What began as a diary of sorts to help me cope with Multiple Sclerosis, has turned into a book of portraits I have painted that, more often than not, have very little to do with MS. This is for the artists who taught me the most beautiful things come from pain, and my sister, Stacey, who also has MS...
Alan Joseph Utitus. December 1, 1948 - August 13, 2016. I will remember you like a sweet song I sing while tending to the garden. I watered your plants and hummed. I know who you were Pops. More than you realize.
Today my family escorted me to my surgery center so my doctor could do a ganglion lumbar something to block the pain I've been going through.
Every doctor I bump into on the surgical floor is rather attractive (I always want Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life, never happens). My doctor isn't just handsome, but he is like a confidant and you basically have to put your exposed bottom on a pillow high up while they insert a scary needle into the spine...this was like right in the arse crack.
The most embarrassing spot you could imagine. I'd rather Mrs. Garrett or a stranger!
My doctor was so lovely - he told me his brother was going to do it this time. Knowing I'm very attached to him and it may scare me, he ASSured me he'd be in the room. That made me feel better. I just tried to breathe and not think about it.
When the team took me into the room, half dresses, my body started shaking uncontrollably. It was freezing and I suppose nerves had something to do with it. On my belly, my body shook relentlessly and I felt someone put a warm blanket over my upper body, and they took my hand. They held it until the anesthesiologist knocked me out. Before the blanket and that hand, the anesthesiologist kept taking my hands to warm them up as well. They were all so kind.
The last thing I remember was a hand holding my hand with he tIV and a warm blanket. I heard him say, "Well...this is my favorite patient...I can't leave my favorite patient..." he was joking, I'm a pain in his arse lol and I was out like a light.
I fell asleep and it went swimmingly. That was hours ago. I didn't fully know until I woke up that he stayed next to me and held my hand the entire time because he knew how afraid I was. There's a special place in the beyond for that kind of soul. I was soo, so touched.
Lying on my bed, trying to lay low and let it heal while watching the Olympics, I felt my back itching. Scratching it felt weird...I realized they left me a souvenir to remind me of the lovely time we had together lol. Smack dab in the middle of my upper back. It's one of those stick nodes they stick all over you when doing tests.
I had to wait for my family to return to get it off.
As corny as this may sound, my doctor went above and beyond to let me know I wasn't alone, that he cared, and he wouldn't leave until I was safe. My body was just shaking and jerking, not good when someone is inserting a needle that must be incredibly precise upon entry. But, it was nerves and the cold. It was bad. Until he took my hand and they all jumped in to make sure I knew they were there because they cared. So, I'm keeping it.
You meet so many who don't care in the course of your disease. It's sounds mean, but in medicine you meet a lot of jerks who won't even look you in the eye. Here I had doctors of all types and nurses, holding my hand and taking care of me...like it was perfectly normal to have an arse crack up in the air too!?They were respectful. They didn't look unless they had to look.
There are people who won't give you a blank piece of paper because it isn't "their job" and then you meet the ones who go into their job because they do care and they are kick arse (another pun) at it. This stuff you can't fake. You just can't. So call me crazy, but I'm glad I have it as a keepsake to remind me the lengths my team has gone through for me. God bless them always. If the tides ever turned and for some reason he was sick, I'd be the first to sit beside him, hold his hand, read etc. if his family permitted me. That's how much I think of him.
Multiple sclerosis sucks, but being loved, building relationships with other humans who didn't know you from a hole in the wall is humbling and so touching. I was starting to get sad before I noticed that thing on my back. You do get weighed down after a while. The pain of MS and just growing older, seeing loved ones pass, other love ones grieve - it isn't for the faint of heart. But that silly sticky thingy they left smack dab in the middle of my back put everything back into perspective.
I'm grateful again. I feel happy. Especially for souvenirs. If you live near me and ever need a procedure done on your spine and need a referral, just let me know. I'd be happy to share the care I get, with you. Caring is sharing and holding someone's hand when you know they are alone, and scared. <3