I had my second MRI today. It was generally uneventful.

I laid inside of that tube with a towel over my eyes listening to the crazy banging and whining and whizzing of the machine all the while singing Kelly Clarkson lyrics in my head – the noises kind of fit the beat of “Since You’ve Been Gone.” I’ve always liked that song. So it got me through without much angst or drama. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t freaked out wondering what new lesions may be found, because of course I am thinking about just that but I was kind of proud of myself for going alone and for making it not a big deal.

After my MRI, I went to Costco with my mom. I got my $33 Provigil (I’m still in shock and awe over this phenomena) and we looked around at all of the giant things sold at that giant ass place.

Everything sold there is too big to be stored in my house. They sell giant loaves of bread, two in a pack that would be moldy before I got through half of one.  I got myself some makeup wipes (they were pretty cheap, cheaper than Target), a giant tub of chocolate covered almonds and a matching giant tub of cashews. I also got some Halloween candy – 300 pieces and that better be enough. But I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything more because I didn’t want to have to figure out what the hell to do with it once I got home.

I’m feeling kind of low today.

I’m wondering if the up and down of when I take the Provigil and when I don’t (like today) is messing with my head a little. It’s hard for me to accept. The simple fact that if I don’t take a pill, I won’t feel like me. When I don’t take the pill I’ll feel more like this me that I’ve become over the last three years. The one who doesn’t do much. The one who gets really tired from a short trip to Costco with her mom. The one who spends Friday night laundering couch pillows that have been recently pissed upon, while watching shows on her DVR covered from head to toe in feathers from the down inserts of said pissy pillows (thanks, cats).

I feel saddened by the fact that without this drug, I don’t feel like a real person. I feel like an old, sick, decrepit person. It seems to me, at times, that over the time that it took for them to figure out what was actually wrong with me, slowly day-by-day I got used to a slower, less interesting life. I got used to burying myself in books and history. Finding connection online instead of in life. I became enthralled by television and Netflix. I got super intimate with…myself.

It’s not like I hate this new me. She feels at home in her skin most of the time. She enjoys the quiet. She likes going slowly. She enjoys exploring the insides of the latest interesting book and of her own rather dark and twisty mind. But I also miss…the me I’ve always wanted to be.

The social butterfly who wears fantastic shoes. Her makeup was always on point and she was always telling witty stories and making people laugh. She liked going out to bars and restaurants and places where people go to be social. She loved drinking wine and eating yummy food. She liked seeing new things and taking adventures – out west to Napa, or to Italy, Paris and Monaco or to St. Lucia or London on a whim. The idea of going to London on a whim now is almost laughable. First, I’d have to actually want to go and then I’d start to panic about how I’d actually make it happen physically. How far would I be able to walk before my legs crapped out? How much would I get to see before I had to suck it up and admit I was done?

My sister is out west right now with two of her kids, Lani and Rocco. The pictures look like they are having such fun! They are seeing spectacular things – like the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque and the white sands in New Mexico. The pictures are breath taking. Tonight they are headed to the Grand Canyon. Those are things I think I would like to see. (Ever since I watched the Brady Bunch go to the Grand Canyon, I kind of assumed I would go there too.) Then I remember how big those places are and how much energy it would take to traverse the sights and how much time I’d be away (and how my whole house would be covered in cat pee when I got home) and it just all feels rather impossible. I wonder if I’d even go if I could. And that kind of makes me sad.

I want to be the person I used to be out in the world. The fashionable girl who lights up a room with conversation, who commands a room and makes people laugh. I see glimpses of that girl every now and then – but she’s so different now I barely recognize her. It’s not just the shoes that have changed to a more practical and safe height, but her style has become a lot more casual and less complicated. She wants to be comfortable more than she wants to be fabulous. I want to accept the new me. I try to revel in my quiet, literary life surrounding by fur balls. Sometimes I really do love it. I just feel like I’m in this cocoon and I’m changing…but I’m not sure what I’m changing into. I’m not sure who that will be.

I realized yesterday that I don’t even think about sex anymore. I haven’t even used my Hitachi Magic Wand in months. I guess sexy isn’t at the top of my list of key attributes right now. I used to think about sex a lot. I used to make it happen when I wanted it to happen. Now I honestly can’t even imagine doing it let alone making the effort to find someone to do it with. I don’t even do it with myself! I’m guessing that’s probably a bad sign. I’m not sure why I feel the need to label it as “bad” but there’s a voice in my head that tells me that normal women of my age and life situation – they think about sex. Or dating. Or even kissing! They seek it out. I sometimes tell myself that since I had so much sex in my 20’s and 30’s (and hell…even my early 40’s) that maybe I should give myself a break and stop worrying about not thinking so much about sex right now. But we all know I rarely give myself that kind of break.

I know I’m in the middle of this. I know I only had my second of many MRIs to come today. I know that as far as being a MS patient goes, I’m a newbie. I’m barely out of the woods. In fact, I’m living in the deep dark woods pretty much all of the time now wondering if I’m going to be rolling through these woods someday in an all-terrain wheelchair. I’m probably still mourning. Maybe it’s hard to think about sex when you’re mourning (though it wasn’t so hard for me once before!). Maybe I want to be comfortable and stable on my sensible shoes because everything in my life is so completely unstable right now.

Live in the now. Stop trying to figure it out. I tell myself this over and over again. But when the now is so slow and quiet, it can be hard to live there. It’s almost guaranteed that while you’re living inside of your head, your head is likely to go places you might not want it to go.

I think tomorrow I’m going to set an alarm and take the damn pill. Even if it’s a fake feeling, I prefer feeling like a real girl.

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