As much as I’m thankful for the multiple sclerosis and what it’s taught me, there are times that it makes me angry and pisses me off.
There is so much that I try to do and, most days, I succeed. There are other days however, where I don’t succeed at all, where my body stops me from doing what I’d like to do; or rather, when I have to listen to my body and give in to it’s demands. I suppose that’s what pisses me off the most.
I haven’t always listened to my body. The creaks of fatigue or the spasms or the brain fog would be singing and talking to me, but I would choose not to it and I would pay dearly. There was one time at Christmas a few years ago that comes to mind. It was when the MS was fresh within me and I still wanted to do everything I had done before, when I couldn’t admit to myself that things were different now.
The week leading up to Christmas as busy. I remember two potlucks on one day, a work event, friends to see and gifts to buy. I wore the fatigue that year like an extra layer of skin. By the time Christmas came around, I had a cold. I spent most of New Years indoors and in bed. I think I got a bottle of wine for myself but spent the majority of New Years in bed.
Had I listened to what my body was telling me, the signs that it was giving me, I would have been okay. This didn’t mean cutting everything out, but not trying to do everything, giving my body the time it needed to repair itself. It was hard for me to learn was that just because I can’t do everything I want all the time like I used to doesn’t mean that I’m not superman.
Just because I’ve learned to listen to my body doesn’t mean I have to like it. Take today for instance. It’s Pride Day in Ottawa. I really wanted to go to the parade today, to celebrate who I am with everyone else. However, last night was a rough one. My bladder was overactive, even with the medication I take to lessen the amount that I need to get up and urinate during the night. That brought on insomnia and spasms that ran from my legs and all the way up to my back. For the last hour or two before the alarm went off, I just lay there in bed looking up at the ceiling.
This morning, I struggled with my decision. My brain went around and around, something like this: do I go to the parade or not, go or not, go or not, I could go, I’d bring my cane, but I really should listen to my body, but I wanted to go, I wanted to sparkle, I’m so tired, I really should rest, but I have tomorrow off, I can rest then, but then I’ll be in more pain and even more tired than I am now…
You get the picture.
In the end, I listened to my body and made the right choice. I chose me rather than the parade; I chose to listen to my body instead of what my heart wanted. I was angry, angry at having to make the decision in the first place instead of doing what I wanted, all because my heart and head are in a body that carries within it limitations that shift and change like the wind.
I’m sitting here angry with myself and with my body even though I know that I made the right choice for me, my husband and my body. That’s throwing me into a tailspin of depression and then I get angry with myself because I know that I did the right thing.
So, in order to let go of some of the anger and avoid a downward spiral, I am sitting here writing this. I guess that I can take comfort from knowing that I did the right thing, that I made the right choice. It wasn’t an easy choice to make but it should have been. In the end, I can also take comfort from the fact that I sparkle wherever I am and whatever I’m doing.
I know that my body will thank me tomorrow and that I will be able to enjoy tomorrow because I made the right decision today. I will continue to sparkle today and every day. I sparkle wherever I am.