Zero-Hours MS?

zeroMS:  Right, I need you for at least 35 hours this week, probably more. Can’t tell you which ones just yet. Ok?

Me:   Gah. What about next week?

MS:  Don’t know yet, wait and see. Who knows? And why would I care anyway? S’MS, innit?’

MS is the health equivalent of a zero-hours contract; you will never know from one week to the next just what it has you down for. Don’t bother making plans, MS has bigger ones. It’s the not-knowing that gets to you and MS is a ruthless master.

With a zero-hours-MS contract, life cannot be planned. You’re at its mercy, plain and simple.

So you thought you’d schedule a catch-up with a friend on Tuesday? Well, think again. MS could chuck a lightening bolt of fatigue your way. Or maybe it’ll play with your legs. Or your arms. MS will have you at its beck and call.

I have two weeks off work. Lovely. On Saturday, I took The Teenager to his Teen-Fit class. Fabulous. I sat in the cafe, leafing through newspapers and trying not to get annoyed at the yummy-mummy encroaching on my space inch by inch with her bag full of felt-tips and books about potty-training.

‘Now, Zephyr, you know we don’t respond to our very natural, very understandable urges here. Let’s see. What does Jake do in the book? Yes! He sits between mummy and daddy, yada, yada, yada.’

Inexplicably, and I can’t blame Mrs Boden/potty, I was suddenly exhausted. Utterly pole-axed by fatigue. I checked the time. 20 minutes until The Teenager would sweep through the cafe doors, triumphant and radiant, chattering away about training plans and healthy proteins.

I had been awake for less than four hours. Ridiculous. Scary. I yawned all the way home, nodding in the right places, until I suddenly had to blurt out, ‘So sorry sweetie, I just have to sleep. Gah. I’m really, really sorry.’

At home, I collapsed onto the sofa, drew my blankie and the kitten around me and surrendered to MS. I woke up two hours later.

I switched my phone back on. Three texts from The Teenager:

What we havin’ for lunch?

??????? Helllloooooooo? Lunch?

Starvin’. Wastin’ away 🙁 ‘

I texted back, fingers weary and bleary. ‘S’pesto pasta, nom nom’.

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8 thoughts on “Zero-Hours MS?

  1. this is why I don’t really make plans and why with friends I can’t give a def. answer to a plan. If I am up for something that day, sure I can do something but if not going to have to pass. Its also why I am going to have to become a lot more in your face about explaining to tutors/uni what I can and cant do and how unpredictable MS is (oddly, the other students I have talked to understand…some tutors are better at understanding then others :p)

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I know, it can be pretty dire. I tend to do a lot more socialising at home now! At least that way I can be on my comfy sofa 🙂
      It’s a real shame as I was due to meet a friend for lunch that day.

  2. Judy Epstein says:

    Teach Teenager to cook! Start with a hardboiled egg – not so hard. If Teenager’s a boy tell him when he gets older all the girls will be very impressed with his cooking skills and be instantly attracted. What’s not to love?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Very true! He can make simple stuff, but the size of our teeny tiny cottage is a problem. My sofa is right next to the kitchen, so I told him I’d make him something when I got up as I know how noisy he can be! I just didn’t expect to sleep for two whole hours 🙁
      You wouldn’t believe how much chaos he can make just to create beans on toast!!

  3. Kathy says:

    I did the same thing this weekend. Went to church. Lunch with the family. Home to bed for 5 hours sleep nap, then up for two hours for food, and 10 more hours of sleep! Ridiculous!
    I have learned to give into it when it happens… just hasn’t happened in a while, so hard for the family to understand that I feel like I am going to DIE if I do not sleep.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I totally get what you’re saying. At the gym, I felt just like that – I would die if I didn’t sleep Absolutely awful. Nothing else mattered but getting home and sleeping.
      How to explain??

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