My body is in a constant State of Emergency

It rained much of the day yesterday and will keep raining throughout the day today. It’s just one of those stay in my PJ’s kind of days. I’m already snuggled up on the couch with my coffee and laptop, and wearing my fuzzy socks with the TV remote nearby so I can binge watch Star Trek. Yes, I’m a Trekkie!

I’m even prepared if the power should go out with a flashlight nearby…just in case. You never know so it’s always good to be prepared.

When a storm causes a power outage, it messes up our normal routine. Stores and hospitals will switch to a battery backup system or a generator to keep minimal equipment functioning until the power is restored, but many homes are ill-equipped for those times. Most people find themselves out of sorts and scrambling to gather the basic necessities to get through until the power is restored.

Living with multiple sclerosis is much like those power outage moments. Our Central Nervous System (CNS) is short circuiting on us due to downed lines and broken substations. Sometimes minimal outages happen which are easily managed even if they are out for an extended period of time, but when our ability to function normally (such as walking, talking, eating or speaking) are disrupted, it’s challenging to get through those times. It would be amazing if we could simply plug into a battery backup or a generator to restore the power until our CNS could be repaired.

CNS Workers are dispatched the moment an outage is discovered, but most of the time the damage to our CNS is unable to be repaired thus causing our bodies to remain in a constant State of Emergency. Some pathways are no longer able to be traveled down and there are “bridge out” signs posted everywhere.

We are left limited in what we can do. It’s not easy, but we adapt. We have learned to store up extra candles, flashlights, propane tanks and matches, but those things can only last so long. For many of us, our spare flashlight has already burned out and our candles have run out of wax so we improvise and MacGyver things together just to get through the day.

We find ourselves limping through life knowing that this is just how it is. That our life has permanently changed as new storms keep blasting through the already accumulated chaos.

You may be experiencing an unexpected outage right now. Those times can be scary, but don’t panic. You are going to make it through this. You can’t give up.

You know that old saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”? Well, that’s you. You’re tough and much stronger than you realize.

You didn’t ask for this fight, you’re not always equipped for the challenges it brings, but through everything you face, your strength shines through even if it is spent snuggled up on the couch binge watching your favorite show on TV.

You are strong even when you break down in tears just because you couldn’t get to the bathroom in time or when you end up spilling your lunch all over you because you couldn’t hold onto your plate. When your body trembles, your muscles give out and your voice shakes, you are still amazingly strong.

Your body may remain in a constant State of Emergency but through it all keep hoping for a better tomorrow because tomorrow things could be better. Never stop hoping, never stop trying, and never EVER give up.

Remember, you get where you are going one step at a time. Don’t give up now. Take a break, rest, but don’t stop pushing through. You got this!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

33 replies
  1. Paula Marx
    Paula Marx says:

    I have been on cannabis oil now for about 3 weeks. I take it just before going to sleep at night. It has helped with the trembles and I sleep like a log. No more waking up.constantly.

  2. Aileen Brown
    Aileen Brown says:

    Had an outage at the weekend but back to normal (that’s my normal not someone else’s) don’t know how you think of these things but brilliant as usual

  3. Beth Genicola
    Beth Genicola says:

    After many years I am happy to say I am finally in remission however it’s interesting to say those words because I thought things would get better or just stop however I’m realizing all the damage that has already been done is still just a short circuit

  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope it’s a fitting reminder to me to look, away from my problems and find ways to deal with them.

  5. Leah
    Leah says:

    This blog couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel like I’m in a state of Emergency! For the past 2 days I’ve been going through panic/anxiety attacks which have left me weak and jittery. I can’t seem to keep food down and find myself rushing to the bathroom to dry-wretch. I’ve tried meditating, deep breathing, and have listened to many Utube videos on how to combat these attacks. Perhaps my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication needs to be changed? I know deep down that I’ll get through this…it’ just when?

  6. Debra Bauries Ordoqui
    Debra Bauries Ordoqui says:

    I am going on my 2nd week post IV Therapy for a relapse… this one has knocked me for a loop or 2… Exhausted, Chills, Pain, Tremors, Spasms, Weak…. let alone the side effects of the IV Therapy…. I may be slower then a but I AM, Doing my BEST.. even if it’s in SPURTS or if it’s REST… You all are in my Thoughts and Prayers #TTBStrongerthenMS

  7. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    I really needed to hear this at this exact time Penelope 🙂 Thank You so much, yes I have been having a major power outage here with this heat wave in California, we live in the foothills and we don’t really ever need AC but right now we could use it!!! I have been experiencing a tough time breathing it feels like someone or something is extremely heavy and pushing on my chest 🙁 This has scared me because this is a new symptom, I have never experienced this before but I finally started to figure out that if I sat in front of a fan with ice packs all over my body it would start to be ok, so I ordered a cooling vest yesterday and Im trying to stay as calm as I can so I can breathe better. I also have found that peppermint oil rubbed on my arms, neck, and legs that I cool down quickly as well!!! Thanks so much for everything you post cause this disease is troublesome at figuring out!!!!!!! Its like you have to be your own doctor and be a scientist to figure out what to do for yourself. Any one else have the problem with breathing? Im not even sweaty, I don’t feel hot and its difficult to breathe? But if I cool my body down and sometimes try to meditate I can be somewhat ok. But of course I still have ALL the other problems of having MS……. I know today will be a great day because MS ISNOT GOING TO BRING MY DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Marsha O'Neal
    Marsha O'Neal says:

    Can I ask a question…has anyone ever had any issues with an episode of rigors almost like I had a high fever….so bone cold…was so miserable..has this ever happened to anyone…

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