MS and the Blues
More than a few people have told me their story of how Multiple Sclerosis has affected them and their relationships. At those times when MS gives me the blues, I think of Pat Hunter, who I met through an MS facebook group. Pat posted a link to a video of her performance and we started a conversation that began innocently enough. She is a talented blues singer and I asked “did the Blues come BEFORE MS or AFTER?” Her story left me breathless and rooting for her success, and with Pat’s permission, I share it with you:
This disease took a lot from me but, it left me with what I NEEDED! As long as I can see, walk and sing I’ll be just fine!! Can’t dance like Tina Turner any more BUT I can STILL SING LIKE HER!! LOL!!!
I never had it easy my dad died before I could remember his face. My mom beaten to a pulp everyday for 15 years. I saw things no child should see. I was raised by my grandmother. I became a Blues singer because someone said I couldn’t.
I had a very successful band in NY with my ex “EVERYTHING” a young blindman. My world revolved around him. When I became symptomatic, people told him that I was lying, making it up, on drugs, an alcoholic. He bought it. 4 weeks after setting wedding plans he left me. He took everything. I was so sick and was getting sicker. I would later find that I had MS and Central nervous symptoms lymes disease.
There is no feeling in the world then when the person you trusted most turns on you. Being with a blindman, is not like a “normal” relationship. At least this one wasn’t. I cut his food, taught him how to count his money, how to dress, I built the band around him, booked his shows. I was his lover, his best friend, nurse, mother etc. his eyes. 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 7 years, his hand barely left mine.
When he left me it was like someone cut my soul from my body like my heart didn’t beat any more. He came after me like a viper! He actually ended our 7 year relationship on stage at a festival in front of over 2000 people. To this day he still hasn’t apologized. Friends walked away from me believing his lies. I was so sick, I could barely walk, speech was slurred going blind in my left eye. The disease was discovered by accident, while giving blood. The report of an mri 8 months earlier that the neuro ignored because he wanted to sell my ex a blind friendly computer (my MRI) was positive.
I went public as we had a huge following in NY and the rumors were flying. People reached out to me I found a Dr who was on the research team of Stoney Brook in NY. he discovered the dual dx. Said he never saw anything like it. He put me in remission.
A year to the day my ex dumped me on that stage, I returned. I performed with a IV bag attached to me. some people STILL didn’t get it. I cried every day for three years waiting for his return. My Blues, the way he wanted me to suffer just for getting sick, a man that loved me more than anyone in my life. I used to sing the blues now I know it first hand.The blues is my best friend. I was stripped to nothing. Had to start all over. I sing because he said I couldn’t do it without him. That in three months no one would remember my name. He left me with one thing. A microphone.
Everything I worked so hard for protected and loved for years gone in a blink of a eye, public humiliation, I left NY. I moved to Florida where I knew only one person. Three weeks ago I played the top room in Miami. MS is a cake walk compared to what I went through by his hand. Which came first MS or the Blues? I don’t know. You tell me.
Now that you’ve read her words, I hope you will take a moment to listen to her sing . This is a link Pat sent to me, her performance of “Cry” that was performed almost one year to the day of when she was dumped on this very same stage – http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_videos/556971.
Having the blues and Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t have to mean we are at the end as Pat has shown – often it can be a new beginning of making the best of what we have been handed.
Wishing you and Pat well,