What You Don't See
I enjoy going out and having a good time. I love hanging out with my friends and family and making memories, too. However, when I get a free weekend with absolutely nothing to do, and you invite me to go out, I may not always be up to going. It’s not to be rude or snobby, and it’s not because I don’t want to. The simple truth is, I have MS, and when I get a day to lay around and do nothing and sleep as long as I want to, you better believe I’m going to take it.
Perfectly content at home
I feel like sometimes people must think I’m lame. I’m still young, but I have my priorities, and I’m the type of person that sticks to that. I’m a wife, a mom, I work from home, and I’m a homemaker. I’ve had my days of partying and going out every night. Right now, at this point in my life, I’m perfectly content spending lazy evenings at home with my family and enjoying the weekends relaxing. So, I don’t go out a lot on top of everyday life. It’s not because I don’t love a good time, because believe me I still do, but right now my daily life is exhausting. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it does take a lot out of me. And when you add MS to the mix, that makes it that much more difficult to want to get out. So, when you ask me to go out with you this weekend, I’m going to have to politely decline, and here are the many reasons why:
What you don't see
You see, this weekend is the first weekend this month that I get to myself. This weekend is going to be the weekend that I’m allowed to lay around and do nothing. It’s the time that I get to sleep as much as I want to. It’s the time I get to recover from a long and hard week. I’m not lazy or a party pooper, but you didn’t see how the week’s activities took up every drop of the energy that I had left. What you don’t see every day is how fatigued I am. How no matter how many nights I get eight hours of sleep, I still wake up feeling like I haven’t slept at all. How some days it’s all I can do to keep pushing.
My tired and aching body
In all brutal honesty, some days when I wake up, I can’t wait to get back in bed that evening, because just the thought of everything I have to do that day is overwhelming to my tired and aching body. You didn’t see how my body hurt because I did too much and my muscles decided to spasm. You didn’t see how weak that hot day at the park with my son made my legs. You didn’t see how the heat zapped me and left me needing three full days of sleep, or how the cold made my muscles tense and it took hours to finally relax again. You didn’t see how I just did math with my hands because my mind is too foggy to remember basic algebra. You didn’t see how I struggled to form a sentence because my brain feels like mush.
The way this disease affects my body
What you don’t understand is how I push myself and mentally encourage myself daily just to keep going. You don’t see the time I need to sit on the couch for a minute just to find the strength to get back up. What you don’t see is how hard it is for my brain to keep up with my body, and how my nerves are constantly misfiring. You don’t see the way this disease affects my body. In fact, you probably don’t even see me as having a disease at all, because unless I’ve told you, it’s invisible.
Don't take it personally
So that, my friend, is why I can’t go out with you tonight. I would love to, but I have to take this time to let my body and mind unwind. Don’t take it personally. I just know when I need to give my body time to play catch up and when I need to rest and recover. I have to do this so I can continue to keep up with my crazy beautiful life. It's not you, it's my MS, and it’s all the things you don’t see.
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?