Picture, if you will, the insufferably cheerful trio of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor chirpily marching around a grand house and belting out, “Good Mornin’, Good Mornin’, It’s great to stay up late, Good Mornin’, Good Mornin’ to you…” in the 1952 film, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ Now imagine a young tone-deaf, rhythm-blind woman enthusiastically trying to re-enact this same level of buoyant intensity in a vain effort to awake her partner from his lazy weekend slumber. This was me pre-MS. It wouldn’t always be this song, there are plenty of that ilk to choose from… ‘Wake up it’s a beautiful morning’ (The Boo Radleys), ‘Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head’ (The Beatles), ‘Morning has broken, like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird’ (A favourite childhood hymn of mine) – The list goes on… I would usually end my performance with one of my favourite sayings, ‘Half the day’s gone!’ A decade or so later, I’m the first to admit that I must have been a nightmare to live with! But in my defence, I would often leave him in bed while I went to the gym and then come back with a newspaper and coffee – so it can’t have been that bad.
Anyway, hop, skip, jump, drag and crawl forward to the present day and, boy, have the tables turned! I am now the one refusing to get out of bed and my husband is far too mature and respectful to even think of singing and dancing in my face. Gone are the days when I could leap joyously out of bed in the morning, feeling refreshed and ready for the day. These days, getting out of bed is not only physically difficult, it’s bloomin’ painful! Every part of my body has to be gingerly moved into position to stretch out, being careful to avoid all-out spasm. And as for feeling refreshed – thanks to that dastardly MS Fatigue, no amount of sleep will ever do that!
When I finally make it out of bed all I want to do is sit down and recover but, as anyone with young kids will know, that’s ridiculously impossible. If my bed has not already been invaded by 1 or 2 or 3 little monsters and a cat or 2, you can guarantee that I will soon be greeted by a melodic chorus of, ‘Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!’ as my children and cats all vie for my attention and start throwing their demands at me. “I’m hungry!” “I’m thirsty” “Meow” “I don’t like this cartoon” “I’m hungry!” “He did this!” “She did that!” “My knee hurts” “I’m hungry!” “Meoooooow”
All I ever want to do is crawl back into bed, but I can’t, so instead I imagine that I am surrounded by a group of chimps wearing sunglasses and burst into for my own unique rendition of Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song – “Today I don’t feel like doing anything (whistling), I just want to lay in my bed (whistling)…”