My niece was transferred a job in Mexico City, a place with a very steady climate that follows a predictable pattern. She told her Mexican friends about the weather in her native New England. She told them that were no wet seasons or dry seasons, that it's cold in the winter and warm in the summer, but that was just a general guideline. She told them that the weather often changed drastically over a period of hours, often unpredictably so. Cold days followed by warm days, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. Blue skies followed by pop up thunderstorms or snow squalls. You name it!
Having lived in Mexico City for most of their lives, the natives found her description of New England weather hard to comprehend or believe.
It hit me that my experience as my wife's caregiver would lead me to describe her experience with MS in a similar way. And many (most!) people who aren't members of "Club MS" find it hard to believe or understand.
She sometimes has good days...good days for her, that is. She wakes up in an upbeat mood, remembers things, speaks clearly, transfers confidently to and from the wheelchair, and overall is doing well. That can be followed by a day when she's an emotional wreck as soon as she wakes up, cannot speak intelligibly, can't transfer to and from her wheelchair, is in pain , drops everything she touches and overall is having a lousy day.
Sometimes the transition from her having a good day to lousy day or vice versa happens over a period of minutes or hours, for no apparent reason. Like New England weather, my wife's course of MS has some vaguely predictable trends, but trying to prognosticate how she'll be next week, tomorrow or even an hour from now is a fool's errand.... a lot like trying to predict the weather here in New England.
So here at "Club MS", you dress in metaphorical layers, with a proverbial umbrella, a figurative snow shovel and imaginary sunscreen at the ready, and you just try to do your best to be prepared for whatever sudden challenges and changes MS has in store.