A Monthly Online Magazine
by and for Those Who Live with
MS, Multiple Sclerosis
Tables of Contents
By Ray Lewis
Paul (brother in-law)
Maria (sister in-law)
As most of you know, Iíve been struggling with MS since being diagnosed 12 months ago. As I continue to read about the disease, and internalize the stories of others, I realize how really lucky I am today. And today is what counts! As is common with most of us, the summer heat is very debilitating, and I was no exception last summer.
And then one day I visited Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to make a "medical education" presentation to a group of ICU nurses. Coastal Washington had a particularly hot summer going, and that day was proving to be the same. The med-ed was going to take place in the lunchroom at noon. I arrived early to set up my computer and make sure my power point presentation was working. I felt a couple of twinges, and immediately removed my jacket and stood in front of a fan to cool off. The nurses began to file in and sit down, and I realized it was "show-time". As I began to talk, I realized that there was a wall behind me to lean on, and a "white board" with a marker if I needed it. Pretty soon, I was using 4 & 5 syllable words and seemed to be cruising along with no problems. In one part of my presentation I use the term "pretty soon", only I said ppppprrrety ssssssssooon. And my face colored, so I paused for a glass of water. It was a big glass and I finished it. I needed the time. I continued for a few moments, and then it hit again. This ttttttttime in fffffullll fffffffforccccccceeeee. I was mortified. I looked up to see 12 of the most beautiful women and 1 navy nurse guy. Talk about supportive, they were finishing my sentences and answering each otherís questions. They had a few questions that only I could answer, so I leaned against the wall and drew on the white board. It worked. At the end, they all thanked me and walked out except for one. She walked up to me slowly with her hand on the table, and said "tttttthhhhannnnnk yyyyyyouuuuu". She took a deep breath and turned around and walked away. I donít know her name and never will, but it is humbling to realize that it was my weakness and not my strength that encouraged her. I have returned to that day many times in my head, and wonder what other opportunities Iíve missed. I know many facts as we all do, but the sense that "today is what counts" will guide me more than any fact.
I want to thank my family and friends for their support.
Reach Ray by email to comment: firstname.lastname@example.org