The weeks leading up to the Holiday Season are tough going for a lot of people; but it’s what you do. You have to see all the friends and loved ones over the holidays, spreading joy and doing what you can to brighten the world. At least, that’s what I think it’s what their for.
This week has been incredibly busy. I had dinner out from Monday to Wednesday with some awesome friends that are more like family. Thursday was the day of the two potlucks and Friday was dinner out for a friends birthday at a murder mystery dinner.
There were a few warning signs from Cybil and Max that I needed to slow down, that I needed to bow out of something, take it easy, that I didn’t have to be busy for every second of every day.
By Thursday, my body was knackered. It was shot. More than likely a combination of lack of sleep (I was getting to bed at 11PM every night when I normally go to bed at 9PM) and fatigue on top of that. Then the pain had kicked in again. I was tired and I was done. I was toast.
During dinner out on Friday one evening, I was able to get to the restaurant, I was able to get to my seat. I was exhausted, but I was there. Then I had a beer and things went on a downward spiral. Alcohol hits my body hard now-it seems I’ve gone from being a cheap date to a bargain special. When I tried to get off the bench to go to the washroom, I found that I couldn’t.
I wasn’t able to get my body into a standing position. Two friends eventually had to pull me up so that I was standing. My legs were all over the place and I could barely walk with the aid of my cane. A friend had to walk behind me to make sure I stayed up straight.
I was able to get back from the washroom and sit down. When I got up again at intermission, I had the same issue. I had switched to coke by that point, half the beer left untouched. The walk was still difficult but I made it back to my table after. I knew I had to go home as soon as the play was over, that I had to go home and rest. I declined to go dancing with them afterwards.
I left the party and walked out into a torrent of snow. Merry freaking Christmas. It had been snowing lightly all day, but now the roads and sidewalks covered in a thick layer, like a white blanket.
I tried calling a cab but it was impossible to get through. The roads were terrible and everyone was trying to get a ride home. I knew I would have no choice to walk until I found a cab or could take a bus.
I went past a hotel and there were none in sight. I walked down York, down Rideau. There was a moment I didn’t know where I was directionally; all I could see was snow. I was walking down Rideau and was lucky enough to grab a cab. It took me over an hour to get home and the cab half of those minutes.
I woke in the evening feeling warm and very hot. My head was full of marbles and I could feel the beginning of a cold. I woke up this morning with a low grade fever and feeling very unwell. I had not taken the time I needed to rest, had not heeded the warning signs and now I was sick.
Other than a brief but slippery trip to get some cold medication at the pharmacy, I’ve stayed home today. I’ve rested, I’ve relaxed and read. Those are three R’s that I’ll certainly have to get behind from now on.
I’m just coming to terms with what MS is. It’s an autoimmune disease. I keep thinking of it as a disability because that’s what I know, but Max is a whole other kettle of fish then Cybil. I have to recognize that it’s okay not to fill up every moment of every day, that I don’t constantly have to keep busy or always doing something. My body needs rest on a daily basis to heal itself however temporarily.
I have to recognize the warning signs and slow down when they start showing up. I have to listen to what my body is telling me and learn everything I can about it. I have to listen to me.
Do I regret pushing myself so hard though? Not a bit. I saw all the friends that are part of my extended family that are more like brothers and sisters to me than friends. The Holidays are about spending time with the people that matter most to you in the world. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The fact that I’ll be resting at my parents place for Christmas time really does help, though.