Conjoined Twin

The cover girls on this morning’s New York Times Magazine are cute young twins…conjoined at the head.
My son, an only child, could not imagine himself in such a conundrum. Since I have two sisters, it was easier for him to imagine such a thing happening to me.
“You probably wouldn’t like it if you were conjoined with one of my aunties.”
I immediately imagined an even worse scenario.
“Image how she would feel being stuck conjoined to me! She’d want to go out…and I wouldn’t be able to walk fast enough. She’d be dragging me along! And then I’d stop walking altogether. And she’d be stuck! She’d hate it!”
And then it hit me; I can imagine this hypothetical situation so well because that’s exactly the situation that I’m in. My MS is like a pesky conjoined twin with a will of her own.
Take this morning, for example. I wanted to pull weeds. But I had to drag along my pesky twin, MS. Let’s pretend MS is short for Mary Sue.
It’s a beautiful, clear day. Blue sky, fluffy white clouds. 80 degrees. Finally, no rain. Finally, a chance to pull those 16” weeds!
Mary Sue whines about the heat. I’ve gathered only a handful of weeds, but we go back inside. I pour us some ice water. A compromise. We go back out again. Gosh, it’s beautiful day.
Mary Sue starts whining again. Now she’s making our legs all tingly and heavy.
I ignore her, and pull. Satisfied to be finally getting something done.
The little girl across the street shouts, “Hello!”
“Hello!” I call. I smile and wave. I can’t see the little girl.
Mary Sue has gotten us dizzy.
I drink more ice water. Mary Sue complains that we are going to faint. She complains about our legs getting heavy.
Our legs have indeed gotten heavy. (Thanks to Mary Sue.) I drag our legs all the way down to the compost bin in the back of the yard, and dump what weeds I’ve managed to uproot.
I turn for home. Mary Sue is dragging our feet all the way to the front door, and her precious air-conditioning.
We’re inside. She’s won. I plop down, exhausted from our struggle, and read a book.
Mary Sue is outraged. I’m ignoring her. She finds a new way to make trouble.
Outside, she was too hot. Inside, she’s decides she’s too cold. She starts jerking our legs around in painful spasms. I stretch. She whines. I pull on long pants. She quiets down.
I dream of separation.
I long for a cure.

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