I’ll start at the beginning (sort of). We’ll pick up where I met my wife and what happened around that time. I met my wife on an online dating site and we hit it off right away. I proposed to her when we had only been together for about a month; we didn’t know each other that well, I hadn’t really met her parents yet. So I’m a month in, I proposed and she accepted, and around two months later a routine doctor visit led to me being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. One of my first and most fundamental concerns was that I was going to marry this girl (Lauren) and end up with her supporting my disabled ass. I grew up thinking that it was the man’s job to pay for his wife; was this old fashioned? It absolutely was and I am proud to say I have changed my thinking by an awful lot. However, things have changed so much since then it is hard to explain.
I was enrolled in college just starting on my path towards eventually teaching at the college level. Almost done with my AA, everything was going smoothly. I was in my last semester before graduation. When the doctor first told me I probably had MS, it took a little while to sink in. I finished my associate’s and started my first semester working towards my BA through Lake Superior State University taking classes at NCMC.
That’s when it really started to hit me hard; I went downhill fast. When I first met Lauren I wasn’t using any kind of walking aid; I got a cane shortly after the doctors diagnosed me. In between getting my AA and starting at LSSU I was forced to upgrade to a walker. I also was overjoyed to discover my bladder no longer worked right and I was forced to start carrying a man-purse to bring catheters everywhere with me just so I could control when I urinated. That hurt a lot and I recall taking Lauren aside and asking her to let our engagement go and to please go her own way. I was at rock bottom; I quit going to my college classes, which meant I unofficially withdrew from classes. I was living with Lauren, with my son and hers, and I was sure my life was over as I knew it.
That’s around the time I met my neurologist, Dr. Pace, at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He started a two-pronged attack on this disease, involving Rituximab infusions, two rounds of low-dose chemotherapy every six months, and a twice daily capsule. That’s when things started to look a little brighter.
I have come so far since that dark day when I asked Lauren to go her own way and she refused. I am collecting disability, but that is no life. In the past few weeks I have moved from just thinking I might be able to go back to work to maybe returning to college and picking up with my AA, although I’ve had to admit I will need to see where I’m at after my BA: a MA or Ed.d. might be out of reach. That isn’t what got me going though.
This situation involves an incident before the election. I’m pretty sure it would be easy to find: just do a search for “Trump mocks disabled reporter” and I’m sure it will be at the top of the list. It took some time for it to really make me mad and a lot of media I have absorbed is anti-Trump, and probably has something to do with it. So Trump mocked that disabled reporter and got away with it. He basically was saying, in not so many words, that disabled people have no value, that he didn’t need to be decent about that reporter for some reason. I’m making some inferences, sure, but that man was praised and voted in after doing that! The sheer bigotry in assuming he is better than a reporter because that reporter is disabled. Seriously, people voted for him?