Monday, November 7, 2016
MS Doesn't Kill Us...It's the bears.
Isn't it good to know what multiple sclerosis is not a leading cause of death? Or that MS actually doesn't kill any of us?
I remind myself of that any and every time I am having a particularly bad day. In my lame little brain, I know this fact. Because if MS was a deadly disease, wouldn't there be an injection or medical plan of action for the condition? Maybe not a cure, because that is not if still a mystery in many health situations. Cancer doesn't have a sure-fired cure, heart disease doesn't have a cure. Lou Gehrig Disease doesn't have a cure.
But every disease has treatments that are supposed to make us feel better...for a while at least.
And every disease has a Bear List. This is our list of triggers and complaints. These items can range from Grizzly to Teddy Bear proportions. With MS, there is no way to rate them, at least in my case. They range according to day, time and situation.
My Bear List:
lonely days and lonely nights
spasticity (especially in the legs and feet)
toe and shin cramps
lack of balance
interruptions in speech
loss of muscle coordination
lack of long-time focus
periodical numbness in toes, feet, fingers, arms
fear of flying
...Oh, no, that is an Erica Jong novel. Sorry. See, inability to focus. Sometimes I think I have adult ADHD.
I do have an inability to travel long distances, though, whether by air, train, vehicle, or on foot. How do you explain to travelling companions why their generally "travel light" pal now feels it necessary to strap on a back pack with extra clothing, just in case? It is embarrassing to continually ask for a rest area or bath room.
And, sorry folks, I really, really do need to stand up for a while and stretch. Oh, and I am really really sorry for falling asleep during the most exciting portion of the four wheel ride. I guess those changing leaves will come again next fall?
We all have a Bear List and I am certain that the little one above is just a scratch and not the full bear rub. (If you are a back-to-nature person, you know what I mean.) I am on constant stand-by for the full rub, though. Every day. If not, my MS will find that weakness and hit me head-on. And I do not enjoy an encounter with a grizzly. Grizzly's are deadly. They WILL kill you.
All the other bears make us stronger, even if we do not enjoy them. I'll take a Teddy Bear any day. (Ever notice that heart surgery patients receive a soft, friendly Teddy Bear to cuddle after a major procedure? You probably know, but that bear serves a greater purpose than just emotional comfort. So, all bears aren't bad.)
What is your Bear List?
Have a great Monday,