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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

Good and bad days on the MS merry-go-round of life

bad days

Pride becomes before a fall, or so the saying goes, and that certainly seems true for me.  I had been getting around a lot more easily, feeling pleased, using my new rollator but then …

Ok, all of us who live with multiple sclerosis have good and bad days. Good days when we find it fairly easy to get around or do things; bad days when the opposite is true.

Two days ago, all was well. I was out and about and used my rollator to help me walk into our local pharmacy to collect my medications. Feeling comfortable and at ease, I felt strong and confident.

Then I drove home where, again using my rollator, walked up the ramp to the front door and went indoors.

Yesterday, regretfully, was not the same story. Not by a long shot!

I went out the front door, started down the ramp and my legs soon felt shaky and my arms so weak that I was unable to support myself on the rollator. It was no surprise when I sank to the ground. After a few minutes, by sitting on the side of the ramp, I managed to regain my feet and made my way to the back of our car, where Lisa had my wheelchair ready.

Bad days are not so easy

All that was left to do was to walk across some gravel and transfer from the rollator to my wheelchair. Easy right? Well, yes, on a good day. Even on a moderate day. But yesterday was neither of those, it was a very bad day; bad to ******* awful.

And that’s why my easy transfer ended up causing me to fall again, this time in the quiet road outside our home. The sky was blue, the sun blazing down. It was midday, and very hot. Remember, we live in the south of Spain and today it got to 37°C, which is almost 99°F, and that’s the shade temperature. I was in direct sunlight, the humidity was high. It was hot. It’s been like that for weeks.

I made several unsuccessful attempts to get up but, eventually, Lisa phoned for help. In next to no time Eddie and Bob arrived and got me off the road surface and safely back in my wheelchair.

Difficulty resolved. Today is another day, I wonder what that will bring. Let’s hope it is a good one.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Taking the rough with the smooth

In my wheelchair on a better day.

In my wheelchair on a better day.

As everyone affected by multiple sclerosis knows, whether living with it personally or because someone close to you has it, there will be good and bad times. Some may be limited to a day; others can be much longer.

Since forsaking the cloudy skies and rain of Britain for the sunnier and drier climes of the south of Spain, albeit that it is winter here too, I have noticed significant improvements.  I have been enjoying a prolonged good spell with a drastic reduction in both the number of falls and of the amount of time seriously affected by fatigue.

Two days ago, however, it was the start of a bad time. It started with, of all things, a stomach ache but that in no way warned me of what was to come.

After watching me fall asleep in my armchair in the middle of the afternoon and then seeing me fall on the way to the bathroom, my wife Lisa decided it was time for me to go to bed and there were no protests from me. The pain was still there and fatigue had set in. And I don’t mean tiredness; fatigue is so much more than being tired.

I did try and get up later but only as far as my electric wheelchair and, even then, I soon returned to bed.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover my stomach ache had gone but, instead, it felt as though there was a tight band around my body – widely known as the ‘MS hug’. I spent awhile on my computer until, trying to get around indoors led to two more falls, resulting in Lisa insisting that I return to bed. Once there, I was soon oblivious to the world.

Today, Thursday, I have only got out of bed to visit the bathroom which, so far, I have managed without falling. My legs seem to be becoming mine again. I am sitting up in bed while writing this. I think that the worst of the fatigue is behind me.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll try and get out of bed again this afternoon. If I can make it from bed to armchair – on my feet without falling, that would be a major improvement. Not much to ask, is it? Just ask the uninvited guest in my life; ask my ‘friend’, multiple sclerosis.

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