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MS Musings » 1001 Advantages of MS!

Archive for the ‘1001 Advantages of MS!’ Category

Gettin’ that Blue Placard

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

A year ago it arrived in the mail. That unisex white dude in a wheelchair, laminated on blue, with a perfectly cut hook for your rearview mirror. When filling out the application for the handicapped placard I felt so guilty. Was I lying? New Mexico says to get such a placard, I had certify that I couldn’t walk 100 feet without stopping to rest. Well, I live on a postage stamp—not even 1/10 of an acre—and the distance from my driveway to my bedroom is farther. Technically I could make it 33 meters without stopping at the couch—using my walker I don’t need to pause. Or I had to certify that I couldn’t walk “without the use of a brace, cane or crutch or without assistance from another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair or other assistive device.” They didn’t specify “safely”—technically I could drunken sailor myself around without aids for short distances (although that is exactly how I broke my leg some months ago). And finally, that I was “so severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurologic or orthopedic condition that the person cannot ascend or descend more than 10 stair steps.” Given a railing and time, I could make it up a flight. Heck, I certainly could make it down (again, nothing in the language about “safely”).

So when I went to wield my new parking powers for the very first time, I did so sheepishly. Until I discovered all 48 of the handicapped spots at the mega-super-cina-plex were taken. And the entire time I was there, I saw not one person using a cane or wheelchair. Curious. The closest handicap parking spots were 500 feet from the entrance (not to mention, to get from the box office to your seat had to be another 500 feet). Which means a) the system is being grossly abused, b) there are a ton of people with cardiac and lung conditions (the only other medical conditions stated on the application), or c) the eligibility criteria is flawed. In truth, all three are probably correct. Many of my fellow MSers would not qualify under the above restrictions, but without handicap parking access, that extra 500 feet today might mean a day in bed tomorrow just to recover. So put aside that guilt, save your body, live your life, and get that placard. I did.

Nothing soothes a relapse … like a pimp cane!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

My sister, Kathryn, was worried about her bro’s recent attack. So one of her friends had a great idea to cheer me up (apparently I was a bit pissed off): a genuine pimp cane, complete with a regulation 8-ball for the handle. It is, in Snoop speak, the fashizzle my dizzle hizzle. For younger MSers, I can only imagine how much pride one would feel walking into high school or a college class with a new pimp cane  Heck, I’m going to take mine to parties as a conversation starter. It would go something like this. “Yeah, having MS isn’t great, but you can legitimately use a pimp cane even if you are not a pimp. How great is that?” “Wow, that’s awesome, dude. I wish I had a pimp cane, but I don’t have MS … or ho’s. You are one lucky dude.” Yes I am. For those unclear on what a pimp cane is, allow me to borrow from the Urban Dictionary (

pimp cane

An essential tool to the hardcore pimp, while a mere prop for softcore pimps. Hardcore pimps usually tip their canes with gold, an element conducive to manipulation of the pimp field. Unfortunately, softcore pimps think themselves as “above” this and use their wealth to completely plate their cane with gold, or create gold canes outright. This serves no purpose but to cause greater differentiated wealth distribution and suffering in the world. Hardcore pimps understand this, and do only what is necessary to use the pimp force to maintain good and balance in society.

Average dimensions measure 3 feet tall x 2 inches wide x 2 inches deep.

Usually made from a special wood-metal alloy that only hardcore pimps know how to make. Softcore pimps substitute with valuable metals such as platinum or gold.

“Never use your pimp cane to smack that azz!” - Pimp Mommy A

The urge to pee on a road trip can be lifesaving

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Picture yourself on a long road trip with friends. It’s dark. The roads are mostly empty. And since your iPod ran out of juice (and you forgot the car charger), you’re forced to tune into the radio, which in this remote area of the country, only gets elevator music. Mellow elevator music. But before heads can nod off to sleep, your bladder, with its incredible sensitivity due to MS, comes to the rescue: ”gotta pee!” You pull over at the next rest stop, everyone stumbles out of the car into the fresh air. There will be no snoozing at the wheel with an MSer riding shotgun.

Advantages of MS #579: It could save a life in a wilderness survival situation

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Picture this: you and a friend have hiked deep into the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies. To pass time in the evenings, you brought along a copy of Reader’s Digest, Large Print Edition (since your eyesite isn’t so good). Then one night an unexpected spring snowstorm drops a foot of snow. Meanwhile, a bear went through your campsite and took your stove. Your buddy enters the beginning stages of freezing to death. Fortunately you have just enough material to burn, since the Large Print version is oversized. The standard version would not have provided enough kindling. Hypotherma is avoided, your friend’s life is saved, all because of your MS.