Game, set, relapse!

“Dwell on the beauty of life.
Watch the stars, and see
yourself running with them.”
(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

There’s no hiding when a MS relapse is in town. It arrived on my doorstep about 5 days ago, warts and all, and I’m still trying to hide. I could give you the nitty gritty technical bit of it, but I fear it wouldn’t read like a Booker prize novel. And that, is something I aspire to one day, just not today.

The past few days have been made of anything slow. Slow walking, slow eating and endless sleep. I managed to scrape a few blog pages together about what a MS relapse is and about the Immune System, while the Testimonials page has been updated. Considering they took about a week to crawl into my blog by the use of old fashioned copy and paste, it’s a feat I’m fairly proud of.

But hey, no negativity allowed. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not here. Not anywhere else in my life.

As you know, the maxim of my blog is: if I can’t be honest about my life with my illness, then I just won’t write anything at all. As with anything MS in my life, it’s about raising awareness. With no two people alike in their MS-lifecycle, you won’t find two equal MS relapses either. That’s how confusing multiple sclerosis can be to those who have never heard of it, or to family, friends and colleagues. Why do something the easy way if you can do it the hard way also, huh?

Let’s just say that, without relapses, waking up without chronic pain would be so astounding it would make me think I died overnight. Waking up with a relapse, is like trying to build an Egyptian pyramid, without any tools and in the middle of the night. Utter insanity. To prevent me from going so utterly insane though, I joke at my own expense.

“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer myself into knockout because of the trigeminal pain, but I didn’t have a hammer last night and I still don’t have one right now.”

“Sure, why don’t you just invent a new dance while you’re at it?” when losing my balance.

“Christ, where were you and what did you get up to last night?” when I’m falling asleep again just after having breakfast.

“It’s great when you get free acupuncture with having MS” when pins and needles irritate my legs.

“Ice picks are made for freezers, not for stabbing my eyes” when optic neuritis keeps them occupied.

“See, I told you shouldn’t have been inventing a new dance, now my leg feels like a squeezed cannoli” when left side nerve pain takes over my arm and leg.

In short, if I’d have to sell myself with these words, I still wouldn’t receive a Booker prize. I could post “Another MS Relapse” award on the fireplace mantel, but they’re just a waste of space. I thought of referring to a relapse as something you just have to get your teeth in, but I don’t want to steal Luis Suárez’s limelight.

Without relapses, there are symptoms, just not as unforgiving as during relapses. Without, there are days I don’t even think about having MS. I know I have chronic pain and severe fatigue, but I refuse to let it take over my life. Without relapses, it’s become as commonplace as making a cup of coffee, putting on my boots, doing my grocery shopping. It’s there, I just have to live with it. Period.

Perhaps there is some beauty in having relapses, they’re there to remind you that you have to mind yourself, rest when you need to and stop playing Super Woman. My mum once again reminded me of this just this morning. AGAIN.

If anything, I’m trying to preserve some normality in my life. It’s about living as good a life as I possibly can, with the tools I am given and the knowledge I have. And at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can do.

1800410_827801513902781_111415443_n© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

24 Comments

  1. thelifewelllived2013 says:

    When I was first diagnosed, I went to a meeting for men with MS. A guy there gave me advice which has made MS far easier with which to deal. He said, “When you get a new symptom or have a relapse, it’s natural to bitch and moan about it. While you do, it’s winning. The moment you can laugh at it, you own it.” The competitive side of me remembers that conversation with every new symptom. It’s gotten me though everything from Le’hermitte’s sign causing a vibration in my groin every time I looked down to poop in my pants as I gave a presentation to a couple hundred people (what they don’t know won’t hurt me, and after that experience why fear public speaking ever again?).

    Laughter is a great mental shield, and I firmly believe in shield bashing the heck out of my MS.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Outside The Box and commented:
    I hear you Billie and I understand. Your writing is so openly honest and true and I respect that so much. I respect YOU so much. As you know I just cannot write about it but I really want to, frightened of frightening ppl away, not that there are many left anyway. I got the results of my brain MRI, no tumour yay but this six week relapse is occurring in my frontal lobe which weirdly is affecting my brain not my body (only someone with MS will get that ha ha) it’s affected my personality, my inhibitions, my judgement or sudden lack of it etc. I don’t have a temper but suddenly in a split second I threw a huge temper on a man in a supermarket for making a loud bang behind me, I am normally quiet and would never do this, it caused my daughter aged 18 to leave home. So yes folks, MS is so unpredictable, we just never know what each day is going to bring. BUT we are alive, we are here and we fight this demon with the determination of a champion heave weight most days, then there are the days we have no fight in us at all. Sending you so much love Billie. You are one amazing lady in my eyes. Take good and extra special care of you right now my lovely. Su x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billie says:

      Thank you for reblogging this, Su! And a massive thank you for your very kind words.
      Glad to hear it’s not a tumour, and I hope your symptoms go away soon. It’s the unpredictability that makes it difficult, but you’re coping somehow and as you say, you’re alive and that’s what counts. As long as you appreciate this, you’re half-way already. And you, dear friend, are fighting one hell of a battle and I appreciate YOU for that even more. Take it one day at a time and I hope your frontal lobe cuts you some slack very soon!
      xxx

      Like

  3. I hear you Billie and I understand. Your writing is so openly honest and true and I respect that so much. I respect YOU so much. As you know I just cannot write about it but I really want to, frightened of frightening ppl away, not that there are many left anyway. I got the results of my brain MRI, no tumour yay but this six week relapse is occurring in my frontal lobe which weirdly is affecting my brain not my body (only someone with MS will get that ha ha) it’s affected my personality, my inhibitions, my judgement or sudden lack of it etc. I don’t have a temper but suddenly in a split second I threw a huge temper on a man in a supermarket for making a loud bang behind me, I am normally quiet and would never do this, it caused my daughter aged 18 to leave home. So yes folks, MS is so unpredictable, we just never know what each day is going to bring. BUT we are alive, we are here and we fight this demon with the determination of a champion heave weight most days, then there are the days we have no fight in us at all. Sending you so much love Billie. You are one amazing lady in my eyes. Take good and extra special care of you right now my lovely. Su x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billie says:

      So sorry to hear your daughter left home because of your change in behaviour. I hope she returns very soon. It’s difficult for close relationships to be frayed sometimes, which is why I find briniging awareness is so important. However, it’s not always about the facts, but about how it affects you personally, so I hope your daughter will find some time to try and understand how it can affect us.

      Take care!
      xxx

      Like

      • Thanks Billie, things are improving, we had a lovely lunch out and spent the afternoon together last Thursday. The old adage that time is a great healer is so true. I do feel for her really, it can’t be easy to live with and she doesn’t have the maturity of years to fully understand. Wishing you a much better week and hoping your relapse disappears really soon. How are you today? Su x

        Like

  4. Jeanine says:

    I just love and appreciate your honesty. My Aunt has had MS forever. It is still difficult to pretend I could even imagine her challenges daily. You give me insight & words, that assist us without MS, in minimally grasping ideas of what you might be going through at any given time. Thank you for sharing that. TY & I wish you a Speedy Recovery from this period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billie says:

      Thanks for the nice comment, Jeanine! I hope your aunt finds some positivity in her life and I am more than happy to know that my words can bring some clarity. I could write a lot of technical terms about MS all day long, but to those without MS, it would only make things sound utterly horrendous, and that is why I choose to talk in layman’s terms. Please send your aunt my best wishes and thank you once again for your comment!

      Like

  5. suej says:

    Sorry to hear you have another relapse, Billie…but you are, as usual, sounding upbeat. I completely concur with living as good a life as possible within the constraints of a chronic health condition. As I keep saying to people, my maxim is ‘ring the bells that still can ring’ (words from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem)

    Liked by 1 person

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