This summer really flew by, didn’t it? This year’s heat and humidity seemed to make a pretty noticeable difference in my day-to-day–more so than the last few summers. Or maybe it seems that way because it’s still so fresh in my mind.
I went in for a routine visit with Dr. Brain last week and, while my fancy sobriety test-esque exam went well, he told me precisely what I didn’t want to hear.
I’m due for my annual MRI.
It’s been a little over a year since my last one, but I was really hoping I could get away with prolonging it just a little bit more.
They’re so expensive. And I usually have to take time off of work. And I don’t particularly like small spaces. And I have to take out my jewelry. And I don’t like needles.
Most of all, and for the same reason a lot of men avoid going to the doctor at all, I’m a little nervous about hearing the results. What if something is wrong? MRIs can pick up so much before any symptoms manifest and I just feel like I’m a giant ticking time bomb. Pretty much everything is functioning normally right now–sure–but what if, like the magnificent stars that burn so brightly in the night sky, the ones we and our children will wish upon, everything is already dead?
I actually cried when I made the appointment. Silly, I know. I try to keep everything positive and in perspective, but I’m still human and I allow myself those moments.
When I mentioned to my mom that I’m due for an MRI, she immediately offered to come with me. She has made the time to come with me to every single scan I’ve had–even the ones before we had any real idea of what was going on. Even though she can’t be in the same room with me during the scan, it really is a comfort to know that someone is waiting for me out in the lobby.
My mother has always been my biggest supporter and my journey with MS is no exception. She drove me to the ER after I had my first real attack. She came to so many doctor appointments with me. She had me stay with her and my dad while I was on bed rest following my lumbar puncture and she made sure I was constantly drinking plenty of fluids. She sat with me during my Solu-Medrol infusions and stayed up with me into the wee hours of the night when I couldn’t sleep as a side effect. She held me during my second attack. She sat with me in the ER in the middle of the night while I had a bad reaction to Low Dose Naltrexone.
She can’t fix my booboos with a simple kiss anymore, like she could when I was a child, but she’s there. Mom is always there.
Mom has been a caretaker for most of her life and while most people need to be told how they can help, it’s just in her blood. She always seems to know exactly what someone needs before they even realize they need it, themselves. She is the first to offer help and the last to accept it for herself. Her ability to love is unmatched and her willingness to drop everything in order to come to the aid of another is easily one of her most beautiful qualities.
She has been such a source of strength and joy throughout my life and she always, always, always has had this incredible ability to make anything seem special.
And with that said, I want to share one of my favorite memories–something that my mom did, something so seemingly small and silly, but something that meant the absolute world to me.
My most recent MRI last year was just after Mother’s Day. A few days earlier, I had given her this adorable book about the many different “hats” that mothers wear–chauffeur hats, chef hats, safari hats, etc. I had met the author while I was working at the front desk for a very large and busy hotel and this book instantly hit home. Really, if you have a mother, or are a mother, or know a mother, you should check out this book.
Anyway, this is how my mom, who never misses an opportunity to create a special moment, greeted me when I came out of my MRI last year:
She made that hat out of a napkin and lipstick, by the way.
Now, I’m sure she will see this and be a little ticked off at me for using this photo because it’s not a glamour shot, but I don’t care. Being a mom isn’t glamorous. Being a mom is divine and no one does it better than she does.
This is my favorite photo of my mother. Because in it, she’s just my mommy.
And she is so, so beautiful.
You can also read articles I’ve written for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society here!
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