I thought I was doing a pretty good job of handling all the stressful events going on in my life right now but my body had a different opinion ultimately. Last week the anxiety got so bad for me, I ended up having to take a Xanax a couple of days in a row so that I could even breathe. It's hard to admit that I let my emotions get the best of me but that's exactly what happened. I pride myself on being able to rise above the limitations this disease presents daily but all the determination in the world could not prevent a panic attack. This has been a humbling reminder to me that I can't always just will myself through all the physical and emotional hurdles that life brings but that's ok. Fortunately I have an amazingly supportive group of family and friends, a schedule and resources to take proper care of myself and the knowledge that this to shall pass.
The culmination of weeks of prepping and preparing for a BIG graduation party for our youngest came crashing down on me this morning, literally. While cleaning up the kitchen after the party last night some precariously positioned dishes and bowls fell off the shelves and broke into a million pieces all over the counter and floor. I sat there amidst all the shattered glassware and had a good cry. The tears have been close to the surface for awhile now but I just swallow them, put my head down and keep pushing through my feelings. Studies show that it can be very cathartic to have a good cry but showing any emotion can be extremely difficult for me. It takes a really sad movie or glass crashing down to jar me enough to weep most days so I swept up all the debris, had my mini meltdown and am now feeling much better ready to tackle whatever comes my way next because let's face it, life is messy.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life but can affect our health if it's not managed properly. Having a disease like MS can be stressful in and of itself but family, finances and just day to day little annoyances can send me over the top on occasion. I'm a bit of a control freak so not knowing what's coming next can make me especially anxious. On days like this I need a yoga session to relax my mind, lunch with a friend to relax my soul and a massage to relax my body. Fortunately that's exactly what I was able to do yesterday so am feeling much calmer today, back to myself thankfully. A little stress can be a good thing so I acknowledge it, try to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, breathe and soldier on ready to tackle whatever is thrown my way next.
I don’t get the opportunity to go to as many Cubs games as I’d like but yesterday was a perfect day to venture to Wrigley with my best girlfriends. I’m always afraid that traveling to the city is going to be a burden for those with me because of my special needs but it turned out to be a fun adventure. Instead of having to worry about me, my friends actually felt more like VIP’s when we were escorted to the “handicap” box which is much nicer than sitting in the bleachers in my opinion. You get a regular chair in a covered enclosure that protects you from the elements while having an amazing view of the whole field. We were also fortunate enough to have my son that lives in Lincoln Park drop us off and pick us up after the game so we didn’t have to wait in long lines for the train . We went to one of our favorite Thai restaurants after the game so that the traffic back to the suburbs could ease up before we headed home. It turned out to be a phenomenal day with beautiful weather, great friends and a W for our beloved Cubbies. My suggestion is to let go of the fear of inconveniencing others that can keep you from enjoying the one life you have to live.
It's not something I’m proud of but I get immediately jealous of anybody I meet living with MS that I perceive to be doing better than I am. I'm making the same judgements about their appearance and lifestyle that I do not appreciate being made about me. It may just be that human competitiveness so innate in all of us that fuels my initial observations about how someone else may be doing a better job at managing their MS. I understand that this disease looks completely different for everyone especially if they are newly diagnosed but I cannot help this nagging feeling I always have that I could be doing more to get and stay healthy. I went to a new physical therapist the other day for the initial evaluation and was so proud when he told me I was doing much better than most people he saw that had been living with this disease as long as I have. It gave me some hope that I must be doing something right but being my hardest critic, I know that I must keep pushing my limits everyday just to keep treading water. The reality of living well with any disease or disability is to wake up every day fighting to be the best version of yourself but that takes hard work.
Hello World. This is a blog we created to give any one affected by MS in any way a constructive way to communicate with others going through the same challenges.