Check Engine Light
Last updated: June 2021
I’ve seen a quote circulating on Facebook. It says, “Do you ever feel like your body’s ‘check engine’ light has been on and you’re still driving it like ‘Nah, it’ll be fine’”. Every time I see it, it reminds me so much of myself. I am guilty of always thinking I can do it all. When I have my good days, it’s easy for me to take advantage of that extra energy. I try to get as much done as possible, even when I start to feel my body’s “check engine light” come on.
With pregnancy and MS, I need to slow down
I’m currently pregnant with triplets right now. It has without a doubt made me realize that between this pregnancy and MS, I have to listen to my body’s signals more. While my MS isn’t as severe right now thanks to pregnancy hormones, I do still have my normal MS symptoms. My MS fatigue is just as difficult as it was before, if not worse. Not only that but because of the stretching and rapid growth my body is doing to try and accommodate three babies, it is putting a lot of stress on my joints and ligaments. With pregnancy and MS combined, I don’t have a lot of choice but to quit driving when I realize my “check engine light” is on. I can’t keep driving like I once could. I have to remind myself often that I’m not like everyone else. I’m not like any other able-bodied person, and I’m not like every other pregnant woman. I can’t play the comparison game. It's easy to get caught up in seeing everyone out doing fun activities, especially now that its summer. While before I would push myself and keep going thinking I would be fine, now I have to pump the breaks much more often. It has been an adjustment making myself slow down. I feel like since being diagnosed it’s been a constant battle between knowing when to stop and stopping just short of one step too far.
MS is sneaky
I think I am the way I am for several reasons. A) I’m stubborn as can be. B) I always want to keep going and doing while I still can. Tomorrow is never promised for any of us, and tomorrow with MS is always unknown. Today, my husband was a mile away from the gas station and ran out of gas. I’ve told him over and over again not to let his gas tank get that low, but if you can’t tell he is a little bit stubborn, too. It’s the same for me, though. I will push myself until I physically can’t move. It doesn’t matter how many times my body alerts me that my tank is low, or my check engine light is on. I like to think I am good at knowing when to stop, but sometimes it is difficult. In hindsight, I know that I’m getting close to my limit, but in the back of my mind, there is always the fear that if I stop now I won’t be able to get up and go again for a while. MS is sneaky like that, and before you realize it, you’re broken down on the side of the road.
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