I’m having an exacerbation…
It started a week or two ago, I think. This is the first flare-up I’ve had in years. It feels a bit foreign to me since I’ve been flare-up “free” for such a long time. On a positive note, this seems to be a minor attack – weird numbness, in weird places – nerve pain across my shoulders – bladder games – emotional swings for no reason. AND, as usual, all are invisible symptoms which are frustrating as HELL to explain to family and others. Based on facial expressions and comments, I’m not sure who’s the more frustrated…me or them? Hmm, this behavior is such an energy buster…something I must let go of and fast! I’ll start my steroid “dose-pack” this week. My attitude is actually positive regarding the Methylprednisolone, as my sinuses will thank me for it too…kill two birds with one stone? I hope.
I’m slowly trying to get back into blogging these days, but it’s been difficult to find the energy. In fact, I’m missing out on a #bloggab chat on twitter right now because I felt compelled to write this little entry. I think I made the right choice – I needed this writing “therapy” session!
I’ve somewhat pinpointed the trigger responsible for this latest exacerbation. It all points back to stress, and too much of it lately. Stress is my worst enemy. To me, it’s a “disease” all in it’s own which can intensify problems of the always present cog fog and fatigue issues I possess. When I was first diagnosed with MS in 2001, researchers and doctors continued to debunk the connection of stress and exacerbations or how it affects those of us with MS. Thankfully, opinions have now changed about this via continuous study, and most importantly, MS patients began to speak up – LOUDLY! Stress means different things to different people. Stress affects us in different ways too. It can temporarily intensify existing symptoms, or it can cause a full blown MS attack. I have learned some wonderful tools to help me cope over the years, but stress still happens – because, life happens. I’m now trying to “practice what I preach” to others when stress, set-backs and emotional issues take hold. I must remind myself to be kinder to ME – to rest – to let go of guilty thoughts, things that I “shoulda, coulda, woulda” done to possibly prevent this set-back – remind myself that I’m human, and repeat a reassuring mantra… “this too shall pass”.
MS is different for us all. MS is unpredictable and somewhat uncontrollable in it’s nature – which makes it difficult to “manage”. Stress can be managed…sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it’s possible. Therefore, as I put my turbulent winter/spring of 2014 behind me, I will breathe. I will focus on managing the things in life that I have control over and am CAPABLE of managing. For the remainder of this year and years to come, I will embark on realistic journeys…calm and serene, infused with healing thoughts of wellness and joy.
In conclusion, I submit this request to my MS pals and to others who know me:
If you catch me falling, ignoring my own written words and promises, remind me. Call me out, will you?