My Wires are Crossed!

My husband is remodeling our master bathroom. He is a recently retired paramedic and is an excellent carpenter and craftsman. However, an electrician he is not. I don’t say that in a belittling fashion. More just to provide an illustration.  

We had can lights in the bathroom ceiling which made the bathroom too hot to me, especially when drying my hair. Well, that was my argument anyway.  

Honestly, the bathroom cabinet was falling apart and I had been dreaming my way through Pinterest. I had in mind just what I wanted and the can lighting did not suit the bill. I was so thrilled when I finally convinced my Handy (DAN)dy husband to take on the project. 

The first order of business was to remove the cabinet. After that, he removed the can lights so he could start sheet rock repair and patch the holes in the ceiling. Next he had to reroute the power for the new vanity light that I had purchased.  

This is where the trouble began for my carpenter.  

He pulled all of the wire for the new vanity light and hooked it up to test it. After he had turned the power back on, he was puzzled as the light switch was off but there was light. When he flipped it to the “on” position, the light turned off.   

Apparently he had some of his wires crossed.  

He studied over the situation, looked up how-to’s online, but he couldn’t solve the issue. Fortunately, we have a wonderful neighbor who is an electrician and within five minutes of him tinkering, Voilà, we were in business!   

It got me thinking. The way multiple sclerosis affects me is much like those crossed wires. MS affects the central nervous system (CNS): the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. And in my case, optic neuritis that occurred after a routine hysterectomy was the pathway to my diagnosis after several years of unexplained symptoms.   

For the sake of the illustration, think of the CNS as the wiring inside my bathroom. Wires carry the electricity that powers my new Pinterest-inspired light fixture. In similar fashion the CNS sends messages from the brain to the body. These messages help us walk, use our arms to dry our hair and control our sight and touch sensations. If these wires are crossed, well, this can cause a multitude of issues.  

In the case of MS, the myelin sheath is missing or damaged. Have you ever wrapped electrical tape around your cell phone charger when the rubber was pulled away from the wires? If the wires aren’t sending the correct message to your phone, you are not getting a proper charge. And if your iPhone isn’t charged, ain’t nobody happy.   

I am thankful for my neighbor and his electrician skills. I sure wish there was someone I could call on to figure out how to fix my own electrical system, although I am thankful for the advancements that have made and the help that is available. My goal is to continue to press forward with HOPE as we look for a cure and to help others understand this very complicated disease.  

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu 


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