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)


Can't I just blame it all on MS?

Right now, I’m wincing from a piercing headache. I can’t stop sneezing. One foot seems to have fallen asleep again. My neck hurts. My legs are tired. And my jaw joint feels like it’s taken a beating.

Waah – waah – waah. (OK, that might have helped, just a little.)

Can I blame all of these woes on MS?

Multiple sclerosis can cause all sorts of crazy and obnoxious symptoms. Of course! Anyone who battle MS gets that.

Do these count?

Headaches? Check.
Sneezing? Maybe.
Tingly foot? Sure.
Neck pain? You bet.
Tired legs? Possible.
Jaw cramps? Umm …

Perhaps those are MS symptoms. They could be heralding yet another exacerbation. Or they might be simple facts of life in this climate and season. They may even hearken back to my recent workload or activity level.

Headache? That could be traced to the new salsa I scooped onto some rice last night. It tasted great, but it may have included some monosodium glutamate (untagged on the ingredient listing, which I actually read). That would bring me a whopper headache for sure.

Sneezing? We’ve had a week of windy weather, with fall leaves, dried seed pods, and dust flying all over. That was followed by a sudden snowstorm, which shut us up in the house with three pets for a day or two.

Tingly foot? OK, I have been sitting at my desk for over an hour straight.

Neck pain? Did I mention I shoveled snow for close to 90 minutes yesterday?

Tired legs? Well, I did run a long trail race over the weekend, followed by a team training jog the next day, and two rigorous back-to-back cardio classes the day after that. I’m a little weary today.

Jaw cramps? My dentist had me strapped in under the drill for two filling replacements a few days ago. (Truth be told, I was not actually strapped, but I was definitely stuck there.)

Often, MS really is the culprit, when miserable symptoms attack. But not always. Sometimes circumstances are to blame … or even my own choices.
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