Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Seeing Vegas with Multiple Sclerosis

Two weeks ago I was invited to speak at a conference in Las Vegas, NV, so we loaded up and headed that way. We had never been to Vegas so we wanted to make sure and give ourselves some time to see the sights. The first night we arrived around 4 and headed out on the town. We drove to Cesar's Palace and started walking from there, knowing that my wife could struggle to walk to all of the areas we wanted to see. We took in the Volcano at the Mirage, walked over to Treasure Island and took in the show there, then headed on to the Eiffel Tower and saw the Bellagio fountains from the top of the tower. What an awesome sight to hear the music and watch the fountains from above. After quite a few hours of walking I turned to my wife and asked about her legs. She said she felt fine and we made our way back to Cesar's Palace and our car. On our way back, things got a little tricky, and I thought I might have to carry her.

We had made it through most of Cesar's Palace when her legs finally decided to give up. Her left leg started dragging and she found herself almost tripping many times. I was a little concerned because we had quite a walk left before we were going to be back at the car, and I could tell that her legs weren't cooperating. She seemed to "feel" OK, but was stumbling and struggling to walk at all. We were joking that most people probably thought she was just drunk, like most of the other people in the hotel. We finally made it back to the car and headed to our hotel, where she went straight to bed. Her legs ached a little that night, and she tried to rest as much as possible for the next day.

The next day we went to the event I was speaking at and she had to sit for quite a few hours. After sitting for some time, her legs began to get out of control again. She kicked the seats in front of her as her legs jumped uncontrollably. She was so frustrated by that point and couldn't seem to get control of her legs. When we got up to leave, she noticed that she began to walk funny. She would lift her left leg up very high and walked very differently than normal. After walking to the car we decided that she probably shouldn't do much else for that day. Frustration set in again! She was so mad that we were in Vegas, by ourselves, and she was being limited by her Multiple Sclerosis again.

Over the next three days she struggled with everything from jumpy legs to achy legs to even struggling with stomach pain and headaches. The over stimulation of the lights, sounds and activity in Vegas was so hard on her body. Just about everyday she had a dull headache, and with the leg issues, it was a struggle for her to enjoy very much of the trip. She struggled with her body keeping a constant temperature, and would need the A/C blowing full blast at times, and then the heater warming her up later. Her MS was truly wreaking havoc on our Vegas trip, but she worked through the issues the best she could and we still walked some more and saw some more. I guess we have learned through the years that there are going to be times when we are going to have to create some down time so that we can enjoy our time actually participating in whatever we are doing. Our trip to Vegas turned out OK, but it sure is a struggle to watch her have so many issues within just a few days just because of the amount of walking and activity.

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