A day in the life of an MS relapse
Every day I find out something new about myself and my body as I attempt to “fight the crippling disease that mysteriously found its way into corrupting my immune system.
Saturday it hit me that there are things I can no longer do. Whether temporarily or permanently is still to be determined. Between Florida's heat and humidity, days have become unbearable. Something as mediocre as grocery shopping can become a taxing and grueling chore once a relapse begins.
SN: What is an MS relapse? Relapses are caused by the inflammation that occurs when my immune system attacks the myelin surrounding nerves in my brain or spinal cord. My MS relapses mean I have triggered the worsening of my symptoms by being too active, exposed to extreme temperatures (heat or cold), stressful work environment (I'm in PR, that's going NOWHERE), the list can go on, and my relapses so happen to last in teeth clinching pain for a couple of days.
I spent an hour and a half playing a pickup game of basketball with my fiancé—I know. WHY?! I did it because I am tired of being cooped up in the gym, the house, or air-conditioned “safe places,” I wanted fresh air! Days later as I write this I find myself a bit frustrated, still tired, sore, and find it a smidge comical that I took my 6’1”, no balance having, “MS hug” choking for air, stumbling over my own feet, MS ridden body out in 90 degrees heat and the most I accomplished was two points. After taking what felt like an eternity to somewhat jog and dribble to the goal and battle Frank’s bogus defense (being merciful, I know) all I could do was stand right under the goal and pathetically miss the lap up and fall over because I had zero balance left to give. I am sure the lesion that was made on my brain or spine Saturday is the size of a tennis ball, but I went back to the old Ashley if it was just for a few minutes.
For years in Florida’s heat, I conditioned and played basketball and volleyball. Saturday, you would’ve thought I had never played in my entire life. Everything--the ball, the bench, the pavement, the sun, all HOT and UNcomfortable. My breathing became so labored I thought “is this how I die? At a damn pickup game??”
I use to be an athlete. Whether I find her again is the anx I currently have. It’s a long way back to restoring my body; I thought with working out, focusing on my balance and muscle strength I would be closer to bringing back to my glory. Saturday showed I have a lot more work to do and a long way to go.