An Aspiration for Adequate
The Situation on the Airplane
There had been a lot of dramatic ‘goings-on’ in my life lately, so I was happy to have gone away, on my own, to visit my sister Maggie in Charleston, South Carolina. I absolutely adore her and had such a wonderful time getting to be there with her and my brother-in-law Josh, as well as my cousins, Kate and Amanda. We laughed and chatted over great local food, did some shopping, beach yoga, the typical touristy stuff that one tends to miss out on when he or she lives in a place for a while. Everything was perfect. Unfortunately, though, the weekend had passed by, and it was time to board the plane to go home.
Though it wasn’t a particularly long journey up the coast, I wasn’t able to get a direct flight. After less than an hour, I got myself off the plane for the quick lay-over in Baltimore. With just enough time to grab a bite to eat, I went over to the restaurant and sat myself at the bar. I tried to choose the healthiest option on the menu, considering I would have to wear four pairs of Spanx to counteract the amount of food that I had already consumed this weekend. When my salad came, I shoveled it down my gullet as quickly as possible, took my pain medication, and chugged my glass of water. I paid. I left. It was as uneventful as it gets.
Anyway, I had a flight to get to.
The plane was boarding when I got to the gate, so I scrounged around in my bag for my pass and stood on the line. I was quiet and I kept to myself as we walked like cattle though the jetway, then found our seats. Again, uneventful.
I found my seat between two other passengers, took my magazine out, and began finding out the important questions in life, such as “who wore it better?” Literature at its finest.
Two flight attendants suddenly walked over to our row, so I checked quickly to make sure that I had stowed my bag properly under the seat in front of me. The larger woman in front looked displeased, whereas her companion was noticeably ill at ease. “Umm, excuse me? Miss?” They were both staring at me, but it was the woman in front, the obvious chieftain in this operation, who was doing all the talking. “Are you feeling alright?”
“Yeah…I’m- ugh- fine…”
“Yes. Well, that remains to be seen,” the witch of a flight attendant declared. “Could you please come with me to the back. That is, if you think you can.”
“Umm, okay,” I said as I got up from my seat and followed the two women to the back.
“So,” she said before we even reached the alcove in the rear of the plane, “what is wrong with you? I mean, do you have a medical condition that we should know about?”
I was so shocked and nervous, it was difficult to speak. I meekly responded, “No… I mean yes, but I think there’s been some kind of misunderstanding. I understand that you have the safety of the other passengers in mind, but I honestly wasn’t causing any harm or anything.”
“We’ve had multiple reports of your unstable walking and such.”
“Well, I do have MS—“
She cut me off immediately. “Don’t we all. Just go back and sit down quietly. I don’t want to hear anything else about weird behaviors.”
I was completely humiliated. How could anyone be so cruel? When I returned to my seat I silently wept, careful not to exhibit any “weird behaviors.”
Because of the aprés-yoga remark (which was most likely completely innocent) as well as other exchanges (which were more harsh on my ego), I decided to go on a mission: A Crusade Toward Regularity. I wanted to be just that: NORMAL.
I feel such sense of helplessness because my brain doesn’t do what I tell it to, like I’ve been used to for so many years.
“Work harder!” I exclaim.
“Nah.” It responds, “I’m going to inhibit your balance and leg functions, that way everyone will think you're drunk!”
Ugh. My brain can be such a b****.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?