March 31, 2015

Oh the sweet sweet aching disappointment of MS

I had my arthritic knees replaced in December - both of them at the same time - to help me cope with the inevitable MS flare up post-op.
I didn't go through a slump, really, denied it totally. Put myself through physio and lots of exercises and trained myself to go up and downstairs despite the warnings from my legs that all was not nice in there. Foot spasms, calf spasms, aches in my thighs, rock hard muscles.
So, now, three months later, I fully expected to be fine. I worked so hard on my recovery, I foolishly thought that my MS would cooperate with me, help me along. I am walking straighter, faster, longer. But all is not well.
Instead my MS is thrashing me through pain and spasms every night, non-dependent on my activity level.
If one more person tells me I need to pace myself I will go mad. I've lived with this disease for ten years or more and have learned how to pace myself. I can't bear much more advice to "rest", "you're doing too much" etc.
With this disease, it is so easy to simply stop. I fight this every day. It's not good for me in any way to stop. It's better to do something.
But it is heartbreaking to think you are making progress (as with my knee replacements) only to realize you remain in the same place in the end...
Must go stretch...

February 25, 2015

Office spoons

There's a cute little analogy that goes around about how to pace yourself with MS. It for some reason equates your energy to spoons - every day you start off with the same number of spoons, and you use them up throughout the day - getting dressed is a spoon, making breakfast is a spoon, going to get groceries is five spoons, and so on. Once the spoons are gone, you have to wait til they come back.

So if you plan ahead, you can have your cake and eat it to, so to speak. You just make sure there are enough spoons left to do what you want in the day.

Aha. One problem. With MS, our drawerful of spoons is like the drawer of spoons in the office. You know, the one that one day can barely close because of all the spoons, and the next day has only one bent one in the corner, and for some reason, a pickle fork.

With MS, there's a secret someone taking away and adding spoons. So, though we may think we can do this and that when we wake up, we may go to the drawer and find our expectations have to dramatically change. We have to adapt, every day, to what we find in that drawer.

It's hard to explain this to people without MS (PWOMS). But most people understand about those office spoons.