Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Hope You Got The Wrong Impression

What is it about a hospital atmosphere that makes me so tired I can barely keep awake? I could go in with a pot of coffee pumping up my heart rate, a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans (YUM!), and drink Mountain Dews until my bladder fails, yet still feel like I am becoming Rip Van Winkle the minute I am in there. Yesterday, while getting my Tysabri infusion and fighting off the urge to hibernate for the next 12 years, a woman came in for her Tysabri infusion and brought her 14 year old daughter with her. I was busy trying to figure out how to change the ring tone on my cell phone (still new to them and hopelessly confused by all this new fangled technology) and doodling in my Hello Kitty notebook with this great pen they had in the infusion center, which I am almost ashamed to admit that I took. In my defense it was a pen advertising a medicine and they didn't care about it because they have about 52,784 others like it. Anyhoo, back to my story. I'm doodling away when a doctor came in to see said woman and her daughter. The daughter is suffering from extreme depression and anxiety from worry about her mother's future and worrying that she will get the MS too -- so worried, in fact, that she is living in a group home for kids with behavioral/mental problems. Mostly she was scared of getting MS, and was so high strung she sat on the edge of the chair and fidgeted the whole time. (I have to throw in here that I was wondering how bad her mother was to make her so scared of getting MS. I mean, c'mon! Yeah, MS sucks but it is not worth ruining your life worrying about.) The doctor was trying to help calm her fears by telling her that her chances of getting MS are so slim that she need not worry. The mom, that lots of things will help, like exercise and eating right -- said while pulling out a gallon baggie full of candy bars and eating several. I normally try not to butt into conversations but the infusion center is not that big and we were sitting pretty close together, so I had to interject -- all in the hopes of calming the poor girls nerves -- that one of the things about many people with MS is that we have vitamin D deficiencies and to make sure she got plenty of vitamin D. The doctor played down what I had said, as if it were of not much consequence and just reiterated the slim chances, blah blah blah. (I have to say that the mother seemed like a very kind and nice woman. She and I discussed our mutual dislike of support groups, our hatred of physical therapy, and the fact that we have the same neurologist, whom we both love.) I just wanted to help the poor girl; it pains me to see some one so young with so much anxiety and depression, so I had to stop doodling hearts and unicorns for Hello Kitty to ride on -- again -- and offer my two cents. I told them that studies have shown that if a person gets plenty (not an overdose, just recommended amount) of vitamin D while in the teen/young adult years, it greatly reduces the chances of them getting MS and that in my family we have been starting all my nieces and nephews on supplements to hopefully keep them from getting MS. The doctor looked at me with surprise and, dast I say (I dast), respect, and he said that I was "absolutely right."

The whole point of the above long-winded story is that I enjoy people having the wrong impression of me. I would rather be underestimated any day than be overestimated and shown to be an ijit as soon as I open my mouth to speak. I know I come across as a somewhat vapid (Hello Kitty? What am I, 12?! But I can't help my natural attraction to pink fluffy things.) and shallow person without any deep thoughts to speak of, but I like it that way. I don't want people to know that I have read every book on MS that I could get my hands on, even the technical ones meant for those in the medical profession, sometimes even downloading different articles and studies in medical journals, just so I can know the ins and outs of the disease I have. The only reason I am telling you is because we will probably never bump into each other so my secret is safe with you; plus I would trust you with my life because you would never steal a great pen from some place, unlike me. When people see me stumbling around, I don't want them to suspect that I just finished reading a comprehensive study of life and social conditions in the 13th through the 18th centuries. Or that I read about the different tenets of the major religions of the world for lite reading. I am perfectly content giving the wrong impression and have no plans to ever change that. I enjoy delving into the history of MS and how Charcot came about his findings and what he observed in his clinical practice; I just don't want anyone to suspect that I look into any book besides the Dick And Jane series. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go draw Hello Kitty another unicorn to ride over the rainbow. Hope this long post didn't make you go Rip Van Winkle on me.


Denver Refashionista said...

Great story. That poor girl. I can't even imagine what effects that destructive thinking are having on her health (not the physical but the emotional and spiritual).
I also enjoy giving off the wrong impression and then surprising people.

LISA EMRICH said... intellectual.

Stephen said...

2. those technical books make me go r.v. winkel; i'd rather read escapist sci-fi or psych-horror. i am reminded enough that i have ms.
3. stumbling down the hall makes me look drunk, which at work is a very wrong impression to give.
4. i steal cool pens, too.
5. can't remember what #5 was.

Taxingwoman said...

Hello Kitty, who can resist, not me.
Here I am a grown woman and I get kids in Japan, who are in my post card club to send me Hello Kitty stuff.


I used to steal pharmaceutical company pens at the doctor's I just prefer to steal the pharmaceuticals!

Linda D. in Seattle