A young woman I work with asked me a question today. She said, “I hope you do not mind me asking, does MS hurt you, and are you in pain?” I did not mind her asking and I tried to answer her but it made me realize that MS has symptoms that people can’t see so maybe I should wear a sign or T-shirt.
I am tired today.
Thinking a little slow or “foggy” today.
Leg weighs 100 pounds today.
Can’t work my fingers, please help me with my buttons.
Dragging my foot, just step over me if I fall down.
I feel a little “Off Balance” so I am using the cane so I won’t fall.
Maybe shirts or signs would help others understand. People know you are going to have trouble walking if you have a cast on a leg but it is hard to explain how as the day goes on, your leg gets so heavy. It really does not “hurt” to walk it is just very difficult to walk and it does begin to get annoying when you struggle to pick a leg up and fatigue other muscles. Let me try it to say how it feels another way. I start the day off and my leg feels normal. As I start walking around getting ready in the morning and make SEVERAL trips down the hall to get my kids going, it slowly starts. When I say starts I mean that it feels like ankle weights are being added in very small amounts that are just slightly noticeable at first but the longer you move with them, the heavier they feel and the more noticeable they become.
At the grocery store or larger “Super Store” I can hold on to the cart which makes it easier to move around. I now take the cart all the way to my car for the stability of the handle. I do not try to carry bags very often. Ketchup in a bag adds enough weight to alter my sense of balance and is an accident waiting to happen. Have you ever noticed how far back in the store the milk is? I know a lot of the employees at Wal-Mart and Kroger, now I make a game of speaking to as many of them as I can on my “milk” trips. I have been told that if I will call, they will have it up front for me, but that would not be nearly as much fun.
Some people joke with me about my struggles to move or walk a straight line and I appreciate the humor more than I think they can understand. At the gym where I work, I was up on a small stool refilling the paper towels. I was talking, LOVE TO TALK, with some of the ladies who were on the bikes. Jokingly they told me it was nice to see me working and not just talking. I told them they would not be laughing when I fell off the stool with my skirt on. One of them immediately spoke up and said, “We will at least pull your skirt down for you.” Three days later and I am still smiling about the humor life is bringing my way.
Small pleasures in life:
Laughter of a child
A hug from a friend
A hug from one of my Kids
A smile from a stranger
Kindness of others
Making someone smile
Fellowship of family and friends
See you on the trip to pick up the milk!