Yesterday, after I finished up at the brilliant (they’re reading my blog now) UCC Journo soc conference, I told my family what I’ve known since December 23rd but didn’t want to tell them until all the test results were back. (I got them just before the conference started) It seems the hiccups with my health, the numbness and pins and needles on my left side and headaches were as a result of a Multiple Sclerosis attack that I got in late November and which went rather crazy during the Paddy’s Valley tour. There’s a strong to good chance that I may not get another attack and the rest of my life will be fine and I can still cause as much trouble as I normally do. It’s a relief in a way to tell them as it was hard keeping something like this from them but I didn’t want to spoil their Christmas when they had about 85% confirmation and then have them pray for two months for that 15% to prove the world wrong and then have their hopes wrecked when the final confirmation came in. That would have meant twice the shock really.
I have a very good neurologist and the staff of the Mercy hospital have been nothing but fantastic. I’m fine, I just have to not do so much and watch out for wearing myself down.
Photo owned by Shiny Things (cc)
I got advice from the specialist and some other friends who know MS first hand about considering avoiding telling people about it because the minute some people think of MS they picture you as ending up in a wheelchair or you are somehow less of a person. I’m not the expert in this but there are many variations of MS that go anywhere from nothing to a single attack ever, to it coming back again to the really strong one but as usual the wheelchair being the most dramatic is the one that sticks. Being honest if I was told someone got MS I’d have been ignorant and thought they’d be in a wheelchair within years. I do think it is a risk in telling people as people have their own ideas on things but I think I’ll wager that risk.
In an odd way I’d feel dishonest if I didn’t inform people via this blog since I already blogged about my health issues here, so I’ve started down the disclosure road, I won’t turn back and I’ve received so much private feedback from people that an update was required to let you all know. Now that’s just me and I over-share anyway, I certainly don’t think people should disclose whatever they have, be it MS to those rashes that that blonde girl gave you. It is still a private matter for most.
This is meandering. I don’t want to spend too much time going on about MS on this blog and I don’t see myself as now being an advocate for any group because of the test results. Any yes I’m fine. No need to email me. Or ring. Yes, I was a little scared and upset when I got the first wave of news but I’m fine now. Marking this post as personal too. February is afterall the month where I write that yearly personal post.
So, I did say Fuck You to 2007, I don’t think I’ll be saying the same to 2008. So far, even with this news, 2008 has been good.
So there, no sympathy or any of that fuss please. Although if you want to buy me a pony…
A raw post & very brave.
The fact that you are actually seeing a neurologist and your great attitude will make a big difference.
Anybody send you a pony yet?
Pony sent… Well, a virtual one anyway
All the best Damien. Look after yourself
Damien – firstly thank you for sharing and do take care.
I am sure that you don’t want people to keep asking you how you are and you mentioned you did not want lots of emails. But clearly with the number of people who have responded to this post, there are many of that want you to know that we care!
And if you need help on the run up to the IBA, just ask as per my email a little while ago.
Feck ya. As if you weren’t already enough of a fecking legend! Now this? Jeez. You’re making a show of the rest of us, you know.
Damien, well done for disclosing it.It might be a difficult few days/weeks for your family, but if they’re like all your readers/commenters you’ll have no problem 🙂
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