In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

My dumb butt

A couple weeks ago I went to see an orthopedic doctor for some knee and hip pain I had been having. This pain started in the very first part of May and persisted week after week. I had been trying to ignore it at first, but it just wasn’t getting better, and I was starting to worry that something serious might be going on.

The good news is, nothing serious is going on. Though the pain has since subsided considerably (probably because I’ve cut back on my running), the doctor and therapist I’ve met with both agree there is still a serious issue that needs to be addressed.¬†The ortho doctor told me I have a dumb butt. Seriously. But I guess it’s a real thing, only it has a much more technical name. According to Total Health Systems, “This is a condition called Gluteus Medius Tendinosis and basically when the muscle becomes inflamed it causes serious hip pain, which can lead to lower back and hip pain, tight IT bands, knee pain and injury.” So my butt muscles aren’t firing, and that makes other muscles work harder, and basically throws everything off. Oh, and my feet are also somewhat involved in this hot mess. Something about my arches needing support. They keep taping up my right foot when I go in. I’m not sure what it does, but they tell me my feet angle in a little bit and they may need to recommend some inserts to put in my shoes.

I’ve read that this dumb butt thing happens most commonly in runners, so this might be a result of my running, but the therapist seems to think it’s more a result of years of living with MS. Some muscles have just become weak, and others have had to work overtime to compensate, so I guess it makes sense that all this is happening. I’m excited about the treatment plan they have set for me, and really hope these exercises I’m doing result in a smarter butt.¬†Hopefully we can get the issue under control soon so I can get back to regular running again.

What will I do today?

Something occurred to me last night. I spent all day doing stuff. Stuff needed to be done, so I just did it. Without much thinking. Do you know what that means? Yesterday I was not fatigued. Not being fatigued means I can just get up and do things and not have to wrestle with myself about it. You just get up and do it.

I have to remember this feeling, this reality, for the days that I AM fatigued. Because those days are much more common, and those days I tend to beat myself up about it. I feel guilty on those days for not folding the laundry or vacuuming the floors or cooking good meals. I feel guilty about sleeping too much. Because some ridiculous little voice inside me tells me I’m lazy and not good for much. But that’s just not true, is it? Because the fatigue really does drag me down. I guess I live there so often I forget what non-fatigue feels like. Is this what it’s like for “normal” people? Is this what it was like for me pre-MS? It’s a wonderful feeling. Not being dragged down. The ease of standing up and walking to the other room. Deciding to put away the clean dishes and then immediately getting up and doing it. That’s something I know we take for granted. I know I did, before fatigue entered my life. But no longer. Now on days fatigue decides to step aside for awhile, I look around with awe, I breathe a little easier, and I ask myself… “What will I do today?”

Father’s Day 2017

Today was Father’s Day, and I know my husband’s dream day is a day where he doesn’t have to do anything, a Day of Nothing if you will, so I tried to give him that today. The problem with that is that the lawn still needed to be mowed. Also, I had planned a dinner of steak and potatoes, and I’m not allowed to grill steak because it’s just too good to risk messing up, so he was stuck grilling as well. But he says he doesn’t mind that, so I guess that’s okay. I marinated the steak early in the day, baked the potatoes, and the rest was up to him. I’m really uncomfortable operating a grill, so I was totally fine with the compromise.

We did manage to prepare a nice brunch for him this morning, and that was a lot of fun. I made the bacon, Luke made the pancakes, and Natalie set the table. All while Dad rested in the recliner, watching the replay of last night’s Tigers game. It was a mostly relaxing day for him, and I know he got a good nap in before dinner, so I’ll call that successful enough.

I really wanted to give my husband the same spectacular treatment I feel like I was given on Mother’s Day, but I think that was just too much to live up to. Still I think between the Tigers’ game and a day of mostly nothing, I hope we came close. I really do, because he really works hard for our family. Seriously. He’s the glue, man. I can’t fathom where we would be without him. I hope he knows how much we appreciate him and all he does for our family.

Tigers’ Game!!

We went to a Tigers game last night! We love the Detroit Tigers around here. Baseball is really the only sport I am able to follow. Simple enough rules, and it moves slow enough that I can keep up. My boys love it too, of course, so it’s fun to share in the excitement of a good game. My daughter actually kind of hates baseball, and most other sports, because she says it’s boring. But despite her lack of enthusiasm, she tried her very hardest to have a good time. And as you can see from the photo, she managed to put on a smile.

The Tigers were down one run in the 9th inning so we all turned our hats on inside out and sported our rally caps. I didn’t get a picture of all of us but I assure you it was cute. (It didn’t work though, they didn’t manage to score again.)

We stopped for dinner on the way home, and enjoyed each other’s company thoroughly. It was good to do something like this as a family and I’m so looking forward to more adventures together this summer.

Grooming the garden


Okay, it’s not a garden. I just use that word for alliteration’s sake. The boys are away at a baseball game and the girls opted to stay home. When Natalie asked if she could go next door to help her friend pull weeds, it reminded me that I had been wanting to trim the front bushes. And since it’s evening, and the sun sets on the back of the house, I decided now was a good time. But halfway through she came back over to help me finish up, so I had to get a photo! Cuz that’s a good way to help make the memory stick.

Speaking of memory, and as a sidenote, I met with my neurologist earlier this week. She addressed my concerns and asked if I had anything else to discuss or ask about. I said no. Later that day, it occurred to me that there was one concern I forgot to mention: the fact that I occasionally have trouble with my short term memory. Ha! The irony there, l tell ya. Can’t take me anywhere, is what I say.

Anyhoo, hope y’all are enjoying the summer so far. Stay cool!

Hot Mess

85 degree summer heat.

Baseball tournament.

M.S.

Tingly hands debut.

Nerve pain.

Broken A/C freak out.

Sunburn won’t let me cool down.

Feeling helpless.

How does this not bother everyone else the way it does me?

What is wrong with me?

Oh yeah…. M.S.

Crying in the shower, snot running down the drain.

A good night’s sleep tried to help.

Literally dragged my foot to the bathroom the next morning (I did say “tried”).

I sat and waited in the physical therapy office for a half hour before checking in with the receptionist to see what the hold-up was. She was quite obviously unaware of the time of day, and had forgotten to let the therapist know I had arrived. It goes on from there, my bad luck, but I’m tired of hashing it out, those dumb details, so I’ll attempt brevity. I missed my ride, they tried to get me a new one, but I took a ride from a friend instead. Because I didn’t want to risk unleashing my emotions on a complete stranger. I came really close to doing that already at the therapist’s office, after discovering I had missed my originally scheduled ride. My husband reassured me that this was just a minor bump in the road, which I should have already known of course, but he knew I needed to hear it (He still amazes me, coming up with the right thing to say).

This was not my typical Monday. I don’t usually have to be anywhere, or talk to anyone but my family. So it was hard to do in the wake of a rough-on-me weekend. I just didn’t have the tools necessary to cope with minor hiccups like delayed appointments and missed rides. I spouted my frustration on Facebook and received lots of encouragement in return, but I felt a little shameful doing it. Because I like to be the positive one. I guess today I just decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Because it was going to take a lot of effort.

But those positive words helped, and the ride from a friend, and then a good nap in my own bed (with working air conditioning!). The kids were with grandpa for most of the day so my only interruption was the dog barking at who knows what. It was nice. And then I grabbed a beer, turned on some Led Zeppelin, and started chopping vegetables for dinner. I managed to relax. Truly relax.

I have more doctors to see this week and then I start some physical therapy next week. I’d bore you with the physical therapy details if I could remember them. So you’re in luck, cuz I have a terrible memory.

Peace out, readers. I hope you take some time this week to relax. Really, truly relax. It can only do you good.