4 months later.
No, this isn’t reference to a post-apocalyptic world, where society has collapsed and the world has been overrun by zombies.
Or taken over by an evil overlord.
It’s been about four months since my last post. Just like before – and no, I am not making excuses – my health got the best of me. My bad health that is. So, after a period of sudden temperature changes in late February, I had another MS episode.
This time, it was optic neuritis. The second time this has happened. Affecting my right eye this time. The first time, a few years back, my right eye took over so I failed to realise something was wrong with my left eye until it was too late. Aaaaannndddd… there went between 50%-75% of my vision in the left eye, depending on the day and weather conditions.
So, this time, the moment the episode onset, I realised it in a very bad way. I could see nothing for most of the day. The world went blurry, colours went blunt, small items just blended into the background. I could still drive, sort of, but I chose not to. I could function until it was cool enough at night for the symptoms to subside, but just barely. I mean, even simple tasks like taking a shower would throw a left and knock me out for a couple of hours.
The response? Typical for MS flare-ups. Cortisone. Intravenously! For three days straight!!! And when that did nothing, 20 days of cortisone pills. Despite my parents’ belief that there could be an alternative treatment and I should check with more doctors (I did. They all said cortisone). Oh, and six weeks out of work.
Now, don’t even get me started on the people asking me if I am better already, or their apologisers. Or people that for all intensive purposes wanted to be helpful but ended up hindering my life and treating me like a helpless individual. Or how little a state, that wants to call itself humane, actually has to offer me in my time of need – except for medicine and healthcare that is. That I refuse to discuss, simply because it will frustrate me and make me angry. The thought alone is making me angry.
Instead, I’d like to focus on the silver lining. And there is more than one.
Six weeks off work helped me do a lot of things. Some I had lost connection with, some I’ve been meaning to do. Rediscover the joy and calming effect of cooking. Arts and crafts (mostly crafts that is, no art to speak of here). Discovering new music (it’s incredible how Spotify has recommendations for me each and every day). Taking care of my garden (ok, the pots on my balcony). Exercising more. A lot more archery (although I could not really see the target or my sight when shooting). Thinking of Plan Bs career-wise (plenty of ideas, still no energy to implement any of them). Learning how to use public transport in a city that is infamous for private car use – even for the shortest trips.
But I guess that all of these things, and I am sure there is more that I forgot to mention, boil down to one simple philosophy. Slowing down. Slow food, slow cars, slow living. Taking the time to really look at the world. To listen to the sounds of the city. To experience something new. To talk to new people, not just the formalities, but also listen to what they are saying. To spend more time with friends.
Like one of my favourite movie lines goes, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” (If you haven’t watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, do so immediately. If you have, well, watch it again because it is awesome!)
I’ve always been an advocate of slow living. Even more so after my latest episode. I guess I am enjoying this slow pace a little too much, and that is why it took me so long to write this post after I went back to work. And why I need to end this post now. But also because after a long day at work I am exhausted and my thought process is, well, for a lack of words I’d have to say…
PS I’ve noticed that my blog now has ads on it. Not sure how it’ll work, but I hope I won’t miss any readers and eventually even make some cash.