Most women would say that being a mom is the hardest job they have, and I would wholeheartedly agree. It is also the most rewarding job, but what if part of your hardest job as a woman also included dealing with MS?! What would it look like being a mom and dealing with MS each day? For me, being a mom and dealing with MS makes the challenges of the day greater.
About the same time I found out I had Multiple Sclerosis, I also found out I was pregnant with my now six year old daughter. When this journey began, I knew there were going to be challenges. I figured there were going to be things that I may not be able to do, and as the years progressed, I would learn how to slow down and not “burn the candle at both ends,” as a friend of mine would always tell me. With these changes, and the challenges of being a mom came learning a new normal.
My new normal included dealing with fatigue. Well…yes I do take a med for fatigue, but really it just makes me feel normal. The chronic pain I deal with is a result of a long history of scoliosis coupled with the more recent diagnosis of MS. In my mind the most effective way to deal with pain is keep moving and exercise. But being the stubborn healthcare worker that I am, I am slacking at the moment. My plan is to do a round of physical therapy once my hubby gets settled in his new job.
For many, chronic pain and fatigue are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other symptoms out there that MS sufferers deal with, but what I bet you didn’t know is how fragile MS can be. Let me explain.
After 2 neck surgeries last summer, one for my thyroid and one for a couple herniated discs, I was in quite a bit of pain. In addition to neck pain, my back pain we beginning to be more problematic. I am not big on narcotics and I knew I needed a different solution. Well, a friend of mine introduced me to one. My daughter calls it the “contraption,” it provided stability when i walked, support when I stood and enabled me to do many more activities for longer periods of time without additional pain.
Because I am a skeptic, I didn’t believe all the claims this “contraption” could help with. But because it was intended to help pain sufferers, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I wore this thing (and still do) for a year. I had some noticeable improvements. But what was most impressive to me was when I went for a massage. A year prior, the massage I had was nothing but pain and torture and 3 days of recovery. But after an in depth explanation to my massage therapist, she was ready for anything, but anything didn’t happen. She rubbed and pushed on all my “normally” painful spots, but I just slept through the whole thing. I was floored when I got done. I had NEVER had a massage that was pain free. Needless to say I have been telling everyone and recommending her to everyone. It was awesome. I was so excited about how good it felt and how good I felt when I got done, I wanted another one the next week.
This excitement was short lived. 3 days after my wonderful, fantastic, amazing massage, I got re-ended by some idiot that wasn’t paying attention to the red light I was sitting at. This is why I say MS is fragile. Not only has it brought back all my pain that i had been working so hard to minimize, the massage I had the other day was back to pain and torture. I feel like I went 10 steps backwards. It has taken me so long to feel good and now I am back to square one. I never knew how fragile MS is. One minute you can be plugging away, feeling like you are making progress and the next minute, you fall, break something and now you have to start over.
MS is a life long roller coaster. We need to cling to the people that are willing to ride and hang onto them. They are the ones that are going to get us on our down slide and help us reach the top again. Don’t be afraid to tell someone. You may just be surprised!
Have a Blessed Day All!!! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!