I’ve been avoiding writing this entry for long enough, I think.
So this was the relapse that I don’t come roaring back from, folks. It was inevitable. I’ve been doing my checks, carefully testing my limits, investigating how far I can go, looking for all the indications of disorder, and well, hey: I still love my Solumedrol infusions for pulling me together in a pinch, that’s for damned sure, but I think I need to acknowledge that it isn’t actual magic. The infusions snapped my body out of a tailspin, and that’s a good thing, but there was some damage this time, and I’m going to have to deal with that.
When we talk about body- hatred, we’re usually talking about body-image; the way we see our bodies, or the actual size of our bodies. I’m not immune to this sort of body- hate, either; I’ll slip up and gripe about having nothing to sit on occasionally, too, but in general my body- hate is very specific and focuses on ability. For the past near- 20 years, my relationship with my body has been very focused on ability; until my disease began to make serious inroads, my body gave me pleasure and made me feel very, very strong. It was very strong and very capable. That’s how I saw myself: strong and capable- and my body was a large part of that image.
Transitioning to a life in which my body is unreliable and gives me a great deal of pain is- I don’t know. Are there words? (There are words. I just don’t know if I’m up to typing them out today.) It’s disappointing. Frightening. Disorienting. I know who I am, within this body, but I no longer understand the vehicle I’m driving.
Part of my left leg is still numb, and while it mercifully lifts and responds, there are still some coordination and strength issues. My left arm is still strange, and while it works, it’s weak, and only gives me about 60% strength— stupid and awful, my smart hand being the one that is going, there’s some irony there. Overall, my entire left side is off, but still- the infusions improved it dramatically: I am grateful for them.
I haven’t been brave enough to take this entire mess out for a run yet; I’m nervous, in truth, and it’s been so damned hot out. With the weather hitting the 90s, I’m back to hiding out in the air conditioning again— ah, the sweet taste of going completely stir crazy, that’s the good stuff. There’s that to look forward to, as well: I’m not really built for indoor living, but high temperatures and MS are a bad mix, so summer is a bit maddening.
I need to take myself to the gym, though, to really get a sense of where everything is. I have a feeling that I should be asking for an extended physical therapy referral at my follow- up, which is something I’ll be coming to with mixed feelings. Despite my honest love & admiration for physical therapists, I’d rather eat liver and onions for a week than go see one. They’re great, and the work is totally effective, but it’s just no damned fun to go through as a patient, folks- or at least, that was my experience putting my knee back together after I’d taken on running the hills of California’s Monterey Bay area one too many times. My physical therapist was terrific- kind, firm, and informative- but the work was not enjoyable. I know that this is something I need as a part of my life on a regular basis, I just… don’t want it.
I don’t want it. I’m having a bit of an internal strop over the whole thing, to tell the truth: I’m being a total child about the entire business.
I’m allowing it. I’m indulging myself: I’m okay with being a bit of a baby about this, as long as I actually DO THE THING. I’ve been so focused on keeping a firm jaw about doing the right things- This Is How I Will Take Care Of This, No Whining Permitted- and really, if this were one of my friends, or my kid, or my husband? You are damned right I’d listen to them bitch about physical therapy, as long as they MADE THE STUPID APPOINTMENT. So this is my gift to myself: I’ll let myself be less- than- thrilled, both about physical therapy and the need for physical therapy. Just the part where I write that feels like a release, it’s crazy. And I am looking forward to the payoff- the results, any improvement- very very much. Even the somewhat scary TENS units sound sort of intriguing. Also sparky and potentially burning, but… maybe good for neuropathic pain and muscle spasms, too. We’ll see. I’m allowing myself to be optimistic, because I’m allowing myself all sorts of things this week.
I’m off to allow myself a pint of Jeni’s ice cream right now, actually. What are you giving yourself this week?