“I needed something–the distraction of another life–to alleviate fear.” ~ Bret Easton Ellis

There are 6 traffic lights between my house and the hospital. How do I know that? I counted them.

I’m sitting on the passenger side looking out the window, listening to Adele and thinking about my future.

Will this be it? Is this the answer I’ve been searching for? Or will I have to modify my treatment again?

After months of tests and appointment changes, I’ve finally been cleared to start a new MS medication. And even though it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I’m still scared. It’s like a relentless drumbeat of fear thundering in the air. Beat after beat, as we approach the 6th light. Then a quick turn and we are at the hospital.

Once we park the car, it begins to feel like I’ve reached the point of no return. I try to stay calm during the slow wheelchair roll down a long hall to the infusion center. Five straight days hooked to an IV. Everyday will be the same. 1 gram of Solu-Medro Steroids, 500 ml of Saline Bolus, 12mg of the new medicine and 2 hours of post monitoring.

But am I doing the right thing? Will this just be another misfire in my cursed search for a medication? No one really knows. The cure remains an unanswered mystery. So until an ideal treatment is found, I’ll lean on hope.

But I must admit, even my hope is spiked with doubt. It’s because my mind has been beaten senseless. Pistol whipped by the pain of knowing I can never get back what multiple sclerosis has taken from me.

And what hurts the most is the loss of memories. There was a time when my past was so fresh in my mind. I could pull up things without much effort. Now my strongest memories are my current actions. Those lost recollections are like time collapsing on it self. Gone forever.

Once the IV starts, my confidence builds. I begin to believe this new medicine will stop or at least slow my progression. I know I’m jumping the gun. It’s way too early to presume it has worked. And even though I have positive thoughts, I still can’t stop myself from going back to a place of doubt. Because I realize MS is so unpredictable. And thinking about it is driving me crazy. Therefore I try to concentrate on things I know for sure. Simple things that give me comfort.

So after I finish the infusion and leave the hospital. We get into the car. I sit on the passenger side. Listen to Adele. And count the lights.

6 traffic lights back to my house.


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