My eldest daughter, Brianna, is very much like me. She and I enjoy the same books, same movies, same music — for the most part (that silly girl adores country music far more than I ever will).
We like the same clothing style, love the same foods, and we have many of the same mannerisms. We even unintentionally say the very same things at the very same times often enough that Jim, upon hearing our comments in stereo — one side me, one side Brianna — regularly responds to us with, "Will you two stop doing that!?"
Yes, Brianna is very much like me.
There is one way in which my daughter is so not like me, though. It's something we both learned this week. It's something that led me to thank God out loud upon hearing.
That something is this: Brianna does not have MS.
I'm talking about multiple sclerosis — a drag of a disease I've worried for decades one or more of my daughters would inherit from me... despite there being no proof MS is hereditary.
Hereditary or not, Brianna began expressing concerns about unusually numb feet and oddball sensations in her body about six months ago. Just a complaint here and there, sentiments she'd pass along knowing darn well it was scaring the hell out of me despite my calm and reassuring demeanor at the mentions.
"It's probably just related to your back," I'd say on the outside while fearing the worst on the inside.
See, Brianna was in a car accident a few years ago, rear-ended by a landscaping truck that never even hit the brakes as she was stopped at a red traffic light. It wasn't good, especially for her back. Brianna eventually, though not even 25 years of age at the time, had to undergo emergency back surgery months after the accident but related to the accident. She's had minor pain and numbness and pings and pinches in her feet and legs ever since.
But when those minor pings and pains recently changed to major and began sounding more and more like the pings and pains I experienced before being diagnosed with MS 21 years ago, neither of us could ignore the symptoms. Brianna needed to see a doctor who would confirm or rule out MS.
Brianna saw that doctor Wednesday.
The doctor ruled out MS Wednesday.
I learned Wednesday that my daughter who is very-so-very much like me is not like me in the one way I prayed she and her sisters would never, ever be.
Yes, there's nerve damage and neuropathy and issues my daughter — who just turned 31 on Sunday — will deal with the rest of her life, things that may worsen throughout her life.
We both agree that sucks.
Yet we also both agree on this: Thank God it's not MS.
In that way we are very much alike.
In that way we both say — in stereo — hallelujah!
And that is what I — and Brianna — learned this week.
I learned another thing this week (yesterday, in fact), this one far more sad: Our bloggy friend Joan, whom many of you know as Gramcracker and who blogs at Gramcracker Crumbs, lost her husband unexpectedly this week. Please keep Joan and her loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
Have a safe, happy and memorable weekend. I look forward to connecting with you again on Monday.
What did you learn this week?