Parents, palms, and poker

Gina and I drove out to Palm Desert yesterday to visit Dad and Ann. It’s been a very productive visit: Dad and Gina went to the casino to play poker, Ann and I went thrifting, we’ve had some excellent meals, I got food poisoning (or whatever the heck has turned me completely inside out), we’ve visited and told stories and watched Wayne Newton sing on Bonanza.

I also gave Dad a detailed lesson on what Multiple Sclerosis is and how I know that I really have it. Since his stroke, he has been adamant that I don’t have MS, that there’s nothing actually wrong with me, and that doctors are all incompetent. It’s been discouraging for me. Since MS is an invisible disease, I always wonder if people think there is nothing wrong with me, that I don’t have real symptoms, that I’m actually faking. I know that’s ridiculous, but I often feel I have to explain or defend myself.

I think, though, that not understanding the details of how MS affects me (and how it might progress in the future) made him more nervous than he needed to be. Once I explained that I was not going to die from it, he seemed somewhat reassured. He just wishfully thinks I don’t have MS because he wishes I didn’t have MS. I can definitely relate to that sentiment!

Poker by Javier Morales / CC BY