Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


MS makes me clumsy sometimes.

Some days I wake up and want to be a dragon-slayer. I climb out of bed with great ambitions, hoping to tackle a long list of tasks. I want to work out and run a bunch of miles. I’d love to fill my calendar with all sorts of stimulating and enjoyable activities, especially with people I’ve been wanting to see for a while.

Basically, I aim to put multiple sclerosis on the back burner – as if that were actually possible. Sometimes we can sort of do that for a while, if we’re between exacerbations.

I should have known better today.

This past weekend, I ran a half marathon. Yes, that’s 13.1 miles. And I pushed the pace a bit. So I might have expected to feel pretty spent (and out of so-called “spoons”) for a couple of days.

That’s the staccato rhythm of MS, as I live it:  Feeling good, feeling crummy, feeling good, and so on.

I lounged around yesterday, for the most part. I finished some sedentary projects, but didn’t exert myself much physically. That was a given for the day after a big race.

Today I was raring to go.

I hit the gym for a midday break and cranked out a 5K on the elliptical machine, followed by two miles of track running and weight circuits. Midway through those, I bumped into one of the weight machines, with the metal handle smacking me squarely in the middle of my back.

“Ouch!” It’s not like I don’t already have MS demyelination in that neighborhood. And it’ll definitely leave a mark.

I yelped and grimaced and gasped. Then I kept going with my workout routine.

Eventually, I climbed into my car and reached for my seat belt.

“Yow!” I bent an entire fingernail back, catching it between the car seat and the center console.

Not exactly nimble.

It is certainly shaping up to be an MS-clumsy day. I probably should have seen this coming, as soon as my toes went numb during the first mile on the elliptical.

I almost want to wrap myself up (head to toe) in bubble wrap till this bout passes. And I am evaluating all of today’s remaining calendar commitments to determine which are worth the risks my current clumsiness can bring.

Adapted by this user from public domain photo

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