Mama said there would be days like this. I just never thought there would be so many.
After three days of insomnia, I am heavily fatigued and weary. I wait, bleary-eyed, for signs of pain to appear, watching the sunrise and praying for renewal. As if on cue, the birds verify my invocation: My prayers have been heard. Within seconds, pain begins to surface. I close my eyes and breathe.
Day four. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is taking its toll. The deep, bilateral leg pain has been incessant. The once transient symptom is now omnipresent, and the fallout includes sleepless nights and extreme fatigue. Will it last for minutes, hours, or days? A weighty variable.
The faintest hint of leg pain evokes a stress response. I grow tense. My blood pressure rises along with my pulse. My body is aware of the oncoming threat, but my resources are nonexistent. Self-care is in order.
Even in my weary state, I dig deep. I know what is required to coexist with MS, so I reach into my toolbox of multidisciplinary techniques to support my body, mind, and spirit. They are daily lifelines. I practice everything from prayer and guided imagery to gentle stretching and journaling. I sit outside with my golden retriever. I volunteer. I see friends and talk to my family.
And I write. I am transparent with the hope that you can see yourself in some of my columns. I write to show that even the optimist has bad days. I write to expose truths and dispel myths. I write to convey that life with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is a beautiful challenge.
It has to be.
Finding beauty in MS is at times a juxtaposition. Where is the beauty in pain? Where is the allure in fatigue and struggle? However, grace comes with patience. The wait while we struggle. The knowledge that soon the black hole will be a kaleidoscope illuminated by hope. That together we will find a way through.
That together we will find our silver lining.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.