As a young girl, I constantly begged to use my sister’s portable Brother typewriter, even though I didn’t know how to type. I loved the clanking of the keys and fantasized about sitting in a smoke-filled room, a pencil behind my ear, piles of crumpled paper all around, pounding away at my latest novel. I was a weird kid. Decades later when I finally sat down to write a book, it wasn’t a novel, but a memoir. There was no smoke-filled room, no pencil, no piles of crumpled paper, and typewriters were relegated to nostalgia. But I pounded away on a laptop in my home office, at the kitchen table, and on the living room sofa. I pounded away for a year and a half. The result is a look inside the thought process of a person with multiple sclerosis. But it’s not all about MS, because life can’t be all about MS. Time keeps moving and, ready or not, MS or not, we must move along with it. At its heart, this is a love story. Romantic love. Love of family. Love of life. Early feedback tells me that I struck a nerve and that my words are making a difference. The publication of my memoir has been a very rewarding experience. I no longer fantasize about that smoke-filled room, but that novel is still calling.
About the Book
When 44 year-old Ann Pietrangelo is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, all previous assumptions about health, work, and her new romance are up for grabs. How do you plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before? One precarious step at a time. From the impersonal diagnosis by email to a wedding presided over by a funeral director, this is no tragic tale of woe. Like relapsing/remitting MS itself, the book alternates between the serious (“When I turn toward him, there’s a big hole where his right cheek should be.”) and the silly (“The bocce balls don’t get out much.”).
This poignant and often humorous story of acceptance and change relies on a basic truth — good health and life are fleeting, but love and humor trump all. Every second matters, a point driven home by yet another life-altering diagnosis.
“No More Secs!” may strike a chord if you’ve got multiple sclerosis, or love someone who does. Still, it is only my story, not your story, and certainly not THE story of MS.
Ann Pietrangelo is a regular contributing writer for Care2 Healthy & Green Living, Care2 Causes, Natural Choice Directory, Family Health Guide UK, and around the web. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Ann’s writing covers many topics, including multiple sclerosis patient information, her Living with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer series, and general health news. She and her husband make their home in Virginia.