It’s surprising how quickly I’ve got used to it, the exaggerated lifting of the offending foot. Apart from The Teenager mimicking the Kennedy Space Center voice – ‘One giant leap for woman….’
Anyway, I’ve been thinking. It could be an old symptom coming back in a sneaky, evolved form, or it could be a new symptom. I could tie myself up in knots about it. Like most of us with MS, I spend my days inwardly saying, ‘there goes the foot drop, oh, that’ll be the heat intolerance and yup, some loss of balance for good measure.’ And, ‘can I go to sleep now?’
Maybe I spend so much time in fear of a new symptom, a relapse, a further loss, that I forget to concentrate on the here and now. The MS symptoms will go their own way regardless. The way my mind goes is of my own choosing. Over that, at least, I have a modicum of control.
So maybe I should stop worrying about dodging the bullet. If it happens, it happens. I was utterly paralysed by fear last week. And what good did it do me? I came down with a stomach bug.
In a way, it was a relief to concentrate on a non-MS symptom for once. All thoughts of MS were pushed out my mind as I put my much-diminished energy in to becoming better. As quickly as possible. I crawled back into bed, the monotony of it only relieved by my friend delivering me all the Saturday newspapers, a McDonalds burger and Coke (I know, I know, but it helped) and a big bag of chocolate buttons.
If this last week has taught me anything at all, it is that MS is part of who I am. The more I try to side-swerve and ignore what is happening, the more I suffer when a symptom comes to the fore. It’s not about giving in, but accepting that it happens.
The meltdown I went through was probably far worse than the symptom itself. And what does that show me? It is my mind, not my body that is out of control. A sobering thought.