Multiple sclerosis, Struggles

Dancing in the rain

Sweet sentiment, but have you ever really tried it? What a load of hooey. You get wet, and depending on the season, cold. And it might ruin your shoes. Definitely your hair.

Maybe I’m too macabre for my own good, but for me it conjures up a scene from Bram Stoker’s Dracula that, after our heroines frolic in a surprise spring shower, turns really, really, I mean really dark.

And then there’s the lightning. Just ask anyone who has had the misfortune of being with me in a freak storm how terrified I get. And how fast I can attempt to run.

Image from

So imagine my delight when this morning the sky opened up. We’re talking biblical rain here.

I’m in a stage 4 panic. There’s roughly half a football field separating my parking spot from the door. A lot can go wrong in that span of space, especially when I realize that I won’t be able to book it.

So I slog through, but not without some serious emotional trauma from nearby lightning. My shoes, fine. Hair, not so much.

Maybe I approach MS much the same way I do a thunderstorm — try to run like hell from it but still get slammed.

I get that “learning to dance in the rain” is a metaphor for coping with life’s adversities.

Those Panglossian types will say I need to let go of my fears, find the silver lining and boogie down a little in the rain.

But I know the best of all possible worlds doesn’t include multiple sclerosis.

So forgive my pessimism when I can’t embrace my disease, even just a little bit, or learn to cope with it beyond managing my symptoms day in and day out.

I’d rather try to run like hell from it.

7 thoughts on “Dancing in the rain”

  1. Yeah, nothing sucks like watching other people scamper to their cars while you limp slowly though the pouring rain. That’s the problem with only having one basic speed-slow. Lucky for me, I park in the deck at work so never have to face to rain issue but I hate getting caught out in the rain while shopping.

  2. Also can’t carry an umbrella anymore… Now, I rely on hooded jackets and old shoes in the rain. Perhaps metaphoric, but the image reminds us of an MS lifestyle.

  3. I would love to add a link to this post to the comments section of my poem Pet Peeve. That poem generated perhaps the liveliest discussion I have ever had, with people going to post on their blogs about it. Your excellent post would be in keeping with the tenor of the discussion. Here’s the poem itself, with the link at the end.

    Here is a pet peeve.
    When people say they are glad
    that they got MS.

    They are pleased because
    it made them better persons.
    My blood just curdles.

    Are you kidding me?
    Was there no better method
    to accomplish growth?

    1. Yes, Judy – I found your post and the resulting discussing to be so eye-opening. I don’t think MS has fundamentally changed who I am at my core. It may have put me in touch with sides that I wasn’t all too familiar with…but I can’t say that makes me grateful for it. There are other, easier paths toward self-enlightenment. Ha!

  4. What a way you have with words, Jenn!

    These are such powerful lines:

    “So forgive my pessimism when I can’t embrace my disease, even just a little bit, or learn to cope with it beyond managing my symptoms day in and day out.

    I’d rather try to run like hell from it.”

    I imagine we all would if we could. Thanks for sharing. Dan

    1. thanks, Dan. how are you and Jennifer these days? Does she ever go by Jenn? I find more and more that’s what I prefer (although so many people shorten it to Jen, and that makes me think of that cartoon Jem – Truly Outrageous!)

      I was thinking of Bruce Springsteen (and then you) the other day. Have you heard The Gaslight Anthem?

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