I decided to take my MS Challenge Walk training to the next level after being inspired by a discussion with my boss. The goal - 6 miles.
I had done 5 miles last weekend. How hard could 6 be? I figured...what could happen? A lot, actually. A lot could happen.
...by mile 4 - blurry left eye
...by mile 5 - stiff left thigh
...also at mile 5 - stiff left knee
...again at mile 5 - stiff left ankle
Seriously, left side? Seriously?
By mile 5.25 or so, the pain and stiffness was pretty unreal. But that wasn't the worst of it. Searing sensations over the outsides of my shins. You know how, like, you go to a restaurant and they bring your fajita out on the sizzlie tray? Yeah. Like that. I ran my hands over my legs to see if someone was really lighting them on fire, or if that was just furious nerve endings. Rest assured - it was the latter. Come on, fellow ms'ers...you know what it's like when you assume the crawling sensation is ms - and it turns out to be a tarantula. Or, more realistically, an ant. Same thing.
:::and because I lack that thing that tells me to stop a physical activity that is bad for me:::
I continued on, mentally pushing through the fiery pain and stiffness - tripping, clomping, sliding my left foot and overcompensating with the right. I began praying for the ability to make it home, and with that prayer came overwhelming memories of yesteryear.
Memories of significantly impaired sight, colossal falls, and poor mobility. More memories flooded forward of the bouts of trigeminal neuralgia that caused me to shout in sudden pain...right in mid-sentence at a meeting with my bosses. And how can I leave out the moments of psuedobulbar laughter/crying jags that came out of nowhere, causing onlookers to doubt my sanity?
I became completely overwhelmed. To tears. Not psuedobulbar in nature.
I realized that God was there in each and every one of those moments. Each time I wondered if a 'new symptom' would transition into my 'new normal'...each time a new symptom became my new normal, He was there. Every flare, every pill I downed, every IM shot, every bit of nerve damage to my face, every MS hug, every pain, every fear: He was there. I mean, I knew that...but in this moment, I really felt it.
I'm not promised that my days will be easy, but I am promised peace. Peace in Him. And that's a feeling much more powerful than the sizzlie-tray-fajita-on-my-legs feeling.
Thankful for renewed mercies, unending grace...and aspirin.
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33