The hubby and I went to dinner at a cute restaurant on Lake Erie earlier this week. It’s calledThe Crayz-Parrot(yes, that’s spelled right and I’m not having an M.S. dyslexic moment) and with my newDory mindset, I thought a crazy restaurant on a lake filled with lots of fish was perfect. I made friends with a Crazy Parrot wondering if he knew he was smooching with a brain-damaged fish. An interracial smooch, no?
We rode Lucy (our motorcycle) to enjoy the 85 degree weather.It was all I could do to hoist myself up on to the bike due to my legs feeling like they were held down with 40 pound weights.After dinner it was all I could do to stand and get those heavy legs to move appropriately.Since we were on the lake, and a marina, I asked the hubby if we could walk off dinner,admiring the water, the boats, and the impending sunset.
Remembering my pledge totake baby-steps towards getting back into a solid and manageable exercise routine, I was eager to walk along the lake and boat ramps.I did just fine until we reached the bottom of a series of giant steps.There was a paved incline leading back up the hill, but the hubby forced me to use the steps instead, knowing the effort would help strengthen my legs better than if I were to take the easy way out.When I reached the top, winded like a 90-year-old, I felt as if I achieved a great feat.It also seemed a little easier to pull myself up onto the bike with one leg, while swinging the other over the back seat.Perhaps little-by-little I will indeed be able to regain my strength!When we returned home to watchan episode of Two and a Half Men, he set me up on the floor, with my legs elevated on the rolling ottoman and had me push and pull my way through the show.Baby-steps.I will get stronger.
While I was pushing and pulling, I recounted in mind trying to explain two things this week: foot drop and L’Hermitte’s. In addition I tried to explain to a co-worker why exercising or even walking has been difficult lately, primarily due to this heavy leg thing going on.Even when the hubby indicated,“You don’t exercise!”when I questioned why I could barely get onto the motorcycle, I thought of this list along with the non-verbalized comment“if it were only that easy, darlin’”.Then I remembered this hysterical but true list posted onOcean’s Web.Enjoy!
MS Symptoms - What It Feels Like
When a Person with M.S. says she can’t do something, walk a few steps in her shoes by using the examples of her symptoms below.
UnderstandingPainful, Heavy Legs… Apply tightly 20 lb ankle weights and 15 lb thigh weights then take a 1 mile walk, clean the house, go shopping and then sit down - how ya’ feeling now?
Painful Feet… Put equal or unequal amounts of small pebbles in each shoe then take a walk.
Loss of Feeling in Hands and/or Arms… Put on extra thick gloves and a heavy coat then try and pick up a pencil, if successful, stab yourself in the arm.
Loss of Feeling in Feet and/or Legs… Ask a doc for a shot of Novocain in both of your legs and then try to stand up and walk.
TN (Trigeminal Neuralgia). ..Take an ice pick and jam it into your ear or cheek whenever the wind blows on it, or a stray hair touches it. If you want something easier to do, get someone to punch you in the jaw, preferably daily.
Uncontrollable Itching… Glue or sew small steel wool pads to the inside of your shirt, pants and undergarments wear them for an entire day.
Tingling… Stick your finger in an electrical socket - preferably wet.
Tight Banded Feeling… Put a 12 inch wide belt around you and make is as tight as you can and leave it there for the entire day.
Side Effects from Shots… Bang your head against a wall, wrap yourself in a heating pad, wrap your entire body with an ace bandage tightly then finally treat yourself to some spoiled food or drink.
Trouble Lifting Arms… Apply 20 LB wrist weights and try and reach for something on the highest shelf in your house.
Spasticity… Hook bungee cords to your rear belt loops and rear pant leg cuffs then for your arms hook bungee cords to your shirt collar and cuffs on shirt sleeves then go dancing.
Poor Hearing/Buzzing in Ears…Put a bee in each ear and then put a plug in each one…bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Balance and Walking Problems… Drink 100 proof grain alcohol and then sit and spin in an office chair for 30 minutes, now try and walk.
Urgently Needing to Pee… Put a .5 liter remote controlled water bag and drip tube in your pants, point out 2 restrooms in a crowded mall, and then tell yourself that you have 30 seconds before activating the water bag to get to a restroom. Just for spite we may make that 20 seconds without telling you.And, of course, we’ll then tease you when the first thing you ask when going anywhere in public is“Where is the bathroom? Can you see one?”
Bizarre and Inexplicable Sensations… Place tiny spiders on your legs or arms and allow them to periodically crawl around throughout the day. Make them invisible just for sport.
Pins and Needles… Stab yourself repeatedly with needles all over your body or better yet….Get a large tattoo.
Dizziness (Vertigo)… Get on a gently rocking boat all day and all night and take several walks around the deck.
Fatigue… Stay awake for two full days to induce incredible fatigue and then cook dinner, clean the house, walk the dog and see how you feel.
Burning Feeling… Make a full pot of boiling water and then have someone fill a squirt gun with the boiling water and shoot it at yourself all day long. However, you can give us the pleasure of shooting you instead…optional of course.
Intention Tremor… Hook your body to some type of vibrating machine try and move your legs and arms…..hmmm are you feeling a little shaky?
Buzzing Feeling When Bending Our Heads to Our Chest (L’Hermitte’s)… Place an electrical wire on your back and run it all the way down to your feet, then pour water on it and plug it in.
Vision Problems (Optic Neuritis)… Smear Vaseline on glasses and then wear them to read the newspaper.
Memory Issues… Have someone make a list of items to shop for. When you come back that person adds two things to the list and then they ask why you didn’t get them. When you come back from shopping again they take the list and erase three things and ask why you bought those things.
Foot Drop… Wear one swim fin and take about a 1/2 mile walk.
Fear… Dream that you have lost complete feeling in your feet and when you wake up wiggle your feet, just so happens they don’t move. Think about this every night wondering whether something on your body won’t work the next day.
Swallowing… Try swallowing the hottest chili pepper you can find.
Heat Intolerance or Feeling Hot When it’s Really Not… You are on a nice vacation to Alaska. It’s 35° outside and 65° inside. Light a fire in the fireplace and then get into it. Once you have reached about 110° tell me how you feel, even a person without MS would feel bad, now add all of the above symptoms - welcome to our world.
And Finally… After subjecting yourself to the items above, let everyone tell you that you are just under a lot of stress, it’s all in your head, and that some exercise and counseling is the answer.