Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's just another day in paradise

Today started out almost too ugly for words.  I'm sure others have had the experience where we have a dream (or nightmare) which feels so real that once we awaken, we're not sure what is fantasy or reality.  I had one of those last night that I would put in the category of a very VERY bad dream.

Through the years I have grown almost used to doing a quick "leg check" before sitting up and getting out of bed.  Too many times when I try to stand up, my legs have given out, causing me to crash to the floor.  Once I fall down my MS kicks into full gear and there is no way I can get back up, so I find myself crawling back to bed, the bathroom, or wherever it was that I was headed.  I can't even begin to count how many times this has happened but, luckily, not too often in the recent past.

In my dream last night, my legs were not responding and I was forced to call my dad so I could borrow the walker he used over a decade ago when he had a hip replacement.  But even with the walker, I was barely able to move too well, which, unfortunately, isn't too far-fetched since I've lived through that experience more than a few times.  Those are some of my worst memories!  Trying to make my legs move when they're fighting me every step of the way.  Appearing very "challenged" in all of my movements since nothing looks smooth or easy or deliberate and not knowing if it will ever get back to normal anymore.  It's terribly devastating and I fear the next time it will happen, yet I push it so far back in my mind that I am able to smile every day of my life.

When I awoke this morning my legs were terribly numb and my right leg and foot were barely responding when I wanted them to move, causing me to be too afraid to get out of bed for close to three hours, until around noon.  The wind was howling outside my window, as it was in my dream, which made it all seem that much more real.  What was happening?  Did I need to call Dad for that damned walker?  What should I do?  And all along, my three little kitties lay around me, looking at me as if to reassure me that everything was fine and they loved me, no matter what the day would bring.  With tears in my eyes I slowly tried to move my legs, that felt like blocks of cement, and put them over the side of the bed.. and breathed a sigh of relief.  Yes, my legs were numb and my feet hurt more than usual but I was fine.. or as fine as I could be.  It had all been a bad dream.. or more like a fucking nightmare from hell.  Because that's what MS is.. a fucking nightmare.  But today is just another day in paradise, as I say to my mom when I'm having a day where the MS is kicking my ass a little more than other days.

One thing I have learned is that everyone suffers and I do not compare what I go through to what others have in their lives.  Even those who are healthy have pain in other aspects of their lives.  It could be a bad marriage, troubled children, many deaths in the family, any number of things!  I happen to have MS and I hate it, but that's life.. or at least that's MY life.  Sometimes I get angry and bitter about it, I freely admit to this but in the end, I know I am a very fortunate woman to have so many loved ones, my perfect little kitties and to be Bolivian!  Yeah, I'll have to mention that part in more detail here soon because to know me is to know how much I LOVE being Bolivian.  Life is what you make of it and I refuse to let MS beat me.. yet I also refuse to say the cliche line so many use "I have MS but it doesn't have me."  Umm, sure it does.  There are times when the MS has me by my throat and I can barely breathe.  MS is my very unwanted life partner.  It's my bitch in life and if I could get rid of this bitch, I would.. but I can't, so I have had to make room for it and go on with life.  As I said, it's just another day in paradise.. and it always will be.

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