March 13, 2009

Fear and Trembling

The expression "fear and trembling" originally appears in the Book of Psalms, and recurs in the Yom Kippur prayer "Unetanah Tokef" - which describes man's inconsequential status of man vis-à-vis God, and his fear of the Day of Judgment:
The great shofar is sounded
A still small voice is heard
The angels are dismayed
They are seized by fear and trembling
As they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment!
Well, I don't think anything that grand is going on with me, but today I had a breakdown. I was at the dentist, and it occurred to me that I was never going to be able to afford the expensive caps they want me to get, that I would soon be losing teeth, that all of this was tied to my inability to work, that I still would have to spend hours being drilled by an unsympathetic dentist who lectured me about how I hadn't done anything properly etc., etc., pointing out that, yes, my life is one series of bad judgments and the MS is probably just a payback for them all.

It all hit me then, the thoughts of growing disability, the fears of dependence on someone, the loss of self this whole thing is causing me. Sure, I had pride, but most of that had already been beaten out of me. Sure, I thought I was valuable, but truth be told, none of us are. I thought I was independent, like Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a Rock", but no.

I am afraid. I am so so so afraid. I am afraid of losing everything, of being in a nursing home before I hit 65, of being unable to speak or write or see or drive or walk or sit or feed myself. I am afraid of the pain, which I am already getting to know. I am afraid of being alone in my pain and degradation.

I am grieving, and it's hard. I'm angry, and that's hard, too. It's unfair. There is no MS in our families, ever. Except now. They think MS might be tied to Infectious Mono, which I had, badly, from living in residence. No kissing involved. NONE.

I'm afraid today. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, I'll be back to taking over my new, smaller world.

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