Unaware of All the Invisible Things

I spent my twenties angry that my thighs were not thinner and my abs were not flatter. Sometimes I try to calculate how many hours of untapped imagination was wasted in that decade. Time I could have spent exploring my world instead of agonizing over my perfectly healthy body. On my nuttiest days I try to measure out my bad deeds on a "karma scale" to see if the total equals MS in your thirties. 

How far away or close are we to our brains — our miraculous life force floating pristine in fluid right behind or eyes?

How much of us is our brain?

I think about these questions all the time. When I have to lie in a coffin for an hour just to get a picture of my brain, I feel miles away from it. When it silently degenerates inside my skull while I'm cooking dinner and playing pat-a-cake, I feel like my brain is a long lost friend with whom I've become estranged.
 
I always find it strangely poetic that after years of silently attacking myself for all the things I felt were flawed, I got diagnosed with a disease that — by nature — is my body mistakenly and mercilessly attacking its keeper: my brain. If only I could have known I would meet my match, how much sooner would I have laid down my sword?
 
"You got your results in the mail while we were gone," he says with a pause. And I know, by the length of that pause, that he opened the mail. Strangely, I'm relieved. Relieved that he is sharing in this vulnerable burden…your life boiled down to one envelope that came after Christmas. He reads the words to me. Posterior, superior, periventricular, temporal, demyelination, plaque. Right turn, left turn, and right.... driving to pick up the kids.
 
My kids. Little beings who can't even grasp, "mommy had a bad day" let alone, "mommy is worried she won't always be the mommy you need,” or "mommy is angry that she has a disease she can't control." There they are. My daughter, wisps of hair whipping her face while she elaborately tells me about her friends in school. My son, a chubby baby planting sloppy, wet kisses on my face. So present and so unaware of all the invisible things.
 
I buckle them in and we drive. Right turn, left turn, and right. Somewhere in my haze I hear, "Mommy? Can you play my Trolls Song?" Mindlessly I hit play, grateful for an excuse to tune out the world. This dumb song that I've listened to on repeat for months begins to play.
 
Then it happens. I realize, that for the first time, my daughter has decided to try to sing along. And she knows all the words. One or two steps behind the beat, completely out of tune, but clear as day, she begins to speak to me.

The music is gone

and all I hear is her tiny, confident voice:
 
"I'm off on this remarkable adventure.
What if it's all a big mistake? What if it's more than I can take?
No! I can't think that way, ‘cause I know that I'm really
really
really
gonna be okay." 
13 Appreciate this
Danah

Danah Brown

Danah Brown was diagnosed with MS in August 2013, three months after giving birth to her baby girl. Danah is a psychologist and lives in Iowa with her husband, daughter, and dog, Ernie.