Saturday, May 24, 2008

MS vs. Hangovers

I need to sleep more than I used to; I have pain and tingling in my legs and arms sometimes; I have limited vision in my right eye; I get headaches; and I have to give myself injections three times a week. But you know what? I wouldn't trade my MS for a hangover.

I do not miss hangovers. I used to get terrible ones when I was drinking. I remember my first hangover. I was 14 and I woke up in my bedroom, not knowing how I got there and what kind of trouble I would be in when I went downstairs. My head throbbed, my stomach was spinning and churning, my body hurt, I had a nasty taste in my mouth, and all my teeth felt loose. The last thing I remembered was drinking Bacardi 151 straight from the bottle with a bunch of kids in a field somewhere on my way to a my first dance at a new school.

Bush with a hangover

As horrible as the hangover and the consequences were (I was grounded for a month and all my "new friends" at school made vomiting noises when I walked by), I was willing to pay the price to "have fun." I didn't think I had a good time if I didn't have a hangover the next day. Not today. It's been quite some time since I've experienced the a.m. worship of the porcelain goddess, the aversion to light and the sight of breakfast foods, and the sensation that someone turned up the volume of the world.

So...why the trip down memory lane? One of my coworkers came into work with a beastly hangover yesterday. Although it was warm outside, he was wearing a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head. His complexion was grayish yellowish like sour milk left in a sippy cup in the car overnight. I'm guessing his eyes were bloodshot since he wore sunglasses most of the morning. Shortly after he arrived, he practically fell out of his chair when a colleague walked over to his cube and either scared him or woke him up.

By mid afternoon, the hood and glasses were history and he was verbal. When I saw him eat a sandwich, I knew the hangover had passed.

I, on the other hand, still have MS. Still, though, I wouldn't trade it. Hangovers serve as a nasty reminder that you drank too much the night before. MS is a daily reminder that life is too short and too unpredictable to not embrace it fully.

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