I had my neurologist appointment last week.
After a quick catch up on how I was doing and how my symptoms were my neurologist took me through all the regular physical tests: touching my hands and my feet with a pin to test sensitivity, using a tuning fork to along my legs and feet to test the same thing. She took me through the eye test and I read the second last line from across the room. She tested my legs and their reaction by tapping the knees with a small hammer.
Normally, she made me walk across the room barefoot and toe to toe. As I had mastered this during my last appointment (doing ten steps heel to toe!) she skipped this exercise. Then she gave me a huge smile. “I really don’t know why you’re here.” She held her hands out. “You’re doing so well!”
“What are you doing again for your exercises?”
“I work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and swim on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or Sunday.”
“So disciplined!” She said with another smile.
“I just like to stay mobile.”
“It’s working! It also helps that you’re so positive. You are the poster boy for positivity.” She said.
“I just don’t know any other way to be.”
“But along with everything you are doing, the positivity is a great help. You aren’t letting yourself get down on yourself.”
I shrugged. “I look at every day as a gift, as something to be thankful for. It’s all about the sparkle.”
“I actually owe you a debt of thanks.”
“Why?” I looked at my husband, wondering what she could have to thank me for.
“Something you said during your last appointment. You said ‘I’m gay, I have Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis. But I still sparkle’” She let out a laugh. “It’s become my mantra. No matter how bad life gets, we can still sparkle.”
I was very touched and told her so.
“Oh, it’s not just me. The other nurses and doctors have taken it to heart as well. It brightens their spirit when someone tells them to sparkle on.” Her face brightened. “OH, I’ve just had an idea! Let’s go do a sparkle flash mob! Come with me!”
With a smile on our faces, my husband Michael and I chased after her down the hallway. She got to the office where the other doctors and nurses were and threw open the door. They all turned and saw me.
“Get ready folks!”
“What’s going on?” One doctor said.
My neurologist looked at me. “Do it!”
I snapped my fingers above my head and said “Sparkle on!”
The elation in the staff room was instant. The other nurses and doctors were overjoyed. One of them told me that when they saw my name on the roster that it put them in a good mood. Another told me that she thinks of me every time she sees rainbows or unicorns.
I gave my neurologist a big hug before I left. As my husband and I were leaving I said to him: “If this is part of the legacy that I leave behind, I’m totally cool with that.”