My leg hurts. Dammit. I haven’t increased the weights of my workout nor have I increased the intensity or duration of my aerobics. Know what that means? Yep. It’s the MS. Again. But this time, I’m not scared and I’m not feeling sorry for myself—I am Pissed. Off.
Do those 5 stages of grief work for diagnosis, too? If so, I’m going backwards. I accepted the diagnosis very early, then the depression hit. I didn’t do much bargaining—that’s a waste of time. Now I’m just angry. That means denial is next. Well, that should be fun.
So, I’m having muscle spasms down the top of my left thigh. Sometimes, it’s in the back of my thigh. And there’s a cramp in the hip flexor area. It’s known as spasticity. Al asked if I’ve told the MS nurse I see. No. Wanna know why? Because she’s going to ask me “Are you on your period?” And I’m gonna say, “Why the f*** do you wanna know????” So, the answer would be yes.
See, this is one of the reasons MS is so frustrating. Nothing I do seems to bring on the symptoms; otherwise, I could do a better job of stopping them. No, it’s things I can’t really control. Infection—even some small harboring infection that I don’t even know is there. Extreme heat—I can wear a cooling bandana around my neck, but I can’t completely avoid the summer. Menstrual cycle—Oh the wonders of being female. Can’t control that one either. Well, I guess I could. I could take my birth control pills continuously and deny myself the period that some doctors are saying I don’t really have to have. But that just seems wrong. Besides, I’ve never been one to consider that time of the month as my “curse.” What a horrible euphemism that is. Makes it sound like some Victorian ailment that proves the inferiority of women.
And there’s really nothing I can do about this symptom, either. I’ve never had a pain that I couldn’t just take an aspirin and knock it out. With spasticity, the prescription is for muscle relaxants. The ones that completely knock me out and make me loopy for a long time. The ones they want me to take 3 times a day. Three times a day! The last time this happened (the time that it scared me), I decided that it was a mind game and that I wasn’t going to let this slow me down. OK, so maybe I have slid into the denial stage already. Anyway, I went to the gym, I ran every errand I could think of, I cleaned, I cooked, I basically did more that I normally do. Then I read in one of my books on MS “really, the only thing you can do to help spasticity is to rest.” Well, hell. So, this time, I’m still working out and doing the things I need to do, but I’ve slowed down a little and decided I don’t really have to be super-MS-patient-woman-person-whatever.
So, my leg hurts. Dammit. Oh, I said that already, didn’t I? Well, so maybe there is a little self-pity. And maybe there is a little bit of fear. The MS nurse has told me several times that just because I’m having symptoms, even symptoms I haven’t had before, does not mean the MS is getting worse. It’s just the way the disease is. In other words, ya gotta live with it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But my leg still hurts.