Sunday, September 26, 2010

Throbbing Pain In Leg With Multiple Sclerosis

My wife has been on her feet a lot the last few weeks. Today the stress and lack of rest caught up with her causing her legs to ache. It started with just a small spot of pain on the top of her thigh and turned into throbbing pain by the afternoon. Right now she is laying in bed trying to rest her legs and sleep. The pain has only affected her left side, and she was having issues with her left shoulder and arm when we were traveling last week. I know the hotel beds we slept in were very hard, so I wonder how much that affected her side. We stayed at the same hotel for 4 nights, and she woke up more than once complaining about her left arm and shoulder. The pain today started slowly but when it did hit, it sidelined her to bed all afternoon and evening.

Leg pain is by far the most searched subject on my blog, and I totally understand why. When my wife has leg pain it shuts her down and she can't function until the pain subsides. Sometimes that happens in a short time and sometimes it takes days for the pain to go away. I do know that we have had success with chiropractic, massage, rest and heat/cold treatment for the pain, but it sure is annoying when it hits. I just remembered she was also having low back pain after sleeping on the hotel beds. Sometimes it seems like it is so easy for her body to get out of whack, and when it does, we can expect her to have multiple sclerosis issues.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Alone With Multiple Sclerosis

If ministry work has taught me anything, it is that this world can be a very lonely place. Even though we have more ways to connect through technology than ever before, the world can be a very lonely place. When you have a disease like Multiple Sclerosis it seems to magnify those issues at times. My wife and I were talking the other day about how our world revolves around the times that we eat. We seem to have a lot of our social time with other adults during meal times, which can become very difficult if you are following Swank's MS diet or are trying to eat very carefully. My wife has been looking into a holistic nutrition school that teaches about whole body nutrition from cooking to preparing to how our bodies absorb and use the food. While she and I were talking about this school it took us back to the times when she was following the Swank MS diet very closely. We rarely could eat out due to the restrictions, so we cooked almost every meal and wouldn't have very many opportunities to go out and eat with anyone. Sometimes this was a very lonely place to be, especially when our friends were meeting and eating together.

Loneliness seems to be one of the most difficult things to deal with concerning MS. Multiple Sclerosis affects everyone in a little different way, and when fatigue or an attack is happening, life just shuts down while your body is trying to fight its way back to normal. I know that my wife has felt like she is the only one in the world with the issues she has, and has become depressed from these moments. Sometimes I think the emotional damage done by Multiple Sclerosis is worse than the physical damage for my wife. She has had a whole range of emotions from anger to sadness to loneliness to feeling depressed. My wife has been very fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends that support and love her very much, but sometimes it isn't enough and she becomes very frustrated with the whole MS thing. Sometimes she would just like to be able to go out and run as hard and fast as she can and not have to worry about her body warring against her and having an attack. Sometimes she would like to push herself to the limit knowing that she can just get some sleep and everything will be OK, but there have been too many attacks from pushing herself to the limit that she has to hold back.

One thing we have learned from this blog is that we are not alone, that there are others out there dealing with the same issues as us. We have found kindred spirits that are fighting this disease with everything they have, and trying to live life fully. We are not alone, and I hope that this blog has shown those reading it that they are not alone. My wife and I know what it feels like to have to cancel everything because MS won the battle for that day. My wife and I know what it feels like to have to make life decisions based on how the career, home, climate etc. will affect her MS. We know what it feels like to have the pressure on our marriage of MS, to have to dig deep sometimes to not become frustrated at each other because of what kind of day my wife is having. I know what it is like to be alone as a husband and father because MS has sidelined my wife for a short time, and she knows what it is like to miss out on life because she is laid up in bed recovering. Through all of it, we are not alone, and neither are you! MS has made us stronger in our marriage, stronger as individuals and stronger as a family. Please don't ever feel alone in this battle, and please feel free to write us if you need an encouraging word or just need to vent. You are not alone!