Living with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis means walking a strange path. Often, we may seem to cover miles with reasonable ease, taking the MS life in stride. But at other times, usually without warning, the most curious neurological symptoms can bring us to our knees.
Daily, we walk a veritable tightrope between normalcy and numbness, movement and misery, spryness and spasticity, energy and exhaustion, vigor and vertigo, wherewithal and weariness, power and pain.
If you are an MSer (or if you know and love one), then you might understand.
For most of my life, I have jumped into all sorts of experiences with both feet.
Maybe that’s just how I’m wired. And I kind of think it’s hereditary, because I come from a family of ready-set-goers. I’m not one to drag my feet, except when MS foot-drop kicks in. Or when the MS MonSter somehow steps on my toes and makes them go numb.
Then it’s as if my feet have somehow slipped away.
Sure, I know they are there. I can see them. I can touch them. But I cannot feel them. Or they actually hurt. Or they don’t obey what I ask them to do.
MS is a crazy thing. Our own bodies betray us in the weirdest ways sometimes. And that’s no walk in the park.
It’s OK. I hope to be back on my feet again tomorrow.
Adapted by Kicking MS to the Curb
from public domain artwork
Multiple sclerosis warriors know firsthand. We really do. We’ve been there again and again. But lots of us still fall into this trap. OK, repeat after me:
Overdo leads to overdue.
(And that leads to overdone.)
Yes, it’s true (even if this long-time career editor just broke a couple of grammatical errors to get the point across).
When we feel pretty good, we tend to make the most of it. We do and do and do. And we keep on doing until the MS MonSter rears up and swipes at us with his ugly claws. By then, we’re already nearly spent, because of all that doing.
Our “Do-be-do-be-do” has done got up and gone.
That makes us easy prey.
I’m there today. Right now. A couple of weeks of doing and overdoing are pushing into peril. On the up-side, I’ve knocked several items off my to-do list. I’ve enjoyed lots of intriguing and enjoyable activities. I’ve met my personal fitness goals for several days in a row. And I’ve juggled more than the usual amount of stress and emotional overload.
Guess I sort of earned this setback.
Tomorrow, maybe I’ll be back on my feet. But for today, I’m sending more than a few calls directly to voice mail. I’m tabling a couple of not-quite-due deadlines. The overachiever hat will have to sit on the shelf for a bit.
I think every relapse-remitting MSer knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a classic condition. When we feel good (or less terrible), we usually have more energy and less pain. We get up and go. We eat what we want. We accomplish amazing amounts of activity (at least by MSer standards). We stay up later than usual.
And we wonder if this is how everyone else feels all the time.
It’s almost a high to not feel low.
And maybe, just for a short spell, we almost forget what it feels like to battle MS with both hands and both feet and everything we’ve got. Until the MonSter rails on us and reminds us.
Yup. Overdo leads to overdue. And that leads to overdone. But sometimes it’s sort of worth it.
Word art generated by this user.