I ate lunch today at one of my favorite local spots, Cafe 12. Great food, great desserts, and the best apple turnovers I’ve ever had. And that’s saying something. It’s also a cool place to linger for the purposes of conversation or writing.
I was with a relative from out of town who asked how long the cafe had been around. Amazingly, it’s been four and a half years in a location that had previously been a black hole for food purveyors. He commented that, the restaurant business being what it is, its age was equivalent to about 75 human years. That’s a perfectly apt comparison.
When I got home, my inbox contained an email notification that the very-young-looking-for-her-age Yvonne deSousa had just published a new post in her MS blog. In that typically clever post, she comments that her “body feels like it’s aging at the rapid rate of two years every day”. That figure might be an exaggeration, but the sentiment is right on.
Having MS virtually speeds up the aging process.
Look, you’re gonna lose your vision, your strength, and your bladder eventually, but MS pushes you into it a lot sooner than anyone would expect or desire and usually faster than we can mentally and emotionally adapt to it. You’re fully justified in feeling cheated if, unlike me, your world view contends this life is all there is.
To make matters worse, the process can’t be accurately quantified because it isn’t consistent across the disease’s targets. If you want to find the human equivalent age of an animal such as a dog, cat, or iguana(!), you can use a handy chart like the ones on these pages. (It turns out that the classic 7 dog years to one human is a myth. Who knew?)
Not so easy with MS. One person in a progressive stage might advance a decade in a single year, while someone with a more benign course might add no more than a couple of weeks in the same span. And that could change year to year. Heck, it could change day to day, person to person! It all brings to mind something I wrote previously:
…to paraphrase the immortal Joaquin Andujar, MS can be described with one word: you never know.
That statement feels as true to me now as it did when I wrote in one of my first posts over seven years ago.
I don’t know what that is in blog years.
(NB: Cafe 12 is not handicapped accessible. As an advocate for accessibility, this annoys me. Under normal circumstances, I’d avoid a place like this but I know it’s not the owner’s fault. Her landlord doesn’t want to make the investment. I don’t want to punish a quality local business because of a landlord’s greed and insensitivity. Besides, I’m hooked on the apple turnovers.)