Have you ever lived through an earthquake? It’s such a strange feeling and can be quite scary. I woke up to one once in the middle of the night. I remember my bed shaking as if someone had grabbed ahold of the headboard and was tossing me about. Thankfully it was a minor quake and no damage occurred, but even something small like that was noticeable, scary and remembered.
This morning my bed was shaking yet again. My first thought, “Oh no, another earthquake.” It took me a minute, but then I realized it wasn’t my bed that was shaking, it was me. My body goes through some really crazy tremors. Some last a short time, others can last all day. My legs, hands and head involuntarily twitch and shake.
The tremor in my right hand is the most annoying of them all. It’s not easy trying to put on my socks when my hands keep missing my feet, or trying to type on the computer as I miss every letter I reach for so I end up doing the hunt and peck instead. Even trying to eat with a spoon or fork can be quite entertaining. Food will bounce around, fall to the floor, and the utensil will even miss my mouth entirely. And don’t even get me started on my experiences of trying to drink from a full open cup. Let’s just say I have plenty of coffee stained shirts as evidence of the mishaps that occur.
Sometimes the tremors are internal. What I mean by that is my body feel as if it’s shaking, but you can’t physically see it. It’s as if every nerve in my body is on high alert and quivering. It is exhausting and can be quite uncomfortable. It’s kind of like that feeling you get after holding onto a lawn mower handle for an hour, then you stop mowing the grass but you hands still feel the vibrations. Take that feeling and imagine your entire body feeling like that. It’s an internal buzz that doesn’t stop in 10 minutes. It keeps going, and going, and going. I think it outlasts the Energizer Bunny.
Then there are the visible tremors. The ones you can’t hide. It seems like the more I try to fight them, the more pronounced they become. I even get weird twitches in the muscles in my face, thighs, hands and toes. I’ve been known to scare myself as my leg kicks out in front of me for no reason or my fingers start twitching.
Multiple Sclerosis is so unpredictable. Most of the time I’m okay when the bizarre things happen. But to be honest, I have moments when it really gets to me. It seems like those times have been happening more and more lately. I try hard to not focus on the symptoms or the unknown craziness of this disease, but when things get to the point where I’m feeling the weight and sadness pulling me down, I do what we all do…I let it all out and cry, scream and sigh feeling defeated.
When storms come and bring about a lot of damage, it’s only natural to experience sadness and grief; to feel overwhelmed, misplaced, uncertain of tomorrow and simply hoping to get through today. But once the shock is over, that’s when the rebuilding begins.
So after I allow myself a good cry and have vented every emotion imaginable, I remind myself that I’m not defeated and that it’s time for the rebuilding to begin. That’s not always easy to do, but it’s doable. Give yourself a break. Pause and have a Snickers. Don’t be so hard on yourself for being human and feeling. Take a deep breath, wipe the tears, blow your nose and keep going.