On Seizing Up (Again)

Well, as many of you already know, my obsession with seizing up, the usual way of dying, persists as one of my major concerns. My definition of seizing up has recently had to evolve a bit to allow for progressive disease.

Seizing up, as you will recall, is when you suddenly become engaged totally in your own health issues, which usually means you abandon all that seemed important to you earlier in life. All except the people who have meant the most to you, at least. But if you’ve been trying to achieve something in your profession etc., you are most likely to give that up right away.

Sometimes you have no choice. For example, when severe pain is involved, there is nothing to be done. I thought that might not always be the case, but now I’m beginning to wonder whether seizing up is inevitable.

I’ve long been aware that much, if not most, seizing occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, with some of it being so short-lived that it challenges the use of the term, such as when one dies very quickly following first noticing the problem, as following a heart attack, say. What I am becoming more aware  of, though, is the  way seizing can occur in incremental ways that eventually have the same effect. This happens to everyone eventually. It’s usually called  aging.

But sometimes there is a specific malady, such as M.S., that accelerates the process and may even be amenable to treatment. Unfortunately, it is frequently the case that this delay in onset is neither guaranteed nor even highly likely.  Such is the case with M.S., which I have. To make matters worse, the remitting-relapsing nature of M.S. gives rise to frequent mis-identification of cures, so there are a great many antidotal solutions to the disease.

Pursuing solutions can, therefore, be very tempting. Pursuing solutions, however, can also be very time intensive and a form of seizing up itself. The quandary, for someone like myself, who wants so very much to make a professional impression on the world, arises in the form of a conflict between trying to address the diisease–thus extending one’s long-term effetiveness–and spending the present time–which is increasingly limited by the handicaps of the disease–on the professional goal. Add to this the complications of the possibility of side effects from medications, and the situation becomes quite murky.

Last night I learned of an additional complication: loved ones suffer too. Watching a crippling disease take possession of my body is not an easy thing for my love ones. while I have  largely come to grips with the constant annoyance my inability to move or feel my extremities causes me, not everyone in my immediate circle has–or ought to have to.

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4 Responses to On Seizing Up (Again)

  1. Thanks for this personal reflection of your reality, George. It IS complex, because we do not live in isolation–especially when we have to become dependent on others for our care.

    My hope is that as your LIFE continues to progress that you find deep and meaningful exchanges with your loved ones–those are the lasting impressions we all cherish. Because when all is said and done, only love remains.

  2. Barbara says:


  3. carole says:

    Hi George, I think of you frequently. I’m so sorry that you have been going thru this; I know it must be terribly difficult. I’ll email you at the old address I have for you and see if it gets through. Seizing up–I’m new to the term but I can relate in so many ways. You add to my thinking. Thank you! carole

  4. carole says:

    And you touch my heart. carole

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