Saturday, November 6, 2010

Well, phooey

This is where the writing is today; lost in my head and not on the page. My mind is clear but my body is rebelling against me. So please indulge me...

Each day that goes by in this little life of mine has a small reminder that; even though, I may walk with a normal gait, use my hands to grow food, craft and cook, fill some days with the to-do list of super-mom, I am a person with Multiple Sclerosis. Every day this small thought enters my head. Every day.

When I am chasing sheep around the yard, tilling a garden, stacking wood, I am still a person with MS. When I am sitting quietly, savoring the fatigue that comes with good hard work at the end of the day, I am reminded of the fatigue that used to plague me in my early 30's when they symptoms of MS were a constant part of my every day.

And every once and a while;thankfully fewer whiles than in the past, I have an exacerbation that takes a month from my normal life.

There really is only one way to treat the exacerbation. A course of cortico-steroids. This miracle drug restores feeling and function to that part of my body that has decided not to work to full capacity. This drug raises my blood pressure, raises my blood sugar, robs my body of calcium, retains water, temporarily depresses my immunity also takes away the limp, numbness and restores balance.

They also do something else to me. They put me in a dark place. They tap into the fear that I can forget when I am in an extended period of wellness. It is the fear that this might be the one exacerbation that leaves me with a permanent limp. It is the fear that after a life time of MS my elder years will be spent like some of the residents at the nursing care facility I cared for; unable to care for myself, in a wheelchair with a hands and feet in braces. I can rage against this damn thing. I have given up running long distances, dancing for hours and savoring summer heat because my body can not tolerate extreme heat. This time my hands have taken the hit. They are numb and unable to do what I want to do with them. I can rage at the unfairness.

Yup, it gets that dark in this little brain of mine.

This too shall pass. I have had MS since I was 29. I am 43. I am doing pretty well. My last exacerbation was 2 years ago. The one before then was 7 years. I have made significant changes in the way that I live, eat and treat myself. I am aware that sometimes no matter what I do I will get sick. Other times it serves as a reminder that I have to slow down and pay attention.

I am blessed with a good husband and kind children. I am blessed with a good spot of soil and overall good health despite the MS. I am blessed with good food in the cupboard and a great new community. I am blessed with the learned lessons that MS has taught me. To slow down, listen to my body, eat well.

I am blessed.

Thanks for indulging me.


Wendy said...


Just so you know, I feel blessed to have met you and to be given the opportunity to have these little glimpses into your life, because you are an amazing person, and your perennially positive outlook is inspiring to me. So, thank you.

I hope you feel better soon ;).

Ellen said...

I didn't know you had ms, I have a dear friend who has it as well. You have my complete admiration in all that you do, you will be in my prayers!

Teresa/safira said...

Sending good energy in hopes that this will be a short episode with no lasting bad effects.

innstitches said...

I hope that you are in a better place with you health now...I didn't realize that you have MS...I have enjoyed reading your blog just recently and hope that things get better for you in the health department...

Sheila said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly. I have a friend recently much unknown.
God's blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

I have MS too. I like what you said about the fear and also not giving up. I take a weekly shot, Avonex, and the side effects make me wonder why. You've got a wonderful attitude!
Anna (

Kathy said...

I remember the first time I saw you during an exacerbation and I remember how I tried so hard not to let you see how shocked I was at what you were going through. And then I remember how sad I was that you were moving 'just' that little bit further away; making those life changes that would hopefully help you stay healthy.
Now I see a woman who has accomplished much, in spite of the difficulties. A woman I so admire. Hang in. ((hugs))