Tuesday, February 13, 2007

just a little wallow in self-pity

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"

And then

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.


kilowatthour said...

oh, jen. MS is such a bitch. i'm sending anti-inflammatory thoughts your way.

smtwngrl said...

Hope you're on your way to feeling better! I know I can't really "understand" what you're going through, but I appreciate when you share it with us. You're an increadible person to be able to go through all you do and to keep your sense of humor.

And going down the stairs on my bum reminds me of when I was little and used to slide down my grandmother's carpeted stairs laughing uncontrollably every time I bounced onto another step.

Becca said...

Jen, I am sorry, I did not know that you had MS. I hope that this flair up calms down quickly. You are going to be sending me to the doctor, since I have been feeling that way and the pins and needles things in my legs and hands has me nervous.


Allknowingjen said...

Here's hoping you bounce back quickly. And BTW, I find that when you are really in a pinch, you can just skip the graham cracker part and just eat the chocolate frosting straight.

auntie Renee said...

Jen, you are doing it right, one itty bitty step at a time, just like when you were a baby and learned to sit, crawl, and stand, and nevermind feeling like himself has a pig in a poke, i was there when he promised to take care of you in sickness and in health!!!!!!!! I will take care of you!, we miss you in pa!

kay said...

Bah. I hate this. I should be east of here somewhere, sitting in your house, combing your butt-crack hair and handing you graham crackers and the frosting-spreading knife with scalpel-like precision.

I should drive you back and forth to work, and en route, we could concoct clever little pranks to play on your co-workers (preferably things that inspire them to do your work FOR you) and honk at all the bad drivers and cute boys.

Then I would sit lovingly (or threateningly, however he may choose to see it) beside your husband and fill him with hilarious stories about how lucky he is, and he'd promptly run out and buy you lots of rubies. Or amethysts (because they're February's gem).

Or else I would just sit there and let you be quiet, if you wanted. Or laugh with you, if you wanted. Or compare whose face is rounder, as a result of the ballooning effects of prednisone. (I would win, by the way.)

I'm sending extra-warm thoughts your way, and hope this flare-up burns out quickly.

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NJaney said...

Girlfriend...ugh. So sorry for this nasty flare-up. May it pass as fast as a bunny across a lawn.

Once it does please send Himself my way as there are easily 4+ loads of laundry waiting upstairs...

Take care of yourself this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Is there anything I can do? Oreo and a cold glass of milk sounds good to me!
Tia Benita

worried kay said...

How're you doing?

mannyed said...

leaving some Oreos in your easy reach.

Are you feeling any better?

Miah said...

Sorry to hear you are going through a flare up Jen! Thankfully Mom is not wheelchair bound. In face she was to the doctors today for a checkup and walked in with her walker. She can walk short distances with a walker, but it does tire her out quickly. She walks around the house with no walking aids at all. Mom and her one internet friend had a saying for each other, in fact I believe it is the timex motto "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!" That's what they would say about themselves. Mom has her down days when she gets out of bed and wishes she hadn't. She does take a daily nap in the afternoon though, that helps.

Hope you feel better soon!
Miah (Aunt Karen's son)