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)


Weakness - Facing MS symptoms from A to Z

Whoa, baby. I could write the book on this multiple sclerosis symptom sometimes. Like this week! At other times, I fight the MS MonSter pretty well. (Any MSer knows this dichotomy.)

Like many MS warriors, I have had to educate friends and loved ones (as well as myself) about this weird weariness phenomenon. It’s really hard to grasp, because the proverbial bar seems to move at its own every whim.

When it hits, it's not basic fatigue. This is can-no-longer-make-your-body-work-properly weakness. It's not that we cannot lift weights. It's that we already feel like we're bogged down.

Have you ever heard of the Spoons Theory? The idea, which seems to have been formulated by Christine Miserandino, suggests each person with any number of disabilities is given a handful of spoons each day. The spoons represent personal energy. The day’s exertions (of all sorts) cost spoons. But there’s a catch: No one knows how many spoons he or she has received on any given day. At some point, they simply run out.

My MS neurologist likens this idea to an energy bank. It’s impossible to look inside and determine the current balance.

That’s what happens with MS. We can go from 50 mph to zero in nothing flat.

I wish my horse could read. I’m not even kidding! Maybe then she’d understand why some days can bring her to the barn, brush and saddle her and ride her till we’re both happy-tired and glowing. And then on other days, I am totally toast-tired within minutes of flopping into the saddle.

Often, I enjoy going to the gym to workout. I lift and press and do other weight exercises. But when MS weakness strikes, I may need to ask someone to crank open my water bottle, lift a bag of groceries, or carry a laundry basket upstairs. On the worst days, I might not even carry two empty plates across the room at once.

It’s crazy. It’s weird. And it’s wearying.

Word cloud generated by Kicking MS to the Curb - All rights reserved
Series title graphic adapted from public domain artwork.

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