Because of some special circumstances, my oldest son has been able to feel first hand some of the effects I deal with having multiple sclerosis. Not that I wish my symptoms on anyone, but it is easier for him to understand some of my daily struggles. This is my oldest son who wrote the essay about his mom having MS. I would like to see a rewrite of it the same essay now to see if any of his views have changed.
Since it is summer vacation, my son is going to the gym with me early so he can work out. He has even gotten up extra early and opened up the gym with me at 5:00am so I am not alone. His new dedication to his physical condition has paid off and he is even working with a trainer for increased strength and endurance. The trainer and he worked especially hard one day on legs. Then next day my son said how much his legs hurt and how sore he was. He worked out again and could not stop commenting on how much it hurt to move or basically do anything.
While we were running errands later that day he once again commented on his legs and I said, “You are going to be sore from time to time.” He said, “But, Mom you don’t understand, my legs are so heavy.” Well, it did not take me long to tell him that is how I feel every day. I told him the same story I have shared with all of you about how I start off the day feeling normal and it changes as the day goes on. It feels like every hour another ankle weight is added to my legs and by the end of the day, it takes everything I have to walk, much less walk up steps or try to carry anything other than my own body weight. He said he understood a little more how I felt but I hope he will remember that in another few months while he is waiting on me to catch up with him while we are walking somewhere.
The next event was not funny but we take understanding where we can get it. This is an event I do not want to happen to him again, but he is young and I hope he does not feel the effects of this later in life.
Again this is my oldest son who is now almost 6’3” tall. Being that tall, your head is already a good length from the floor and add to that your vertical leap in a basketball game and the impact of falling to the floor after breaking your nose gives you a pretty bad concussion. I was already thinking that the fractured nose would be enough to make me retire from the sport but the concussion is what really put him out of commission for the next 4 weeks.
He experienced some very dramatic personality differences almost immediately. The next day he explained to me that he felt like he was in an “alternate reality”. It was later discussed that he sometimes knows someone is talking to him but he can’t understand if they are really talking to him. It was explained to me that he had cellophane on his head and it took longer for him to process everything and figure out what was being said. He even had some problems, very minor, with his vision. An x-ray and Cat scan later and it was determined that he did fracture his nose and suffer a grade 3 concussion, but there was no threatening swelling at this time. The decision was made that, for some time, he should not participate in any activities that may have physical contact.
On the car ride home I decided it would be a good time to tell him that sometimes when my MS is acting up that I feel like I am in that same “thinking” fog. I hear people, I process what they are saying and I say something back but it is all just a hair slower than normal. I am in the fog and my lights are not working real well. I then told him that now he understands what I face from time to time.
I will say that my timing was not the best. His nose hurt, he had a bad headache and had just been told that he could not be able to play basketball for the next four weeks. While I was pleased that we could use the opportunity to bond on a different level, he was trying to say that this whole new episode in our lives was not about me and my MS. I will give him that one but in a few more weeks when his headaches are gone and he is playing basketball again, I will save this information to bring up again.
As always keep a smile on your face,