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)


Sometimes a sick day is just what the doctor ordered

MS is a chronic medical condition, but the symptoms can ebb and flow. Usually, this lack of a traceable pattern or predictability makes no sense to anyone – even the MSer.

One day, we may look hearty and healthy. We may tackle huge projects without suffering any immediate ill effects. Another day, merely rising and walking and dressing for the day seems like tall orders.

Most of us slug it out the best we can, every moment of every day. But once in a while, it’s OK to take a down day.

Everyone has to phone in sick, every now and then. MSers know this all too well.

Sometimes you just hit the wall, proverbially or otherwise.

For those of us living with multiple sclerosis (or nearly any long-time chronic health condition), even an extended period of positive and entertaining activities can fairly do us in. Fatigue can arise after good times or stressful stretches.

American philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau put it this way:

“’Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.”

Hey, even warriors need their rest. And grabbing some much-needed downtime can be an investment in the future.

I’m not a napper. Even the shortest catnap can trash me for the day. But a few moments of peace and quiet can recharge my system remarkably. Of course, sometimes it takes more than a few moments …

Frequently, I can tell when I’m overdue and overspent.

I start stumbling, dropping items, and forgetting details. Eventually, the daily vertigo grows worse, and the full-body fatigue shuts me down. In the worst cases, long-time nagging MS symptoms (such as optic neuritis and tingling) creep back to the fore.

It’s time to take a sick day – or at least, a few hours.

If we don’t bother, or if we forget, we just might get sick. Maybe that’s nature’s way of making us stop and rest – before things grow a whole lot worse.


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