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  • Last night was a bad Betaseron night. I have been taking injections to slow the progression of my disease every other day for the last three years; my body is largely well-adjusted to them. But the "flu-like side effects?" They are still flu-like. And Tower-of-London-like. I just imagine it's harder to put it all into words on those paper-thin inserts that come with each 30-day supply of syringes and their mixable solution.

    It started with just not being able to get comfortable. After trying the same usually sanctified sleeping positions time and time again with no better result, I stopped moving altogether. The chains had begun being pulled taut around different parts of my body and I didn't know where on my body next would feel a landmine. Left ankle gets the attention then right arm chimes in and don't, please, forget the blow to the rib cage. After about fifty 3-30 second bouts within myself, I was able to doze via the glory of melatonin. But only doze. I woke from the pain after twenty minutes. In another hour, I was able to doze back off for an entire forty-five minutes. Another hour or so later, I was down for the rest of the night; in this case, that meant four solid hours. I woke throbbing.

    These nights used to be gold standards to my self-loathing. The body I was given and I have never had a good relationship and the diagnosis only justified my bigotry. I was right all along -- it wasn't my fault, it was my body's. It was an entirely separate entity. It was unto itself and I was unto my own yellow room inside the eyes. It has taken me years to become more forgiving and to first unlock, then crack open that door. I can now be less maudlin about it all -- in fact, optimism seems to be entirely more helpful overall. The pain ebbs and flows but I am here regardless and ready for its hurdles. I am, after all, the most flexible cripple you'll ever meet. And a straight-up gangster.
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