Last updated: August 2018
Have you ever been driving down the highway and suddenly get a flat tire? Once you examine it, you probably then realize you had a leak and didn’t notice it. Slow leaks like that are sneaky because you don’t see them in the beginning. They’re subtle, and they blindside you out of nowhere. All you can do to try and avoid them is to try and keep your tire in good enough condition to keep trucking along.
Like a flat tire
Many times with Relapse-Remitting MS, it’s like a slow leak. You don’t realize that you’ve done too much or overdone it until you’re as flat and useless as a flat tire. As much as I try to avoid bad days, they are sure to come. I try to do everything in my power to keep in tip-top shape and stay ahead of this disease. I eat relatively clean and try to keep my body healthy and able with exercise and physical activity. I take my vitamins, I stay on top of my doctor’s appointments and MRIs, as well as take the medication needed to keep this disease from progressing. It’s never enough. It’s a slow leak.
One day I’m feeling great, and the next I wake up and feel like I’ve been run over. It blindsides me every single time. For instance, just the other day I started having more symptoms. My tire was deflated entirely, so to speak. My fatigue was much more prominent than usual. When this happens, I wake up and feel like I haven’t slept a wink. My day is plagued by fatigue, so much so that it’s difficult to get anything done. My body is heavy and harder to maneuver. The fatigue causes headaches and irritability which add to my frustration.
Fatigue is my most daunting symptom
It’s on those days that I feel like I’m trudging through quicksand; everything is slow and more difficult to do. My eyes feel heavy like small weights are hanging from my lower eyelids. And, the worst part is when I go to sleep at night, I can’t even fall asleep. All I do is toss and turn, and my mind races with anxiety. Fatigue and lassitude is the most challenging symptom for me, because it is my most daunting symptom, but also because it’s hard to do my job working from home and have the energy to run after my almost 3-year-old.
The irritability also affects me greatly. I’ve always had trouble stabilizing my moods, so when I’m so tired I can barely function, trying to control my mood swings and emotions is close to impossible. I feel terrible for my family when I’m like this because of course, it’s hard for them to understand why I’ve suddenly turned into an inconsolable jerk. Thankfully, my last episode lasted only three days, but when those symptoms hit, they hit hard. Those three days soon feel like three months. Those sneaky slow leaks hit, and they hit hard, making moving forward difficult.
Once again, now that I’m past the worst of it, all I can do is try to avoid them by keeping my body in good enough condition to keep trucking. With MS though, it’s not always that simple. I have to remain thankful and positive in moving forward, knowing that slow leak could have very well been a blowout. And, heaven knows none of us are ever fully prepared for that.
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