Thursday, February 7, 2008

forced Relaxation and issues with illness

I hate being ill. I know I have a chronic illness that I live with but I hate being ill. As in sore throats, stomach yuckies, the flu and headaches. I turn into a complete whiny wuss at the first sign of illness. Then I stoically try to act as if nothing is wrong while I wander around with a pained expression on my face...hoping someone will ask me what is wrong so I have an opportunity to complain. I know that I am being stupid. I know this drives other people crazy and all I can say is I'm working on it. Maybe it was because being diagnosed as psychosomatic (a misdiagnosis but still...) at an early age- I am afraid I am making it happen and it isn't real until someone else says it is. So when I get sick I am pretty miserable. I don't really count my MS as an illness. Illnesses can be cured, or go away, or can be MS is my chronically different condition. It's not an illness.

Thanks to that great "condition" when I do get the sniffles or the local plague (you know that crud everyone gets that turns entire communities into zombie land for two weeks?) I am usually sick for about half the time everyone else is. My immune system is so kick butt they have me on two different immunosuppressants and still I continue to defy common illness. My body is nothing if not elitist when it comes to germs and little microscopic organisms. I fight off infections with zeal and then those little T-cells go on to attack my nervous system (I have some issues with my rogue white blood cells- they don't ever listen). Then I can take care of everyone else while dealing with familiar but worsening symptoms. I actually prefer it that way.

So when I got a knot the size of the International Space Station in my shoulder last Friday I chose to ignore it. I didn't totally ignore it...I tried my all active life remedies. I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen twice daily. I used the heating pad on it (yes I have heat tolerance issues but the shoulder hurt). I took a hot bath to soak it (same comment as before). I massaged it and I hate massages with a passion. I put my magic Tiger's Balm on it...about four times an hour. Yesterday I realized the pain was radiating up my neck into my jaw line. It also was radiating down my right arm. And I couldn’t turn my head. And I want to ride roller coasters in two weeks.

So I saw my doctor. (who is my boss so it doesn't seem quite as extreme as actually going to the doctor). Sure enough it was a huge knot in my shoulder that was the size of the International Space Station as well as very rapid, rather intense, muscle spasms and yes it did make me shriek when he placed his finger on my shoulder in the particular spot and applied moderate pressure.

I am on muscle relaxers for the first time in my life (honestly- other than my legs I am a pretty relaxed person- and the legs don't fall under the same category as the rest of my body). My legs, amazingly enough are feeling great. they still don't listen to me but they don't hurt. And I don't shake violently every time I stand up or change position. My neck still hurts. And I am so whining about it. It isn't fair that I have to deal with this as well as MS. It makes me very grumpy. And that it ridiculous. I am being a very silly little girl.But this has given me an opportunity to experience the future. My family drives me around. I am completely dependant on them for transportation. (muscle relaxers+ not feeling feet + not turning head = should not drive). And right now it’s not that bad. They are very good about making sure I get to where I need to go. But I have already experienced what it will be like for most my life:

Me: Sissy, will you take me home now?

Sis: And what do you plan to do when you get home?

Me: Well. Maybe a load of dishes. Feed the pups. Pay some bills. Clean off the table. And I really probably should sort the recycling. (at this point she rolls her eyes)

Sis: And do you think any of this will make your arm feel better?

Me: (honestly is always the best policy except when...)

Sis: No. Not driving you home. You can sit on my couch and watch a movie. Or take a nap. Or do nothing. Those are your choices.

Shit. So this being driven places does not mean I have the same privileges that other people with chauffeurs have. I kinda always guessed this would be the case but had to find out for myself (just for the record I know she was right- I just hate that she was right).So add this to the list of medical things I reserve the right to be a complete wuss about. Knots in my shoulders. And I'll stop whining now because in two weeks I'll be able to ride roller coasters. And I'll work on understanding that just because I have my "condition" other things can still go wrong with my body. Hard to stomach but true. And in the meantime I am really quite relaxed (and it's not a limo but works for me).


Elizabeth McClung said...

Well, this made me laugh because you are now part of the world where people can closer observe your driven, "Ahhh, I'm sure my body will survive" behaviour and start holding you to ransom (as they do ALL the time with me). And, no it isn't funny really I guess because those things you were going to do still need to be done, just they have prioritized your healing (which isn't a sure thing) over dishes and feeding the pups which you are pretty sure you could do.

Roller Coasters? Well that is a reason to get better. I'd take the muscle relaxant while ON THEM.

ms bond said...

I am gald someone else gets my frustration. I try to point out that it is all a matter of perspective...Sis just says with a no nonsense voice, "And I can still beat you up." Hmmm...she's got the upper hand (and I hate worrying her too much 'cause I'm the oldest and am supposed to take care of her-anything to soothe my ego).
The dogs got fed last night. I just thought I'd better add that because they are very very important. Barclay even got marmite dissolved in water on his food (gourmet tastes). They did not suffer because I am incapacitated from a stupid muscle cramp.
On the other hand...this is going to continue? Argh...time to take up boxing...or martial arts

Shauna said...

Tai chi is supposed to be pretty good. I'm hoping to begin yoga myself.


ms bond said...


I've thought about Yoga. And they do offer Karate or something where I work out. And ballroom dancing. And I think there may be a yoga class. Maybe I should really look into it.

Elizabeth McClung said...

See, that is why I love ya Ms Bond: someone talks about taking Tai Chi and you are like, "Well they do offer Karate near me." It is like there is a Ms. Bond translation device up there where people say, "Want to go for slow control walk/hand cycle?" And that is translated to: "Hey, I wonder if there is any rock climbing around here?"

ms bond said...

Actually I dream of owning a handcycle. I discovered them about a year ago and have been passionatly researching them ever since. And saving money 'cause the one I am dreaming of is really expensive. But's sleek and sexy. And tough looking (and low to the ground so it doesn't look like a self propelled rickshaw). I used to love riding my bike. Even better though- strap your legs on either side of a wheel while pedaling with your hands (sounds like a thrill. especially going down hill). And you can get mountain bike wheels for them. And lots of cools extra's. Man...I cannot tell you just how passionate I am about my hypothetical handcycle (I have a picture of it taped above my desk). I could ride it to work! I could bike across the country. I could lead armies of handcyclists. And I was really really jealous when I figured out that you have one =)