Rights vs. Privileges. These are always argued, right? What is a right, what is a privilege? Is having a roof over my head a right or a privilege I have? Is having delicious food to eat something I’m entitled to as a human being, or should I just be happy that I’m well fed?
Being a spoiled American, growing up in fairly affluent areas, I tend to think that I’m entitled to a lot of things.
I think that’s why it’s been so hard for me to deal with MS. Before this, it was my right to do whatever I wanted, go wherever I wanted. Because of MS, it’s no longer my right to drive to work every morning when I wake up — it’s now my privilege to work from home. It’s not longer my right to drive to the store to buy a pair of shoes — it’s now my privilege to be driven there. It’s no longer my right to feel normal — it’s now my privilege to have a day with minimal dizziness and fatigue.
Sure, I should be happy. I should be grateful that the MS was found before I started to lose my vision… Thankful, that I’m not paralyzed… But a huge part of me is not. That huge part feels like I should just be able to live life normally without having to choose between not being able to drive right now or paralysis in ten years. It should have been my right to be able to play with my baby for longer than half an hour at a time without feeling fatigue. I should have the right to go to work, the right to pick up dinner, the right to run errands, but these stupid brain lesions have stolen that right from me.
The question I have to ask is this: can I deal with freedom from and let go of my need to have freedom to? Right now, I have freedom from responsibility, freedom from driving, freedom from blindness, freedom from paralysis. If I think of it that way it seems pretty great. What I’ve lost is the freedom to choose, the freedom to drive, the freedom to do strenuous activity.
In conclusion, all in all, despite the list of benefits I listed before, I probably wouldn’t recommend developing multiple sclerosis to anyone.