Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Semi-Annual Check Ups

I have one of these scheduled for next week. A trip to my friendly neighborhood neurologist!

It was originally scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving, but I rescheduled. You see, I was all in the spirit of my favorite holiday of the entire year...Thanksgiving! A time to celebrate all that I am thankful for! Since ms isn't one of those things, I just wasn't feelin' it. My rain check is dated 1/12/10.

But all I did was prolong the inevitable. The appointment is still going to happen. I used to have to go quarterly, but talked my way out of that in lieu of 2x/yr, which is now pushing 2x/18mos. We're still going to assess my "progress". Progress, in this case, is not a good thing. The goal is to walk out of something like this hearing, "no change". I feel a lot like NFL coach Jim Mora in the infamous post-game interview when he said, "Playoffs?!?! Don't talk about playoffs! Playoffs? Playoffs?" It works for me. "Progress?!?!?!" Yeah, "progress" my...well, you can fill in the blank.

First, I'll get to share what life's been like since my last visit. Here's the bad thing, or maybe it's the good thing? I never know exactly how to answer that question, because I try not to pay attention to it. Next, I'll get to track an object side to side, up and down, and to my nose. Then, I'll get to close my eyes, reach my hands out, and attempt to touch my nose with a random finger of her choosing. Oddly, she never chooses my angry finger. Maybe I'll ask about that sometime. I'll get to read those really fun numbers in the color blindness book of wonder! I'll get to show off my strength! Throw in a dash of tuning fork for good measure, which is held to my knee caps and ankle bones..."tell me when it stops vibrating". Is it normal to feel that in my teeth? And then she'll reach for a pin...

There's a glass dish filled with safety pins the size of something you'd use on Baby Huey, and I'm going to be poked with 'em in random places. She knows how I despise this part. Once, I asked if I could at least choose my own pin. Like when my mom had to choose her own branch off the tree to be beaten with. To make the game more sadistic, I'm supposed to close my eyes or look away as it's jammed into my skin. "Sharp or dull?"!!!" Am I bleeding yet? Did I get the square? All you ex-Hollywood Squares fans will identify with that one. Next, the back of my hand..."whew, dull". Other hand..."YEOW". What really stinks is when I get all or most of them wrong. That happens almost every time. Yeah, pretty much every time.

It's a long ride home with plenty of time to think, actually too much time. And so when I flunk my many tests and get a little down on myself, I begin to hear the pep talk that dear friend/chiropractor gave me nearly 7 years ago. It randomly replays out of nowhere when I need it most. She told me it wouldn't change the type of mother I am to my kids. She said all sorts of other really great things, but that's the one I hang onto with both hands on that hour long drive home.

She's right, you know. It doesn't change the type of mother I am to my kids. Sure, I might slow them down with my 8 stops by the ladies' room! BUT! I love them with my entire being. I still tend to their needs, still help with their schoolwork, and do my best to see that they have and receive everything they need. While ms changes lots of things, it hasn't changed what's most important to me...the type of mother I am to my kids. Thanks, dear friend/chiropractor...your words are still golden:-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

'Lil Help?

I remember yelling that quite often in my childhood days. Remember it? You'd be playing ball and throw it into the neighbor's yard as she hung laundry? "Sorry, Mrs. So-and-So! 'Lil help?" Or you'd hit the ball into the next area where other kids were playing? "Yo! 'Lil help?" Before you knew it, your ball would come flying back your way. Well, unless your Mrs. So-and-So was like ours. In which case, she kept the ball. And like, your mom would have to go get it...or, in my case, not.

I probably shouldn't write today, because today is a day that MS is kicking my butt 6 ways to Sunday. Heck, I even capitalized it. But maybe writing today is really okay, because it'll be raw and uncut. MS Mom Gone Wild-esque.

Invisible symptoms. Invisible, because you can't see them. I have no problem telling you how much they suck! I've shared before how, when you see someone in their 30's using a walking aide or a wheelchair, you think to yourself, "Self, how can I help that person?" or at the very least, you try to get out of their way. If someone's slowly walking your way with a slight grimace on their face, however, you'll probably think, "dude, what's YOUR problem?" At least that's what I would think. Today, I am that person...the one with the face.

I have a tingling sensation in my head. Sounds pleasant, right? If anyone's ever been to a chiropractor or PT and had electric stim, you'll get this analogy. Imagine the pads stuck to your head...toward the top left. Imagine the machine on the "fuzzy" setting. Got it? Great. Now turn it up to a setting of 12. There! You've got it! The intensity increases randomly and becomes so strong that my entire head feels as if it's vibrating. And it hurts, too. It's enough to upset my apple cart, but I can deal with it. When you're a migraine sufferer, tingling and vibration is annoying, but you consider yourself blessed that that's all you've got going on in your head! Can I git' an amen on that, fellow migraine sufferers?

I feel like I'm standing on pickers! Well, sometimes. Every 3rd or 4th step, my feet just feel kinda numb...but mostly, standing on pickers. Not fun, but I can handle that too.

It feels like I'm walking in snow up to my waist. Or at least it takes the same amount of effort to move each leg. I have the urge to walk through the hallway here at school and be all, "oomph! Ugh! Whew!" with each step. Somehow I think that may draw attention to myself, which is the last thing I need and/or want.

My hands, lower legs, and feet are ice blocks. In a word? FREEZING! I have "heat" in my room. I put that in quotes, because the thermostat says 68, but I'm telling you it's blowing cold air. My son made the mistake of coming to me to ask if he felt as if he had a fever. I put my hand on his head and it made him yell, "Good Lord, Mommy!!!" Yeah, sorry about that, son. You feel like you're running a fever of about 212. Better get some Motrin on board STAT!

So those are my current invisible symptoms. All I want, besides my pillow...because it's the only thing that truly understands me in times like a 'lil help.

I run the risk, on days like today, of becoming highly offended and angered when I have to do something simple like walk to the opposite end of the building to retrieve someone or something I need to work with. I silently complain about it. "Yeah, let me walk alllllllllllll the way down there to...(insert task)...I feel GREAT! UGH!" Each step takes effort and I've already psyched myself up, all prior to 7am, to get to work and give my whole self to the tasks at hand. Nowhere in that repertoire was walking around to pick up this or that. My ego yells, "HEY! 'Lil help!"

I run the risk, on days like today, of making MS bigger than me and bigger than my God. Confession time! During my morning coffee, all I could think of was that I had 10hrs worth of work to put in, 2 commutes between buildings, then making sure I got my kids to their events tonight. I didn't once remind myself that today's the day the Lord has made. He got me up out of bed, so He must have work for me to do. If He was done with me, I wouldn't be here right now. I tell Him, "but I hurt and I tingle and I'm cold and I'm tired and..." And He says...well, He says nothing. At least nothing I'm being still enough to hear.

I run the risk, on days like today, of not remembering exactly how blessed I am. There are hundreds of thousands of folks who would trade places with me in a heartbeat. So what if yesterday and today are crappy days, right? Collective, "right!"...c'mon, I'm convincing myself here, as well as you! Tomorrow will be better, because it almost always is. I need to remember that I have a job to walk around at, legs that are still carrying me - no matter how they may feel, and my old faithful pillow, which will be patiently awaiting my return this evening! But most of all, a God who loves me enough to put up with my complaining and who will see me through to a better tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm still wanting just a 'lil help! I'll never learn! HA!