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)


The MS life is rough-and-tumble

When I was younger, I used to think of tumbling as a pursuit for people who could do cartwheels, flips, and handsprings. The dictionary even defines “tumbling” in terms of such gymnastics feats.

By the way, I was never good at any of those things.

Since the arrival of MS, this term has taken on an entirely different meaning for me. And I’ve become pretty adept at tumbling. (But I still can’t do a cartwheel.)

My first true tumble occurred in front of several people. (Wouldn’t you just know it?) We were standing outside a horseback riding facility. I bade the others goodbye and began walking to my car, which was about 20 feet away. Mid-stride, I reached into my pocket to retrieve my car keys.


The next thing I knew, I was flat out on my back, staring at the clear blue summer sky. I had no idea how I got there.

Of course, everyone laughed. They probably just thought I had a clumsy moment. None of us knew it was MS.

What causes MSers to tumble?

Maybe it’s the whole balance, blurred vision, and heat sensitivity thing. It could be the random and inexplicably sudden tingling, numbness, and weakness that can attack random body parts at will. Perhaps it’s something else altogether.

Still, tumble we do. Some of us could make unpredictable tumbling an Olympic sport. And it often hurts. Plenty of MS warriors have scads of old x-rays and scans, showing bone fractures and other injuries we’ve incurred through tumbling. Most of us sport various bumps and bruises and welts all over at any given time, simply from tumbling.

Yes, the MS life is rough-and-tumble.

And it’s a sure bet not one of us is exactly head-over-heels about it. Sometimes it’s hard even to tumble out of bed in the morning, if the MS MonSter is already up and raging. But still we fight and rumble on against the tumbling. So please forgive us, if our tumbling is accompanied by a fair amount of grumbling. Even so, our resolve is not crumbling. Just give us a moment, and we’ll resume the battle against MS.

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 Adapted from public domain artwork

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