Today we had a few new infusees in the group.
One of them, a tall woman with amazing bone structure named Bridget, was talking about how she gets really annoyed because she has to admit it. She looks pretty good. She used to model. She has a gorgeous color of brown skin that looks like mocha. Her hair is short, tight and perfect. She wears no makeup but is quick to explain that she doesn’t normally walk around all naked faced but she’s doing a three day infusion of chemo (another option) and she really didn’t care to worry about her looks today.
To me, she still looks fantastic. I kind of want to be her. She says, “People tell you how great you look – even when you look like this (she gestures to her face and body with the hand without the IV in it). The thing is, they see great and I see horrible. You never see what other people see. You just see a person with MS trying like hell to get out the door in the morning with all of your parts covered in something that looks like clothes. You know what else? People are always commenting about my handicapped parking permit. Like I don’t LOOK like I need it, so why do I have it? And I’m like…You want my handicapped parking placard? Cool you take it. I’ll give you my MS. Done deal.”
I totally feel Bridget. She was diagnosed 26 years ago. She is 50-something but looks like she’s 30-something. I think she is beautiful. We bond over our hair.
Today was also blood testing day. Many vials of blood to test the many things that we have to monitor…JC Virus antibodies for those of us who are JC positive. Vitamin D levels. Other stuff. I stopped listening after the third vial. I don’t like having a needle in my arm no matter how careful they are putting it in and no matter how many times someone calls me “sweet pumpkin.” But I’m trying not to be too sour.
They try so hard, these nurses! They are truly amazing. To come into work every day and deal with people like us who are just so OVER it. And me? I’m a newbie and I’m already over it. When I think of Bridget…coming here monthly for 26 years, I feel even MORE over it. But I guess it’s time to get my head right. This is just the beginning and I gotta do what I gotta do.
Next infusion, my 4th, I get to drive myself. It feels like graduation but it also feels sad. It’s fun to have an infusion buddy. But it’s asking a lot for someone to sit in the waiting room with Maureen, the heroin addict, who is so amazingly nice and so terribly needy that you feel really bad not wanting to go to breakfast with her. The waiting room is just as wild and weird as the infusion room. I think Michele is gonna miss her people too. Even Maureen. You can’t help but wish good things for these people who are dealing with so much!
And now it’s off to sleep it off while this “golden elixer” flows through my veins and works on fixing the things that are broken. I like to think of it that way.
For some odd reason, it’s not depressing. It’s reassuring.