Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fatigue, MS, Vacation - Oh My! (A Summer Tale)

The summer has flown by and has been filled with MS fatigue.  I am still learning how to handle MS even though it has already been over 9 years since my diagnosis. Once you think you have a handle on life with MS, something happens that just wakes you up and you once again realize life is ever changing with MS.

I was fortunate enough to go on vacation last month with some friends to Orlando. It was a great time, but after the 3rd day for 2 days in a row, I did way too much walking, with out taking many breaks. After the first day of a lot of walking, I didn't quite realize yet that I was over doing it, but knew my legs were tired. However after the second day of walking a lot, I still felt good enough to keep walking and walking and walking. Until I realized how exhausted I was... and realized I wasn't thinking ahead to how my body might respond. My friends asked if I was okay and if I wanted to keep walking, but I felt okay and said yes. Sometimes I just want to feel like I don't have MS and feel "normal" but pay for it later. I think I now learned my lesson that I really need to think ahead about how my actions will effect me later.
The next day, I took it easy and was able to enjoy the rest of my vacation. Of course, like all vacations it went by too fast. Now I am back to the routine of working and home life, and it feels like I was never on vacation at all!

For quite some time I have been struggling with fatigue. I have been on a medication the last few months, but I don't really feel like it is helping as much as it should. So, soon I will try another medication and see if it helps. It seems like so much with MS is trial and error and figuring out what works best for you. And it seems like this often changes. What has worked for you for months, or years, all of the sudden stops working and you have to start the trial and error process all over again. Fatigue I believe is the most common MS symptom. It really interferes with life. I am working full time and sometimes it is so hard to get through the day. I come home and all I can do is just become a couch potato. I so lucky to have Abe in my life to take care of me. I come home and dinner is made. I never have to do any dishes, though I do help put them away. I am hoping the new medication will help more than the one I have been taking. I do love coffee, but since I have trouble getting to sleep (it's a vicious cycle) my neuro has told me no caffeine after 2pm. Seriously, that is so hard! But, I do as I am told. I don't feel like it helps at all, but I figure cutting down on caffeine isn't a bad thing. ;)

I have been enjoying spending time with my niece, Melanie. She is growing so fast and is already 18 months old. She is starting to talk and walk and she has the cutest laugh! Over the summer I spent quite a bit of time with my sister, Annie and niece. We had a few adventures over the summer, including a memorable Labor Day weekend. A highlight from that weekend was taking Melanie to Chuck E. Cheese... she really enjoyed many of the rides! I love being an aunt! But, I am starting to see how MS is effecting me with my niece. As she grows, it is becoming harder for me to hold her and now that she is starting to walk, it is hard walking around with her. When holding her hand while she walks I find myself leaning over which is tough on the back... and she likes walking kinda fast, so it is exhausting! I try to play with her while she is sitting to make it easier for myself. But, as some of you may know, it's the toddler that is in charge! I do treasure all the time I get to spend with her, and so thankful to have my family close by.

I have also been spending the summer working on Something On Our Minds Volume III (see post Ready, Set, Write!) and it is almost completed. It has been a wonderful project to be a part of, and as we get closer to the release date, I will definitely be blogging about it!

The season is definitely changing in New England, and I am really looking forward to seeing the beautiful foliage in Boston. So, for now I am ready to say goodbye to the summer and hello to autumn!