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Abominable Me

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • rickyscc
    2 years ago

    Can you expand more I what you mean by over medicated? Which medication do you feel was causing this?

    The reason I ask is that I feel the same was and was curious to see if it’s the same medication I’ve been taking. TIA

  • Julie
    2 years ago

    I’ve been living with this for 18 years now. I totally identify with the Bumble analogy. I can feel the MS hangover some mornings too. A couple of years ago my daughter, her family and I bought a house together. It was a win/win. I was here when the grandkids get home(which I love!) and they were all here for me when I needed help.

    I had lived alone for 10 years prior to this so I didn’t realize I would have my Bumble days and take it out on my family. Even snapped at my grandkids (yikes!) I try to stay in my quarters of the house in the mornings and only come out when everyone is at work or school. It now works for us much better. By the afternoon when the kiddos get home I’m in much better spirits or they know when to keep away from me lol

    This also reminds me of an altercation I had with my mom not too long ago. Her mental stability is quickly slipping away. She argues with everyone and even yells at my sister and me when she thinks we are trying to steer her wrong. I finally had had it and fussed at her and asked: “why are you yelling at the very people that are trying to help you?”

    This was one of those “ah-ha” moments for all of us. I know she is just acting out her frustration with what she knows is happening to her. I have since learned to touch her hand, hold it and tell her we can work thru whatever it is that is upsetting her. This calms her down almost immediately. We don’t argue anymore. I let most of the stuff she says just roll off me. Then I realized this must be how my family feels when I fuss at them and get sharp with my retorts. We still have our moments living together but now I work at keeping the peace. This illness isn’t easy!

    Wishing health and peace to all.

  • JDeabler
    2 years ago

    Hi Calie- I love the connection you make between Bumble on Rudolph and how it can be when you’re, and probably most of us, having one of “those” days. All very true, people react before they think. In truth in communication with other people, regardless of who it is, aren’t most actions/responses a reaction to what that other person has said or done? In my opinion one important thing to remember, is that everyone has a story, a life, feelings etc that we know nothing about when interactions happen. Even our own loved ones, they have more in their lives than just us. Whether they are having a bad day at work, with the kids, their own health issues etc, I try to give those people the benefit of the doubt and not react to whatever negativity or stress they may be giving off.

    You mentioned your little one…my kids now 28 and 31 were 2 and 5 when I was diagnosed with MS. There were so many unknowns then, not like now. I had a hard time with it. It scared me. It scared me for me, more than that though it scared me for them and the kind of life they might have with a disabled mother. It took me a few months to realize that my kids deserved better, they deserved a childhood, they deserved a mother that would go above and beyond to give them a life with a mom that was there for them mentally, emotionally and physically.

    Knowledge is power. I learned, shared and lived every positive thing I could about MS and still do. I actually made MS my career and by living a positive, healthy life still striving to learn and be strong and confident I like to believe that I have been a good role model for my kids. Hopefully they have learned some good life lessons about the importance of continuing to educate yourself in all things, reaching your goals, exercise, hope and positive thinking, resilience in stressful time and going back to your act don’t react thinking…empathy for everyone whether you know their story or not.

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