Multiple Sclerosis · story

A Pattern of Five

I was twenty-one the first time
I woke unable to stand, tingly numb
equally from my knees down
rising to the bottom of my ribs.plasma

The doctors diagnosed a rare disease
hooked me up and drained me
like an oil change it seemed
I left the hospital two weeks later
walking all weak and tingly-legged.

The second time, I was twenty-six
my legs were pins and needles
my feet hurt bad
and my big left toe was numb
Later that day, it happened again
equally from my knees down

rising up my body to my ribs
but this time it got my hands
I was three months pregnant
the doctors said it was in my head.

I was thirty-one the third time around
finally I knew why I was unable to stand
I faced the battle more angry than afraid
a relapse from MS different than the rest.

I felt tremendous pain
way too, mind boggling extreme.
At times, it could have flipped me out
however, I was stronger no doubt
with morphine on my side.

Again, I left the hospital all weak
and tingly legged but this time
damage had been done.
I had a limp to the right
no feeling in the left.
That’s when I made a promise
no more
this was my final relapse.

~ ~

Years later, I name each relapse
by age
revealing a pattern
attacking me every five
leaving me temporarily paralyzed.

The pattern was due
when I was thirty-six
this time I’m aware and dive
this time breaking the pattern of five.

It’s been thireteen years
I’m still relapse free.

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