A flare-up. The hauling out of the cane and the shower chair, the excuses to the employers of why you are late. The brave face you put on to your friends and family. The 80mg of Prednisone for two or three weeks.
The MS has reared its ugly head with a particularly vicious flare-up. This one came on quickly.
Let us recap:
2/5 - Monday - I’m tripping lightly up the stairs (emphasis on tripping!)
2/6 - Tuesday - I’m noticing a limp
2/7 - Wednesday - the limp has become pronounced (as in “Hello, I now pronounce you a Limp) and is getting worse.
2/8 - Thursday - I call Dr. Englestein, my neurologist. Lovely Nurse Tina, phones in a prescription for Prednisone, inflammation’s nemesis.
2/9 - Friday morning I’ve pulled out the shower chair. For those of you who don’t know, hot showers/baths are anathema for MS patients. It is like the hot water is sapping all your strength. As a matter of fact, in the good old days, that is how a person was diagnosed with MS. They were put in a hot bath. So when I’m in the midst of a flare-up I use a chair. (which also comes in handy when it’s time to shave the legs?) And now I’m popping 80mg of Prednisone every day.
2/10 - Saturday I’m lolling on the couch feeling sorry for myself with a list of things that I won’t be able to do: 1) Laundry 2) grocery shopping 3) got to the bank
2/11 - Sunday – turns out I can’t drive because my right foot really doesn’t want to move easily from the gas to the brake. I HAVE to go to work. I haul out the cane. Husband drives me to work. Husband does grocery shopping while I am work. I send him to ShopRite with NO grocery list. It’s a test. He’s spent $131.00 and managed to get, amongst other things, the butter and bacon and bananas that we needed.
2/12 - Monday – Husband takes me to work. I fall down the front steps of the house (this happens when your balance is shot to shit). Husband unceremoniously hauls me up out of the mud and we continue on with our day.
2/12 - Monday night – Milking my crippled state for all it’s worth, I guilt my husband into doing 4 loads of laundry.
2/13 – Tuesday – While trying to maneuver down those treacherous front steps again, I feel myself starting to sway. To avoid yet another fall, I plump myself down on the top step and decide to go down the steps on my bum. From across the road, our neighbor Patio Bob (he builds patios and sidewalks) sees my descent and rushes over to help me. He doesn’t seem to understand that I WANTED to go down the stairs in this fashion. In his zeal to help me, he almost pulls my arm out of the socket. I make it to the car and
against the advice of my husband, I drive myself to work. If I crack up the car he’s going to be full of “I told you so’s”.
Must try to not wreck car!
With the realization that another flare-up was really, truly upon me, I had a myself a little pity-party. The last flare-up I had was in March of 2006. Since then, nothing but good things. This is what the MS does, you see, it leads you down the garden path whispering in your ear:
"THIS is living with MS? The pins and needles in the legs? The sudden fatigue? The sensitivity to heat? The weak bladder? The uneven gait? Oh, this isn't so bad. I can handle this"
BLAM!! (and not the good Emeril BLAM).
But blam that rocks you back on your heels and reminds you once again that you DO have a debilitating disease and if you DON't take proper care of yourself you could end up in a wheel chair like your Aunt Karen. Unable to care for yourself. Feeling like your husband got himself a pig in a poke.
So I wept and ate graham crackers with chocolate icing (we were out of oreos!) tried to find the humor in it all.