Here it is, March 24th and I am looking outside on a snow flurry filled day with a light coat on the ground. Probably about an inch or so.
I don’t talk about it very often- but for me, extreme temperature issues are a very real thing. Much less so when I am out in the sunshine frequently enough to rock some natural (And real) vitamin D- but, for perspective, very cold weather locks up the muscles in my legs. Mostly the right one, because the right one’s the one I’ve always had issues with. Heat means a tingly, weird ants biting feeling. You can imagine taking a hot bath would be the very best thing for the sore, stiff muscles…and then, you can go, “Crap, no it’s not.” Anyway, I don’t talk about it much and I very rarely actually seek out any kind of writing on it in respect to I dunno, a sort of community- because I feel like much of the attitudes revolving around neurological issues and the like are very defeatist. I don’t like being told it’s okay for me to be defeated. People deal how they deal- and I get that: but I can’t do it.
I have relapsing remittent multiple sclerosis.
I made a decision a few years ago to not treat it. At least, not with the nearly $3k in medications my neurologist insisted I would need. I was pretty much inundated with fear- in this case, the fear was that it would progress further each time I flare. That fear is pretty real, but I couldn’t help wondering if the medication really was doing anything for me, apart from a really big negative- the side effects. I have had one flare since as a result of getting shingles. Ironically (And let’s just not go into that- it’s not really the point of this blog post) I got it from a vaccinated child- many kids in his school did for some reason after a round of boosters for the chicken pox vaccine.
Going outside is a huge part of what keeps me sane for a number of reasons, but I also believe that the activity and the sunshine help with my symptoms. For me, spring and autumn are my go times- those are the parts of a midwestern year I enjoy most because, well, I can fully enjoy them. By and large though, since my diagnosis- this has been hard. It has been really hard, because, well, MS sucks and I was a very active sort of person to begin with. Active, upbeat and let me tell you- this will put the slap on that very quickly.
So, when we got the wonderful 50-60 degree weather earlier in the month I was stoked. Now…not so much. It’s not that I dislike snow- on the contrary, I actually love it, but oooooowch. That, and it’s a huge bummer when you’re getting all geared up for garden season only to have a few inches of snow dumped on you: but it happens. This is Missouri, after all.
I’m writing about this not because I think “Oh, everyone should know I’ve got MS” but because, one of the biggest challenges I have in respect to gardening and well, pretty much getting anything done is the self pity and resulting bummer-mindset I do tend to go into. I’ve spent the past few days grumping, grouching and just moping about- and I hate that more than anything. Today, I am sitting here, looking out the window and making what may seem like such a silly choice: I choose to not let it drag me down.