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sleepy

Sleep? What’s that?

I can’t tell you what a good night of sleep feels like because I don’t remember the last time I had one. Most nights I either toss and turn due to insomnia, continually wake up because the pain is relentless, or I actually sleep for hours yet still have the ability to wake up without getting any sleep. The kind of tired I feel on a daily basis just can’t be explained in a simple word: exhausted, ready to drop, fatigued, sleepy, run-down, pooped, worn out…nope, they just don’t explain my kind of tired.

The description I have of Multiple Sclerosis fatigue is the way someone feels after they’ve not slept in two days straight and then hiked 50 miles up the side of a mountain while carrying a backpack loaded with rocks on the hottest day of the year. But who in their right mind is going to attempt that kind of journey to truly understand what my tired feels like? It just doesn’t seem possible to feel tired like that every day. But then again, my body does a lot of things that don’t make sense.

For those that may have forgotten, my body is in rebellion and has turned on itself. That’s what Multiple Sclerosis is. My immune system has become overly charged with super power strength and sees my Central Nervous System as the enemy. It’s an amazing fighter, my immune system, it’s just fighting the wrong thing. It’s attacking what my body needs most to function properly.

And if you should think the Central Nervous System isn’t all that important, I would challenge you to find one thing in life that you can do without it. Our nerves are a part of everything we do from seeing, to walking, to eating, to sleeping, and even to yawning, blinking and sitting still. Have you ever had a pinched nerve in your back, leg or shoulder? Yeah, that didn’t feel so good, did it? Now imagine nerve problems like that which can’t be fixed with an adjustment or a pill because the nerves aren’t simply pinched…they are chewed up, and many times unrepairable. I would love to be able to simply un-pinch my nerves in order to feel better.

I’m yawning as I write this and can feel I need a nap already and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. I look forward to the day I wake up and Multiple Sclerosis is no more. That’s my dream…and I’m sticking to it.

pie

Take a break and have some pie

I woke up this morning to my teeth chattering. It’s grown cold and I’m not a fan. The cold tends to stiffen my muscles and causes me to have to work extra hard just to move. The heat isn’t my friend either. Oh, to live in a place where the weather is perfect—not too hot and not too cold—would be amazing. I don’t think that place exists, but it’s great to dream anyway.

There’s nothing worse than feeling out of control. The temperature tends to do that to me. It comes along and throws a wrench into my plans and messes things up. Everything I do tends to take more effort and a whole lot more energy. I get exhausted just imagining my day and all the things needing to get done…and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

Many times, if you’re anything like me, you push yourself hard anyway…sometimes too hard. All that energy you use making your muscles function and your body move leaves you worn out. You want desperately to be able to do the things needed for the day, but your body just won’t let you. You find yourself weaker in your efforts to make yourself strong. Then discouragement comes knocking at your door along with some of its friends…weariness, frustration, defeat and disappointment.

At those times, it’s important to take a break. My kind of break may be different from yours, but anything that puts life back into perspective helps. It may be taking time to pamper yourself by getting your nails done or going to a local miniature golfing spot to ride the bumper cars. It could be finding a secluded spot away from the world to shed a few tears and pray in private or even something as simple as having a slice of chocolate pie…anything that helps to calm your heart and put peace back into your day.

Taking a break doesn’t mean you quit on life or on your plans, it doesn’t mean life will change and all of a sudden you will have this amazing boost of energy and your nerves will work properly again, it just means you put things on hold for a bit in order to take care of yourself.

You deserve that. You deserve some “me” time. Don’t let MS cause you to give up and stop believing in who you are. You matter more than you realize.