Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Liberal Confessions About My High School Reunion

I cannot be prosecuted for saying any of this because I may in fact be lying. So you and you and you too, don't even try.

My twenty-year high school reunion was really fun, but kind of stressful. It's hard to show up as one of the say five unmarried women at a reunion. Everyone is talking about their kids and husbands and most of the gay classmates just stayed away because it was in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs may be the most gay unfriendly city in The United States.

Suffice it to say, the woman who bullied me all through high school patronizingly asked me if I am okay. I said I was. But I was just floored. So I joined a group of boys smoking pot and got darn good and stoned. Later I found myself staring at a really nicely woven carpet from India at someone's house. There are a lot of things I may not know, but I do know a fine carpet when I see one. I was down on my hands and knees inspecting every single hand sewn fiber.

What made the reunion even more challenging was the single classmate who told me not to be concerned about being single who later got proposed to at the reunion. Man, I just sucked down some more pot.

I also enjoyed all the people telling me I looked about the same as I did in high school. I guess that was because of my weight. I have not gained that much weight. That helps. I had to keep looking at name tags and one person chastised me for doing so. Well excuse me for not knowing who you were about one hundred and fifty pounds later. More pot.

There was a slide show. There were quite a few pictures of me playing varsity tennis and running and stuff. This brought a round a loud applause that kind of shocked me, but I was also stoned. I guess I am some sort of athletic hero. Or not. I don't know.

The men I hung around were discussing which women had had plastic surgery. Never mind our class produced some female attorneys and doctors, all the men cared about was the probability of plastic surgery. More pot. Very high. High as a kite and not giving a shit either.

Then it was over. I left my sweater at my cousin's house which somehow got back to her eventually. I survived. I made it back to Washington and I think one reunion is enough for me for a lifetime. I really do like handwoven carpets though. Always will. Stoned or not. -Alison Whiteman

Top Ten Reasons I Like Being Disabled

1. If you are disabled, people assume you are also stupid. However, an Irish writer wrote an entire book that was much like James Joyce's Ulysses with a stick attached to his head. He pounded out this piece of literary genius one letter at a time. His name was Christopher Nolan.

2. Some people assume that no matter what disability you have, all decisions must be made for you by them. You have no say in your own care. This puts people with disabilities in camp with five-year-olds regardless of functional ability. These people most often have known you for less than a year.

3. People offer you all kinds of unproven cures. This can be entertaining as long as you just smile and remain friendly. Do not spend your money on their products.

4. I got diagnosed at the age of 32. When my now deceased professor saw me at Safeway and asked me how I am doing, I said, "Well, I found out I have MS." He said, "Sex after fifty is pretty good, Alison." I was thirty-two years old. He dropped dead of a heart attack two years later. Good riddance really.

5. When someone found out I had finally been diagnosed with MS, she said, "Well, unlike the rest of us, you don't have to work anymore." Oh sure. I will take a debilitating disease over a normal life of working any day.

6. Right wing Christians tell me I am possessed by demons. I just tell them demons are contagious and touch them. See? I told you so.

7. When I was single, one man said, "I won't take care of you." I wasn't asking him to. Then he said, "Could this happen to me?" Yes, it actually could. And I sort of hope it has really.

8. I get all sorts of negative attention from enabler types. This is better than no attention at all. Well, not really, but sort of.

9. Now and then I scare the crap out of people. They start to feel sorry for me and I say, "We all have to die ." Then they just come up with an excuse to leave. Good riddance.

10. People who are not stupid treat me just like anyone else. Thank God for them. -Alison Whiteman

Monday, June 27, 2011

You Want A Picture Of My Brain?

I appreciate the top notch care I might get during this first major flare of MS in eleven years. I say might get because first I have to get my medicaid transport back. I am not even sure that is possible because of all the recent budget cuts.

Today I got a call from Swedish asking when I am available for another MRI. This would be my fourth MRI since 1998. I said I had one in 2010 and doubt Medicare will pay for another one. "Oh, we will let you pay that off in installments." Oh no! I am not paying you for a picture of MY brain!

I don't even know if we need to take a picture of it as much as get the flare to go away. I won't take steroids and they know that. I won't take painkillers either. I swear I might have been able to give birth without any drugs I am so pain tolerant. I will never know, thank goodness. I did not have kids and I am not starting now.

Swedish is welcome to have my brain when I am done with it. I will have it put on ice with a fresh slice of lemon. It will be nothing like the brain of a famous person, just a woman who managed to get by somehow. If it helps to find the cure, assuming the cure is not found within my lifetime, I don't mind.

It's only a brain. -Alison Whiteman