Daughter: “Why are you walking like that?”
Me: “Because I’ve got bad legs.”
Daughter: “You look like an old lady, don’t you Mummy?!”
You can always count on the honesty of a young child. I suppose I do look a bit like an old lady when I’m dragging my feet and walking with a stoop, especially through the eyes of a little 4 year old. But, despite its best efforts, MS has not yet turned me into an old lady, although it often forces me to masquerade as one. Incidentally, I frequently find myself being over-taken by bona fide old ladies in the street and I wonder to myself, would I rather be old and spritely or young and frail…?
There are generally contributing factors at play in the worsening of my symptoms; the usual suspects, of course, being stress and fatigue. However, the worst culprit right now is HEAT. For someone who used to love the summer, it is total and utter pants being intolerant to heat. Last week, when the temperatures reached the high 30s, I was good for nothing. As soon as my body is exposed to heat (be it artificial heat issuing from a radiator or humid, sticky heat issuing from the sun) my body sort of seizes up. I imagine that the feeling is rather akin to that of being shrink-wrapped, although I’ve never actually been shrink-wrapped; it’s the only way to describe it. Yeah – the inescapable claustrophobic tightness that takes over my limbs is like being shrink-wrapped with weights attached. It’s a hideous sensation and one that falls into the invisible category. Apart from my stumbling and foot shuffles, there are no outward signs of this symptom – no sweating, no reddening of the face, and no transforming into the cute and cuddly sloth that my brain now believes I have become… or, indeed, the old lady that my daughter seems to think I resemble!
Luckily, this is a symptom that can ease fairly quickly once my body has cooled down. When it is as hot as it has been lately, however, cooling down sure ain’t easy.