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’.