Monday 6 August 2012

The Campath Club and other things

Funny how some days when you are feeling well and just getting on with the daily grind with nothing apart from the routine worries of 'where did I put my pen?' and 'I've run out of milk so no coffee for me' something can happen to make you suddenly be reminded that lurking under the surface is the beast of MS waiting to strike at any inopportune moment.
It happened to me yesterday.
I was working (yes it was a Sunday and yep I too think that working on a weekend should be banned!) and chatting (gossiping) to a colleague - let's call her Jemma - when someone who knew her but not me, came to join in the conversation.
Without giving too much away, the chap - let's call him Malcolm - who walked uninvited into our heady mix of laughter and intrigue is, to put it politely, a bit - well a bit more than a bit actually - of an odd ball. Highly intelligent, fantastic at his job but sadly lacking in any social niceties. And to put it bluntly, by stepping into the little tete-a-tete Jemma and I were enjoying, the laughter and gossip (which was highly interesting I might add) ceased rapidly.
And so the conversation turned into a work-mode one. You see there was a bit of a staffing crisis where someone had called in sick and I was attempting to drag some other poor soul into the office on a Sunday when all other right-minded people are enjoying a lie in with the Sunday papers and a big mug of coffee to stave off any remnants of wine/beer effects from the night before.
The discussion turned to the person - let's call him Joe - who had called in complaining of food poisoning. I confess Jemma and I both had suspicions this may not actually be the truth...
"Well," says Malcolm, "That's very unlike Joe to call in sick."
"Why do you say that?" I replied.
"Joe doesn't need to call in and pretend he is sick - he already has a fantastic excuse at hand. His trump card if you like."
My curiosity was piqued.
"Trump card?" I asked intrigued at what this fantastic excuse could be.
"Yes," said Malc. "His wife has MS or something equally degenerative so he doesn't need to pretend he's sick, he can just wheel out the excuse his wife is on the turn."
"...Oh... right," I heard myself say as I felt the crushing blow that I have MS hit me yet again. It was horrifying.
Neither the charmless Malc or the lovely Jemma know I also have MS and I certainly didn't intend to enlighten them.
But an uneventful day which had been rolling along pretty smoothly and one in which MS hadn't been on my mind at all suddenly came falling around me and I could feel myself analysing yet again the reasons why I have been unfortunate enough to be given this thing to deal with.
I'm trying to stop myself dwelling on this before I fall head first into that pit of despair which I have only recently managed to climb out of and wash myself off so I won't bore you any more with my mind-tripping reaction to Malcolm's seemingly innocuous comments.
So what else has been going on?
Well one thing that has absolutely delighted me is that I have been contacted by people via email who like me are in The Campath Club.
As I discussed with one of those emailers, it is like there is this secret underground movement of people who are about to / have had the Big A and when you finally make contact with one of them, no matter what other differences/similarities you have with them, there is this one huge bond and you finally feel 'I'm not alone!'
I like being a member of The Campath Club - makes me feel like we're an army trying our best to battle this demon which is trying to destroy us.
Let's hope our efforts are not in vain.

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