Like a Wrecking Ball...

Are you smirking from reading that title? I’m smirking just from typing it. I just can’t help but picture Miley Cyrus in her music video, “Wrecking Ball”. So, what in the world does that have to do with Multiple Sclerosis?

Well, I had written an article titled, Punching Bag, as a metaphor for what it’s like to live with MS. While I still feel like it can be used in regards to what it’s like living with MS on a day-to-day basis… a punching bag reference doesn’t relate to what a flare-up can do to us.

So I’m going to relate an MS flare to a wrecking ball. Why? Because a wrecking ball causes much more damage than a punching bag and we can’t fight against a flare, if you think about it. We can take steroids, which speeds up the process of reducing the inflammation we are having… but until the wrecking ball (flare/relapse) decides to stop causing destruction, we can’t do a whole lot about it. We just sit and watch the demolition occur and wait for the dust to clear.

At times, we can feel when the wrecking ball is about to swing, meaning we can sometimes feel when a flare is coming on. However, that’s not always the case… it just depends on where the lesion is located at and what nerve function it controls.

I feel like when I had my first major relapse that led to my diagnosis, I was in the middle of a full on demolition. Just hearing the words, “You have Multiple Sclerosis”, was like watching the first swing of a wrecking ball happen.

There have been times since my diagnosis that I have felt like I got run over by a Mack-truck… or got hit with a wrecking ball. I just didn’t want to move, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t comprehend what was being said and done around me. It was almost like watching everything going on around me from a glass box. I’m stuck in the glass box just waiting for it to be knocked over. So yeah, it was like an out-of-body experience, so to say.

Living with MS, you don’t know what the future holds in regards to your prognosis.

Why does a wrecking ball tear down buildings in the first place? Has the building undergone a lot of stress from outside factors? Has the climate caused it to not be as sturdy as it needs to be? Does that sound familiar? Since (from what I’ve been told) the things that can cause a flare are extreme stress, extreme heat & extreme cold… Makes sense to me!
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Now the difference is, whenever a wrecking ball is used on a structure, things can be cleaned, rebuilt and/or restored. But that’s not the case for those of us living with MS for the most part.

We can’t tell construction workers to enter our brain and ‘fix’ the damage that has been done. Am I making any sense?

I just feel like once I heard the song “Wrecking Ball”, and then saw the video… I compared it to my MS. I do that a lot actually, compare things I see or hear to my MS, as you probably saw in my article, “My MS Soundtrack” and the list made by, “The song that best describes my MS is…"

When you’re approaching a construction area, there are usually warning signs, detours, etc. I feel like I should have “caution” tape wrapped around me while I’m in the middle of a relapse, because during that time, I’m unstable… not just physically, but emotionally. However, unlike demolition sites, there is no warning when that first swing of the wrecking ball finally swings and the damage is made.

Here are some lyrics from the song that I can relate to with my MS:

“I can’t live a lie, running for my life...”

“All you ever did was BREAK ME… Yeah you… You WRECK ME.”

“I just closed my eyes and swung.”

“I never meant to start a war.” << I didn’t ask for this diagnosis.

“You let me burn.” << Literally

“Left me crouching in a Blaze and Fall.”

Multiple Sclerosis: “I came in like a WRECKING BALL”; “All I wanted was to break your walls”

Okay, that’s enough for me, for now at least.

Happy New Year everyone!


Ashley Ringstaff

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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.

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