Thursday, 26 January 2012

Giving myself the chance to recuperate

So, I'm writing this is bed ... in a quick ten minutes reprieve from doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Yes, my body has given up. Bed rest called and I am trying to embrace it as best I can. And that has meant no tv, no books, no phone (yeah right!) - all imposed by myself because I have had to recognise that the only way I'm getting over and past this relapse is to look after myself.
The last week has been such a rollercoaster. My break in London was simply lovely. Selfish as it may sound, it was great to not have to get up to a baby in the middle of the night, stay in my pyjamas until lunchtime, eat in grown-up restaurants and have some quality time with friends.
But the trip was clouded slightly by the fact that my legs were continually in pain. So much pain that at one point I even exclaimed that childbirth was easier - and it was. Because this was pain like I have never experienced before - excruciating, mind-numbing and constant.
The bottom line is that I have crossed over into an MS patient was gets spasms - a label the medical profession call spasticity. Horrible word, spasticity. Makes me sound all wobbly or something.
I digress. The result of these nasty spasms is that I am now on more medication, called Baclofen. And you know what, I think they're working already. I slept well last night and while I'm still completely zonked, the pain has subsided.
Now all I have to get sorted is this brain fog, which is the name I have given to this strange sensation that my mind is filled with cotton wool - and my body is simultaneously dragging through mud. The only way to describe it is that I can do everything, everything just takes ages (this blog post has been in the making for going on an hour already, on and off!)
In the meantime, I'm embracing 'doing nothing' for now - and eating lots of chocolate in the process -because let's be honest, chocolate fixes everything, right??!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Support and encouragement

Quick update on the steroid treatment .... which is now on day six.
Honestly, I'm not sure anything is really happening, bar the side effects. I suppose they take time to work and my naturally impatient nature means I expect results overnight. But the reality is that I still have eight full days to do, so I'm not even halfway.
So, I'm trying to be patient, amid the sleepless nights and crazy highs that have me a bit jittery come 6pm!
But mainly I have been completely overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support that my last blog post brought with it .... from my family, friends, colleagues - and also from those who have left comments on here, through my personal Facebook account and on Twitter.
For everyone who has taken the time to get in touch, to say 'keep your chin up' and 'get well soon' - thank you. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.
Those words of encouragement gave me a boost that no medication could ever do. Proof, if ever I needed it, that I am a very lucky girl indeed - to have such amazing people in my life that are making this crazy 'ride' I am on, not so bad after all.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The dreaded relapse strikes

Totally gutted to be writing this but it's time to admit that I am currently in the depths of a horrible relapse. I guess one was to be expected but it's never easy when it hits.
And this one has brought with it new symptoms. Bleugh!
Basically my right arm, you know the one that I need for EVERYTHING, while still functioning, is painful and has this hard-to-describe dead-arm feeling.
And I know half of that makes hardly any sense but I'm putting that down to the equally horrible steroids that I've had to submit to - to try and fight off this bad boy before it has my arm totally useless.
Steroids are never good. Well, they are in that they are supposed to help kick the ass out of a relapse, but their side effects are notorious - hence the reluctance on my part to start taking them.
But, I'm nothing if not a pragmatist, and if the neurologist and my MS nurse says they're worth giving a go, then so be it.
Today is day two and I've been awake since 5.30am and in constant pain since the minute I woke up.
Sympathy is appreciated at this juncture, but, genuinely not necessary because, honestly, it's the sort of pain you get used to.
And I'm thinking that if it continues then that can only mean that it improves my pain threshold - and surely that means my next child birthing experience will be a breeze!
You see, ever the optimist.
Of course, they're also known for their ability to make you permanently starving, so I've all my nearest and dearest warned that I am NOT to eat everything in sight over the next 12 days. Pity I've written this while scoffing chocolates ... but I'm sick, so they're allowed, yes?!
And some of my Twitter friends with MS have warned me that they also induce a state of insomnia - a condition I suffered from while pregnant and which I would very much like to avoid because a mum with no sleep does not a good mummy make!
Finally, I'm all booked to go to London next week for gloriously girlie weekend, which I most definitely will not be missing. Under. Any. Circumstances.
There's nothing else for it. I will rest from now until then and let the steroids do their best work.
Wish me luck.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Starting as I mean to go on

First off, apologies to any regular readers for my prolonged absence.
There's no proper excuse, life has merely taken over.
My baby girl celebrated her first birthday on 11/11/11 - which was a brilliant day. Everyone tells you the first year flies but it honestly did. A close friend had her first baby on 08/11/11 and when I held him for a very lovely cuddle I could hardly believe Charlotte had once been so small, and so dependent, just twelve short months ago. Now, I can hardly keep up with her. As we say in Derry, 'she could buy and sell you' already!
And then of course the madness of Christmas swallows up December and before you can say diet the New Year arrives.
This year I'm not imposing any ludicrous resolutions on myself. Well, not any that require giving up anything. Rather, I intend to be less hard on myself. Give myself a break.
I figure that learning to negotiate the path along which MS is taking me is a hard enough journey without me putting pressure on myself to be the perfect mother, wife, daughter, friend and colleague as well.
Because I'm beginning to realise that nobody, no matter how hard they try, is perfect - least of all me!
That said, I do hope to blog a bit more often this year. There have been many times in 2011 when I have written a post in my head and then never got round to actually putting my thoughts on here.
In the meantime, here's a very cute picture of my daughter taken on her birthday :)