We simultaneously sighed when the alarm woke us up at 4:44 a.m. Friday.
If all went according to our plan, at least 18 hours would pass before we returned to our comfortable covers. It was going to be a big day but, unlike our multiple sclerosis, we asked for it.
OK, we didn’t necessarily ask for all of it. If we had the choice, we wouldn’t need to make a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor for Jennifer’s 9 a.m. Rituximab treatment for her Secondary-Progressive MS. Rather, we’d choose for her to be cured, and Dan also would be cured of his Relapsing-Remitting form of this disease.
Until they discover a way to get rid of MS or until we find that elusive wish-granting genie in a bottle, we are making the most of the health and the choices we have.
We did choose to schedule the earliest possible time for Jennifer’s five-hour infusion. It was pivotal for us to build in enough time to go out and play that evening. Weird Al Yankovic was performing in concert at 8 p.m. at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, only 10 minutes away from our house.
It’s not that we’re wild Weird Al fans per se, but Jennifer’s aunt and Uncle are (they’ve seen him in concert seven times). We couldn’t think of a better time than to have them and Jennifer’s brother come up to enjoy dinner and a concert with us in our town.
It was 9:45 p.m. when we looked down at the clock on Jennifer’s power wheelchair. We smiled at each other and joined the thousands of concertgoers shouting for Weird Al to return to the stage and, “Play one more!”
It never crossed our mind that we should feel fatigued. After all, it was less than six hours ago that we were in the hospital restroom where Dan was helping Jennifer to stand and transfer onto the toilet for the fourth time during her infusion. Each transfer posed plenty of obstacles, most notably the port in Jennifer’s left hand that connected to the tether-like tube that fed to the clear medicine that we’re hoping will slow the progression of her MS.
None of us chose to get MS, but we do have choices in how we treat and live with this disease.
Sure, we were exhausted when Weird Al returned for his three-song encore, but we refused to think about it. This was our time for having fun and not letting MS stand in our way.
We asked for it.
Do you find multiple sclerosis keeps you from have fun?
Dan and Jennifer Digmann demonstrate two very different faces of Multiple Sclerosis. They both have MS—Jennifer has secondary-progressive MS, Dan’s is relapsing-remitting—and combined they have lived with the disease for more than 30 years. They were married in 2005, and through their writing, speaking and living life to the fullest, have inspired countless friends, colleagues and perfect strangers with our love story and passion for life. The Digmanns co-authored the highly praised book “Despite MS, to Spite MS,” and maintain a blog – www.danandjenniferdigmann.com – which Healthline.com has named among the “Best MS Blogs of 2014.”
Recommended Reading: Husband and Wife Both with MS Stronger Together