Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From Invisible to Visible...Symptoms

Apparently, MS has put much consideration into juuuuuust what to get me as we round the corner into our 17th year together.

It's thoughtful like that...

Typically, I get some collection of funky, invisible symptoms.  Eye stuff.  Speech stuff.  Hearing stuff.  Creepy crawlies.  Constant itching.  Fuhhhteeg.  Spatial (un)awareness - resulting in bruises and the occasional scuffed tire...so on and so forth.  Point being, no one knows but me and whoever is putting air in that tire.  Meaning, I can just deal with it on my own.  My inner "only child" prefers the solitude.

But this year, the invisible is becoming visible.

See, I'll be walking along just fine and...this:

Thankfully, the first time it happened, I was pushing a cart through Target.  If I had to guess, I'd say I walked about 20 yards and boom!  This incredibly annoying...tickling...tingling...numbing sensation spread down the back of both legs.  My ability to coordinate my feet in any sort of normal pattern was gone.  And my son asked, "Mom?  You okay???"

With pretty much my entire torso leaning on that cart for dear life, of course I said yes.  Best case, I would get through the rest of the store with the aid of the cart.  Worst case, I would simply acknowledge the symptoms and set out to locate the toy aisle so that I could obtain an old favorite:  A Hoppity Hop!  When your Plan B is to hoppity hop right on through the rest of the store, you know you still have your act together.  Plus, I can't go to that particular store without knowing at least 5 people.  And when you really know me, you know that hoppity hopping through a store isn't out of the realm of what I might do.  And when you really know most of my friends?  You know that they would join me.

A small gang of mid-40somethings.  On these things.  In the middle of the store.  I think we need to make this a thing...

As I was saying, prior to distracting myself by retro'ing to the 70's...

I can get from my car to the door.  I can get from the door to my office.  Sometimes.  And sometimes?  I can't. There doesn't seem to be a pattern or playbook for this.  So thank goodness there are hoppity hops.

Visible symptoms, as compared to my typically invisible ones, present me with a new challenge...the challenge of trying to manage the emotions of others.  A whole new line of communication had to be opened.  I've talked with my family to make sure they understand that I'm fine and that I actually prefer this "gift" in comparison to even the mildest of migraines.  I've touched base with my coworkers to say, if you see me walking funny, or using a walking aide (hoppity hop)?  It's business as usual.  Because honestly, I feel pretty darn great, aside from back pain and the deflated rubber ducky effect.

The start of summer's heat and humidity is always a time of wonder.  But, this summer?  I don't have time for it.  Our daughter is going to college.  Our son is visiting colleges.  And as much as I appreciate the spontaneity and all?  I think I'll just do what I always do.  I will lean on my Lord.  I will choose joy.  I will love hard.  I will drink my coffee.  And I will check the weight limit on this thing, in case hopping would bring about a nasty case of vertigo:

Be well, friends!  Summer is coming...but so are we on our 40+ year old toys ;)

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. - Isaiah 40:31

(and 40:31a - "they will hop and not become dizzy")