MS is a funny thing. Despite all the modern day advances in scientific research even the brainiest scientists haven’t been able to figure it out.
It’s just my luck that I got something a bit tricky, a bit quirky, a bit awkward. Because that’s a lot like me.
But luckily the researchers, like me, aren’t for being beaten by MS and the quest for answers continues.
Only on Monday, whilst at the MS Clinic, I was asked if I would be willing to take part in a ‘Genetic Analysis of Multiple Sclerosis’.
‘Blimey, that sounds very fancy!’ I thought, thinking I was a special case and had been specifically selected, as though I had won some sort of MS prize ….
it was then explained to me that all patients were being asked to participate in the study by donating a sample of their DNA.
It seems the study is designed to try and identify the genetic factors that influence how multiple sclerosis is likely to develop, it’s effect on individuals and their response to treatment.
I of course agreed without hesitation. If scientists are willing to dedicate their time to the study of MS, the least I could do was donate a bit of DNA.
I was then faced with a choice of two ways in which I could give my DNA: 5ml of saliva or 30ml blood.
Not being comfortable with the idea of having to muster up enough spit I opted for blood.
The lovely nurse explained everything to me and painlessly took two vials of blood from my left arm.
I thanked her, gathered up my copy of the paperwork and signed consent form, my coat and handbag and hurried out, anxious to get to court before my absence became too noticeable …
…. the next thing I remember was a flurry of voices and activity around me. I opened my eyes and I was on the waiting room floor. The waiting room that was packed full of patients and their friends and relatives waiting for appointments.
Head over heels. How embarrassing!
The hospital staff swooped down, gathered up me, my copy of the paperwork, my coat, my handbag and my heels (which had seemingly fallen off) from the floor and swept us all into a side room.
I was swiftly lay down onto a bed and all of my belongings placed carefully at the side of me. Simultaneously a glass of ice cold water was placed in my hand and an industrial strength fan placed at my side.
It was all very slick. They knew exactly what to do. On the other hand I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed. I felt like such a fool. I kept apologising.
The lovely nurses assured me that it was ok and that I was not a complete idiot.
They made me a sweet cup of tea and had a doctor come to check my head which I had cracked on the confidential waste bin on the way down.
‘Do you work?’ they asked me.
I have been asked this question previously whist at the hospital. Infact it is a question that troubles me. The question used to be ‘What do you do’, the presumption being that I had a job. I don’t know whether it’s a reflection of society or the fact that I have MS, but it appears that is no longer an appropriate question…
… even my black Hobbs suit, lace patterned tights and heels weren’t obvious indicators of my employment status, despite not being obvious hospital-appointment-wear and making me stick out like a sore thumb in the waiting room.
… I suddenly remembered that I ought to have been at court by now …
‘I need to get to court!’ I declared.
This generated the usual mixed response of disconcertion and confusion as they tried to work out what I had done to necessitate a court appearance.
After receiving the all clear I gathered myself together and gingerly tip-toed out of the side room and round the back of the waiting area towards the exit, trying desperately to avoid being seen by anyone who had witnessed the incident.
The banging headache and sore hand I had for the next couple of days wasn’t a patch on the massive crash damage to my ego. But then again I find the best way to deal with these things is to laugh. That being preferable to any more tears. And like I said, MS is a funny thing.