Monday, March 3, 2008

Ups and Downs of MS

For most of my life I have been a mountain top and valley kind of person. I don't seem to ever be in the middle, where everything is just OK. My wife is kinda that way too, and we seem to either be 100% or nothing at all. We are not status quo kinda people, and when you deal with MS, you can have ups, downs and sideways on a daily basis. Right now we are going through one of those sideways times where we are just overwhelmed with life.

Her health has been all over the place lately. Some days she wakes up and feels great and others she wakes up and feels like garbage. Yesterday she woke up with her right side feeling very heavy and tingling in some places. I think it all started with a really bad headache Saturday night, and her body decided to give up on her yesterday. She slept for about 10 hours yesterday, and recovered some, but she will need to go to the chiropractor today to make sure her body doesn't keep going numb. Stress is high right now which is not good for MS patients, and her business is taking off more than we expected which has added a lot of pressure.

So, we find ourselves at a crossroads with her business, her MS, and our other life stuff. We could easily push her business into a very profitable operation, but at what expense? I think this is definitely one of the most frustrating parts of Multiple Sclerosis for me. When things start to go good in certain parts of your life, the disease seems to put a cramp in it, and since we are 100% type of people it really frustrates us. She has an interview today for a new employee, but if we hire someone then we have to press on and grow the business. If we don't hire someone then we have to scale back so that there is not as much pressure on her. It really is a good problem to have, but it is not an easy decision to make.

One of the hardest parts of living in the highs and lows is contentment. I am very rarely content with anything. I think that is why I have been successful at helping small businesses grow and become profitable. I see the problems and know that it can be better, and then I just figure out how to do it. It doesn't seem hard to me, and once I have it on the right track and figured out, I get bored and want to move on. I guess in some ways I have treated my wife's MS the same way. I have done the research, figured out what we need to do for optimal health, and we have done those things for certain times in our lives. The problems comes in long term. Once she starts to get better and life smooths out, I get bored with it and decide we need to do something new and of course more stressful. Not good for MS!

So, today seems to be starting out as a "up" day, but we will see. This week is like all of the others, it is already packed full of stuff and I am not excited about much of any of it. My wife's health will probably be all over the place this week since she has so many things going on, and we will buckle down and do what needs to be done for her to live a normal life. If we would only do those things more consistently, then we could live at a higher level of health and success than what we are. I guess that is why the largest section in the book store is self help. Everyone is struggling with these things whether they have MS or not, and most of us are trying to find that elusive side of the mountain where things are OK.


Kenny Scott said...


I can empathise a lot with what you're saying. I think I have more questions than answers, well, I know I do as I don't really have many answers, but maybe the questions might help.

Did you find the way you dealt with the ups and downs of life before your wife was ill was the same as it is now? I'm guessing you did the same things, and that you've always been bored when things are "normal". So does your wife having MS actually change anything? Or is it just something else to deal with when you're trying to make things more interesting?

I hate "normal". When things calm down and everything is running smoothly, I get really wound up and want to change things to make life more "interesting". But I have MS and that can induce stress and fatigue in me too. But it doesn't stop me. I have a new way of thinking about how I am these days, in that I think about how I'm feeling not as weird or ill, but just the way it is, and the way it will always be. That's meant to be a positive thing, by the way, not a depressing thing; yes, it's different to how it was, but that's all it is, just different.

My only advice is to push on as you would have done before your wife was ill. I found out I had MS nearly 3 years ago and within a year after that, my wife and I had decided to try for another child, as my quality of life hadn't changed (yet). We figured it was best to live life to the fullest as we might regret not doing so later in life. We've now got another baby who's about to turn a year old, and we're just thankful we decided to go for it rather than hold back in case things turned bad.

So, speaking from experience, I can only say that carrying on as best you can in the circumstances was the best way forward for us. Here's hoping things go well for you both.

Cory said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your life and thoughts. Congrats on the baby and congrats on living life to the fullest. It sounds like we are kindred spirits, and I hate "normal" too. I guess we are working it out, but it is frustrating when things don't move as fast as we would like. I honestly find it a joy when you leave comments, so thanks for the words and have a GREAT DAY!

Kenny Scott said...
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