Is this what a relapse feels like?

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harnessWritten on Friday 13th March 2015

So my legs have pretty much just given up. Over the course of this week the evening tiredness has not subsided overnight and I have started each new morning with the same level of fatigue that I ended with the previous day. Sleep and rest have brought no relief and my lower limbs appear to object to the start of a new day, as if screaming “we are not ready, we are not yet recovered from the last one!”. Finally this morning they declared that they had in fact had enough. No more. If I would not listen to their pleas for reduced working hours, more manageable workload and reasonable rest breaks, they would simply take strike action.

So my legs are on strike. Well, a kind of work to rule arrangement is in place. They will move me around, slowly (very, very slowly, and no further than the next room) but in return they will burn as if drowned in acid for the next hour. So I am sedentary. And hospitalised. IV steroids are the order of the day. After some technical disagreements about exactly who I should go to for medical assistance now that I am fully fledged member of the MS- diagnosed (another story for another day when I feel more up to a crusade), it was agreed that I would be admitted for a course of 3 days of methylprednisolone.

Is this scary? Oddly not. About 18 months ago I found myself atop a high ropes course with about 15 hysterical year 11 girls, all of us white-knuckled and screaming “I can’t, I’ll fall”. We were ignoring the assurance of the carefully secured safety harnesses that guaranteed we would in fact not be physically capable of falling. Once the first girl lost her footing and we all watched her dangle harmlessly in the harness, with adrenaline pumping in our hearts and ears, she laughed and shouted, “It’s actually not so bad! Try it!” And so our initial tentative fairy steps over the obstacles became great fearless lunges and leaps. Once back on solid ground, I heard one of the girls declare jubilantly, “It’s not falling that’s scary, it’s being scared of falling!”.

So no, it is not as scary as I expected. Fear of a relapse is actually worse than the relapse itself. If that is what this is. So far…

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