Caroline finally go over her MS attack by undergoing a hefty prednisone treatment. She’s avoided it for eighteen years, but finally succumbed — read the fact-sheet on this synthetic hormone, and you’d avoid it too. Still, to her surprise, she liked it.
The fact is, it made her feel normal. Yes, we blog philosophers raise our eyebrows at the slippery idea of ‘normal,’ and run off on tangents of relativity, but for Caroline it was tangible — she had energy. Guess what she did with it … tidied the garage shelves, organized her desk and took pleasure in the ability to do what the rest of us take for granted.
Now it’s worn off and, once again, her reaction’s not what you’d expect. A resigned shrug of the shoulders—ah well, it was good while it lasted—is not how she feels. In four short weeks her experience of normalcy became, well, normalized, and the return to a symptomatic life has hit her like a ton of bricks.
It’s easy to come up with logical solutions to these dilemmas, especially if you’re not the one suffering from it. Don’t worry darling, you’ll get used to it again — no, I don’t say that; my response is tougher. I bite my lip and remember that her experience is hers alone, that all I can do is sit with her through her sadness and take joy from her depth when she finds ways to cope.
In spite of her fear that this physical affliction is compromising our relationship, it’s her depth that I love above all, and that’s not going away because of the MS. If anything, it just gets deeper. How lucky am I? Also, how lucky are Caroline’s coaching clients? Her work is more than just a living, it’s a passion — something she excels at because of her experience, not in spite of it. We all have our afflictions, but we don’t have to be limited by them.