The Lurgy


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.

15 thoughts on “The Lurgy

  1. Bless you Emily that must have been so frightening at the weekend!
    Glad you’re starting to feel better, I would have been scared too, I’m also on Tysabri and know what you’re facing with our little friend MS.
    Hope you continue to get better, great honest post as usual xxx


    1. Thank you, Karen – I can always rely on you to comment, it means a lot x


  2. You are not alone, Dizzy, my last relapse in April was quite quick and terrifying (worse to date and over the space of 48 hours) I couldn’t wake up nor move and I am still “recovering” – only for the blasted MS to relapse again (thankfully not as bad). It just never ends does it? You feel like you are making some headway and then bang, it happens again. Bring on the Ocrevus … soon I hope …

    The increase in temperature always does me, as soon as my body temperature rises I’m in trouble … it’s like your life source just fades away until you get it back under control. It’s horrible.

    The severity and the suddenness is shocking. I really hope you are feeling OK, I won’t say better, because its crappy MS. Thank you once again for sharing your experiences, it does help. Much love x


    1. Thank you, Shaman. MS sucks – that might be my new tagline…


  3. Aw poor you. Some days are just so crappy beyond belief and it’s so hard to explain to others. You’re doing great hope you feel a bit brighter soon. Keep smiling, laughing and telling this thing to F off


    1. Thank you, Jacqueline – I’m enjoying relaxing with my DVDs!


  4. You are amazing, how can you still write such a positive post after all, you must have had the worst night you’ve ever had. And I feel bad with my wobbly legs and over active bladder ….. and I mean over active!! Your posts always bring a breath of normality (and entertainment!) into what by no means is normal anymore. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to your posts. Big hug you relentless soldier, you make all of us MSers proud. X Francesca


    1. That’s really kind, thank you Francesca. This was a tough one to put out there!


  5. That sounds so scary. Glad you’re getting back to normal. I dread getting a cold!


  6. God I love u. True life with a positive spin on living with our monster


  7. Been there Wibby! A relapse is ghastly especially your dead legs and unpredictable bladder🙄 hope you are feeling better soon. I’m trialling a device called SNS to help with my bladder urgency. It involves a thin wire implant to stimulate the sacral nerve and I can feel the benefit so hopefully I can have a permanent implant. Hope you feel better soon 😊 sounds like you’ve got a great team at home looking after you!


    1. Thank you, Julie. I definitely need to look into this SNS thing, glad it’s helping you.


  8. Thank you for your post, I think you are amazing and you enable me to carry on in confidence with this disease xxx


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