Would have died if I was born only eighty-one years earlier. Maybe even fifty years sooner. The technology to diagnose my problem was invented in 1924. One of the medications that saved me was released to the public in 1958.
It would have been a slow and painful death. I would have spent my last months feeling terrified and alone and depressed.
And if I had died from the sickness that had eluded doctors for so long, I would have missed my chance at coming close to death again.
You know who it is.
It’s weird. All the time I was sick, I never once thought about dying until I was properly diagnosed. It didn’t feel like that kind of illness. Plus, I was stuck on the MS possibility for a while.
So, I could have died. It’s something I think about before I fall asleep some nights. Sometimes, on those nights, I have nightmares - not necessarily about death, but about situations that fill me with anxiety. Fear dreams. Big fears.
The truth is, given the technology that exists today, and the level of care available, the only danger of death would have been going for a few more years without diagnosis. I was much more likely to have died shortly after I was welcomed back to Healthy Town. (I’ll get to that later.)
But if I was born eighty-one years earlier, I would have died for sure.
It sounds like a long time ago, if you don’t consider how long the earth has been around, or how long we live these days. One lifetime makes a huge difference.
Makes me wonder what my children will see in their lifetime.
Cure for all cancers? At least breast cancer. Cure for AIDS? A vaccine for HIV is in the works. Cure for MS? Possibly. Gene manipulation to avoid progressive disease completely, before symptoms can even appear? I think so.