Tuesday, July 23, 2013

To Go, or Not to Go, That is the Question


Oh, my dear Hamlet, you never had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to go on holiday because your multiple sclerosis was acting up. When I was getting diagnosed in the fall of 2006, I promised my wife Laura that I would take her to the one country that we both had at the top of our wish lists, and a country that had so far eluded us on our world travels: Italy. But then other more intense adventures intervened because of my diagnosis: climbing Mayan ruins in Guatemala, snowboarding the Canadian Rockies, camping in the Sahara, glacier trekking in New Zealand, elephant riding in Thailand, and hiking in the Himalayas of Bhutan. Designs to go to Italy had quietly simmered in our imagination until the spring of 2009 when we began, finally, to plan in earnest.

Ah, but multiple sclerosis can be like a huge pimple--the one that magically appears on a forehead right before prom, screaming for attention at the most inopportune time. Days before our fall 2009 departure I had a good stumble and I could sense my legs were going to continue not cooperating. They’d been in a funk for months and it was only getting worse. The night before our transatlantic flight, our bags standing at attention by the front door, I wondered aloud to Laura if we should postpone our dream vacation. We had travel insurance; we could cancel for any reason. If we went, it would be hard. I’d need lots of help, and she’d need lots of patience. But if we did not go, it could be a decision that we’d regret for a lifetime. Amid salty tears, we decided that MS was just too unpredictable and that, yes, Italy couldn’t wait. No regrets. It was a smart decision. Click here to read how we seized the day.

Originally published December 22nd, 2009, edited for clarity.

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