as a result of that catheterization, including my belief that it may have been brought on by my neglecting to sufficiently protect myself against the evil eye (click here).
Unfortunately, although I thought that last essay would be the end of this sad saga – given my new strategy of preempting any potential evil eye by pointing out that "Life Is a Terminal Illness" every time I say something even vaguely optimistic – I was nevertheless once again beset by The Whammy. On this occasion my wretched curse took the form of yet another UTI (Unpleasant Tinkle Insurrection). Yes, after fighting off the first infection with the help of two different antibiotics, I was shanghaied by another – or perhaps a continuation of the first – just about a week after I believed I was free and clear of the woes that had plagued me for the better part of two months.
Alas, I was stupendously wrong. Just as I felt I was beginning to regain strength to levels approaching those of my old normal – which is, albeit, a level far below optimal after 15 years with progressive MS – I awoke one day feeling feverish, and upon relieving myself felt that now all-too-familiar burning sensation in my Jolly Roger, an incendiary discomfort in my nether regions that led to an immediate phone call to my urologist. After I informed him of my profuse distress, he phoned in a prescription for yet more antibiotics and told me that if these did not have the desired effect I could very well be hospital bound for some high-powered intravenous antibiotics targeted directly at whatever pernicious bug had bedeviled me. The prospect of such a visit rose forth in me the vehement desire to unceremoniously regurgitate my previous night’s supper in some spectacular fashion.
Thus began another week spent in semi-delirium, as the infection and its antibiotic foe took up arms against each other, my body an increasingly beleaguered battlefield torn asunder by the ravages of microbial warfare. To my good fortune this conflict coincided with another taking place on a ballfield in Boston, as my beloved Red Sox took on their arch nemesis New York Yankees in a crucial four-game joust, providing my disease addled brain with some welcomed diversion. The Boston nine took all four contests against the evil incarnate Yankees, which I took to be a favorable portent for the insurrection being decided deep within my innards. These UTIs (Ungainly Tallywhacker Intruders) have shown themselves to be quite the troublesome beasties, far more debilitating than I ever could have imagined.
Finally, three or four days shy of fortnight the fevers and associated symptoms relented but left in their wake a malingering malaise, a weariness and heaviness of body and spirit that has left me spent beyond reason. I can only surmise that this is the product of a physical calculus whose equation includes multiple infections; several rounds of powerful antibiotics; the bodily wear and tear of having a garden hose inserted and then five days later wrenched from my who who dilly; and days on end of fevers, sweats, and tortured sleep.
Although the acute symptoms of this last infection subsided well over a week ago, it is only now that I have found the fortitude to put these words to paper, or, more correctly, to dictate them into my iPad whilst reclining in bed. When I venture out of bed to sit in my wheelchair I feel as if I might pass out after only an hour or so, sometimes less, like a Victorian lady prone to the vapors. Should this delicate condition persist much longer, I suppose a consult with yet another modern disciple of Hippocrates will be necessitated. I beseech the heavens above to intervene and make null and void this last option.
Egads, it appears that during my labors composing this essay I have become possessed by a ghostly essence aspiring to the literary stylings of Dickens or perhaps Melville, which I must now endeavor to shake loose from my earthly vessel. I best try reading something good and trashy, like some of my previous blog posts.
Anyway, yeah, in plain English the last few months have totally sucked. Bigly, I can tell you, sucked bigly. And, as you might by now have guessed, I am pretty much bored out of my gourd. Fingers crossed, these pages will soon be back to Wheelchair Kamikaze's usual mix of cynical looks at MS related research, self-indulgently introspective essays, and other such multiple sclerosis and Marc Stecker themed fiddle faddle. Enough already with the UTIs (Ultimately Tiresome Information), penis synonyms, and bellyaching. I'm sick of being sick, and just want to go back to being sick, if that makes any sense at all. Harrumph.
Life is a terminal illness.