Getting a Grip

I just spent the last half-hour cleaning up my spilled breakfast. Who knew Cheerios and milk, when dropped, could reach that far onto carpets, under tables and across my wood floors? My grip on things has become really precarious. It wouldn’t be a good idea anymore to let me hold a Faberge egg or a newborn baby. I’d be fearful they’d both end up cracked.

Long before I was diagnosed with MS, I was the girl who fell up when charging a flight of stairs. Or the one, at the dinner table, who would knock over their drink. My mother always said that I had “floating elbows.” In subsequent years, I was the one, when I had a family of my own, who would always spill something at mealtimes. My kids have happy childhood memories of our meals together because they never got yelled at for being messy at the table.

Now all this does not mean because I showed signs of MS at a much earlier age that it might have been there all along, just unrecognized. Plenty of people are clumsy and do not have the disease. But, looking back, it got me to thinking. My aversion to long hours spent in the hot sun might have meant something. I spent more time indoors than was probably good for me. Being lactose intolerant, I did not consume dairy foods unless I wanted nasty consequences. My lack of Vitamin D in sun or dairy foods for years may have had a negative effect on me if there was MS lurking around in my body.

Also, I never was any good at sports. I have long legs which I always thought added more body mass because they always felt heavy. At least that’s what I told my junior high school gym teacher to explain why I was always dead last in any track exercise she foisted on us. My lack of speed only helped me once. You’ve heard of the tortoise and the hare fable from Aesop? Well, just call me Jan the Turtle. We, as a class, once had to do circuits around the school’s athletic field. When the call was given to start, twenty of my classmates shot off like bullets in order to complete the course and get a final grade Yours truly, as usual, brought up the rear. I knew I couldn’t compete with my friends, so I just trotted along enjoying the scenery. Well. Wouldn’t you know. The girls all pooped out and Jan the Magnificent coasted to the finish line ahead of them. I don’t know who was more surprised: me or the PE teacher. I gloried in the back-slapping I got that day!

Ah, yes. Reveling in the yesteryear when I could trot. Nowadays, if I do an MS Walk, I use my scooter. If I ever tried to do the miles by walking, I would complete it in time for next year’s event!

I guess we can’t always look back and see where the road diverged from being quirky to dealing with a chronic illness. Or wondering why the disease took so long to appear in me if signs were there from my youth. That’s my concept of heaven, you know. Finally getting the answers to stuff like MS. And who really shot JFK.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly
    Mar 31, 2015 @ 11:09:11

    Beautiful. Yes, I want to lnow who shot JFK too.


  2. deuce2treble3quinn4
    Apr 01, 2015 @ 22:20:13

    I became a hypochondriac at 17 because I just knew something was wrong with me!! But no one could ever find a damn thing wrong with me…until now lol. I gave up on the hypochondria for the most part and I was always healthy, healthier than most people even, but it was like I always knew I wasn’t quite right. It’s interesting to think about in retrospect though.


    • Miss Jan's Words
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 10:45:46

      Yes, retrospect is interesting! I was constantly trying to figure out if I did something to bring MS into my life but lately, looking back through the years, I realized it may have been there all along…lurking undercover. It’s just inexplicable to me why it finally showed up for real now.


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