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Finding Out

Finding Out

A Story by A. Doyle

500 word short story


"First things first, Debbie, this is NOT a death sentence. There is no known cure for Multiple Sclerosis, however it has become highly treatable. Our first aim is to regain function…"

I’ll never forget driving to the hospital the day Steven got in his accident. All I heard was serious. The first thing that crossed my mind was that he had lost his legs. I felt anger like I had never felt. How did he expect me to live like that? I needed to get there to see for myself but I needed every second in the meantime to keep me where I felt safe. Every minute in the meantime for things to stay the same. I drove 30 and the speed limit was 45. I stopped at the corner of 65 and 120 at a yellow light. And when it turned green I waited for it to turn red again.

"When the nerve fibers become inflamed it causes scarring, or plaques, on the myelin. These scared patches cause signals to the body to be slowed or stopped completely. Research, however, has shown the incredible resilience of the brain to retrain and redevelop neural pathways to allow the body to function again."

When I finally got to the hospital Steven said, "And what if my legs were cut off?”
Of course he would say that. He would say we would find a way to deal with it. And he'd say sometimes we aren't in control. “Sometimes all we can do is roll with the punches. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and say ‘I give up’, not in a bad way, in a trusting way. Debbie, if I had lost my legs I'd surrender to it and move with it wherever it may lead me... because I'd have no choice. "
It wasn't the first time I'd heard words like those from Steven.
Steven had a punctured lung, broken ribs, two black eyes, and a broken nose. That was six years ago.

"Debbie? I know this is a lot. Please know you must stay positive. The way you approach this situation has everything to do with the outcome. Quadriplegia in MS is rare but recovery is possible."

I'm in a wheelchair. Everything including my heart feels numb. I'm a floating head. I see Steven holding my hand but I can’t feel him. Is he asking himself how he's going to live with me like this? Of course he's not.

"Debbie please say something…"

I heard myself from afar like my heart, my mind, my soul and my voice retreated to separate corners of the room, "I give up... I just... I surrender."
Steven looked at me and smiled and all at once all the lost pieces of me found their way back into one. ‘I give up’ sounded bad out loud, but at least one person in the room knew it was the best I could do.
For now.

© 2013 A. Doyle

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Attempting a short story of only 500 words was a huge challenge for me! I'd love all the input I can get! Feels rushed to me because I usually take my time with my words. Ratings and reviews are so needed as I am new to short stories and looking to constantly learn and make improvements. Thank you! A.D

Posted 9 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on October 15, 2013
Last Updated on October 15, 2013
Tags: Multiple sclerosis, MS, women, girl, husband, wife, quadriplegia, paralysis, bad news, scary, hurt, loss, fear, short story, doctor, hospital, twist, recovery, pain, hope


A. Doyle
A. Doyle

Norwich, CT

"I'm in repair. I'm not together but I'm getting there. " -JM more..

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