Christmas just ended, I know, but I’ve been feeling like I strongly relate to a character in the classic movie, Rudolph as of late. The character I feel like I relate to is not one that’s very well liked either. That character is the abominable snow monster or Bumble as he was known as in the movie. Bumble is seen in the movie as an antagonist of sorts. Bumble was mean and seemed ferocious to Rudolph and his friends. But, little did everyone know Bumble was only mean and grumpy because he had a terrible toothache. While I know it seems silly to compare myself to a fictional character, I can’t help but feel that Bumble and I have something in common.
Sometimes the fatigue and pain gets the best of me
I don’t want to be tired and angry. I don’t want to be grumpy and lash out when I’m having a bad day. Sometimes the angst over the fatigue and pain just gets the best of me. But, with MS more days than most it seems it seems like I have my moments where I don’t realize I’m being rude or short with my loved ones. Like most, I tend to be most comfortable around close friends and family. And, even without realizing it, when I’m having a bad day they’re always the people able to tell first. I tend to get a little short, or seem on edge when it’s one of my bad days. I’m usually overly emotional and let little things set me off. It’s not that I mean to be that way at all either, but when I’m feeling my worst everything anyone says or does seems like it’s directed in a negative way towards me. My husband, for instance, always knows when I’ve done too much, because I get snippy with him.
I hate that I do it
I hate that I do it, too. You know those days where you wake up and you just know it’s going to be a tough day? Those days for me are when I wake up and feel like I haven’t slept at all. My body hurts and as I’ve described it in past articles, I feel hung-over even though I haven’t had a drop of alcohol the night before-the MS hangover as I like to call it. My head will feel funny; I’ll be shaky, clumsier, and even a little nauseous. Those are the days I really feel like Bumble. I’m not an intentionally angry or grumpy person. I’m normally the opposite really. But, it’s those days where I wake up feeling like death that I’m the antagonist. I’m not necessarily hostile, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been in the past.
The toll MS takes on mental & emotional health
It truly amazes me the toll MS takes on not just your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well. I’ve become a lot better at dealing with my bad days now than I did in the past, but in the past I was not a pleasant person to be around when those days struck. In the past I was downright mean. I had no compassion for anyone else or their problems, because I felt so bad I didn’t have the energy to care about anyone else or their feelings. I do believe a lot of that was because I was over medicated, but I think a lot of that was the MS taking its toll on me as well. I’ve learned over the years with this disease that just because I’m having a rough day doesn’t mean I have the right to lash out at those around me. I’ve learned that the people around me might be dealing with their own issues that make them act and feel like a different person also. We all have our “Bumble” days, I think. The aches, the pains, the fatigue, the emotions, and the daily stressors that come with life alone certainly take their toll on us.
I now try to act, not react
At the end of the movie, it’s realized that Bumble isn’t really the villain after all. He was just really upset over his toothache. I’ve been like Bumble many days. I’ve been the villain because I’ve been so upset over everything that is MS. It used to haunt me in the worst ways and the bad days were made even worse by how I reacted to them. I still have my Bumble days, but now that I have a little one watching my every move, I try to act and not react. I want him to see that even on my worst days; I don’t have to take out what I’m going through on everyone else. Communicating how I feel, working out my frustrations by being physically active, and allowing myself the extra downtime when I truly need it have helped me in that aspect. I just have to roll with it, the bad days are going to come, that’s inevitable, but thankfully now I don’t turn into a monster when they hit.
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?