Raggling One’s Bed

The clinical version of MS “fatigue” is certainly a different breed of animal than what I understand to be in the “normal” range for people who do not suffer from MS.

Today, after a full night’s sleep, proper diet and hydration and pretty standard low-intensity household activities, I began to crumple. Within an hour of trying (as always) to fight it through, I was face down on my mattress as unmoving as though asleep. Were sleep only a possible relief, that is. My mind, though “foggy,” was pristinely alert; though not suffering from actual paralysis (another different animal altogether*) I could not make my body move — from a corporal weakness felt not even by long distance runners after a full day of ankle weights.

So, for two hours I laid motionless. As soon as I felt the possibility of movement, I sat up and walked into the kitchen to start prepping a dinner salad for three. I then went into the pool and came, with the cool water bringing my core body temperature down, more awake than I had been all day. The “cog fog” lifted into the clear blue sky and I was able to swim heartily, and laugh.

I will never again be certain of what tomorrow will bring. The thought of that no longer frightens me, but it does bore me to pieces.

*Having MS makes friendships and general life activities difficult because when attending an event or invited to someone’s home there is no predicting which animal from the zoo will accompany you. There will always be a monkey on your back (a given cliche) — but sometimes, too, a tranquilized elephant or angry flightless bird. And your friends or strangers will not know which you’ll happen to have with you.

Or, perhaps, think of me this way: if you are my friend and invite me over, know I will be bringing an infant with me who screams at random intervals and cannot be consoled.

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