Montel Williams was on the Opray Winfrey show this week. While I am not an Oprah follower, I made sure to watch as Montel talked about his MS. Montel has been open about his MS and very honest about his depression and suicide attempt. Dr. Oz did a great job explaining how the Myelin cover on nerves gets damaged with MS.
The nerves in our bodies are like electrical cords with the plastic insulation on them. MS starts to destroy that cover in small holes at first and then over time the holes become larger. When the protective coating is missing, the wiring, or nerves, underneath can begin to fray. The same amount of electricity in the cord will not get from the outlet in the wall to whatever appliance or machine you have plugged in. In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, whatever signal you are sending from the brain through one of your nerves does not get where it was going as fast, or completely and at times it eventually does not get where the brain is sending it at all. In reverse, some impulses in your extremities can not get back to your brain to tell you, your skin or tissue is being pinched, burned or hurt in another way.
Multiple Sclerosis attacks different people in individual ways. Montel has pain in his left foot and ankle. He commented how many people have problems with balance but he mostly has pain and depression. I have not had the “ghost” pains; Loss of balance and coordination are my enemies right now. Thankfully I have begun a medication specifically for depression that works well for MS patients. I have said it before and will say it again, since being diagnosed and treated for MS, I feel better than I have in years.
Montel spoke about how he will never run again. I thought about it and shed a few tears as I realized the same is true for me. The nerves in my feet and the “Fast Twitch” nerves in my legs can’t respond fast enough for me to run. I have a very funny shuffle that is a source of great laughter to my children. My kids also enjoy pointing out how Grandmommie can run faster than I can. My dances are another blog by themselves but I still have fun moving.
After a few minutes of self-pity, I realized that I did not have plans or unfulfilled dreams to run in a marathon or even a 5K race so the fact that I can’t run is probably not very high on the priority list. Maybe, way back in my mind, I thought that I would be able to run again if I got some help with Multiple Sclerosis. I realize I have made tremendous progress with my balance and ankle strength so I will be thankful for that and hang up my running shoes.
I am off to find some electrical tape that can cover my nerves so I will stop having damage. My electrical tape might be in the form of laughs or smiles or the love of family & friends.