When I began writing my blog I set out to be as honest as possible about living with MS. And while I am usually pretty good at putting a positive spin on things, the reality is that having MS can be utter rubbish.
The following post is crazy personal and totally embarrassing, but it’s part of my MS story and needs to be shared for anyone who, like me, goes through this ridiculous tosh – you are not alone!
This week I’ve been struck down with the lurgy. And when I say ‘struck down’, I mean Struck Down. When you have MS, or any autoimmune disease, being hit with a common cold causes complete chaos with your body. For ‘normal’ healthy people, the immune system is a friend, for people like me, however, it is the enemy – continually plotting to attack. It’s really no surprise that my immune system and I don’t get along and that I find myself needing to retaliate by blasting it with a monthly dose of the immunosuppressing drug Natalizumab (Tysabri).
On Saturday night I woke up unable to move my left leg – it was completely paralysed. I desperately tried wriggling my toes and lifting my foot, but it wouldn’t respond. I tried moving my right leg, which was in severe spasm, I just about managed a few jerky movements but my left leg wouldn’t budge. As always when I experience any kind of stress or exacerbation of symptoms my stupid overactive bladder decides to get in on the action. And so I tried to lift myself up, but I’d lost control of my body from the waist down and all I could do was lay there wincing in pain while I wet the bed – a new one for me! In a scene reminiscent of the indignities of childbirth, my poor husband was left looking on in horror while I lay there utterly useless, unable to move myself. He had no option but to rescue me before embarking on Operation Clean-up. This scene was to be repeated a further 3 times during the night and was one of the most scariest episodes of MS that I have had to date.
By morning I was still unable to move my legs but as the day wore on they gradually improved and I managed to shake off the fear that I would never walk again, which had kept me awake the night before.
I had no choice but to rest after all the drama – something I hate doing with a real vengeance! But my little family made sure I was well looked after and brought me endless cuddly toys to help me feel better. I indulged in a whole day of watching films while my 2 year old set up camp by my bed and used his toy medical kit to check my blood pressure, temperature and, most fun of all judging by the smile on his face, my heart rate.
If I could put a positive spin on this whole thing it would be that it was short-lived, brought on, no doubt, by my cold, which set my dastardly immune system into overdrive and caused my body temperature to rise to an unbearable level. I still feel ropey as, and I’m a little freaked out by the sudden and unexpected havoc that MS caused, but things are getting back to ‘normal’ – my legs are back to being heavy, tight, achy and wobbly and my bladder is back to giving me at least 4 seconds notice instead of zero. Things could be a lot worse.