The game of MS

Most women I know think that they are better at multitasking than men, well I have seen several documentaries that prove that in general to be wrong. I don’t believe them, sorry but I have all my life been able to do loads of things at the same time. I remember my first husband could get his head round it and used to challenge me from time to time, I would be sitting knitting, watching TV and browsing a magazine and he would suddenly demand to know what was just said last, the storyline of the program, what I was reading and to see my knitting for errors, I always obliged with the required proof. Now it sounds absurd that I did any of that without thinking.

Slowly skill that you take for granted start to disappear, the gradual step by step theft of you life I really sneaky. Progressive Relapsing MS is very much what it says it is, flares or relapses are no fun, they hit you like a truck and can leave no long-lasting changes or even dramatic ones at the good end or they steel and don’t return the missing function at the bad end. The majority of people with MS are Relapse Remitting and after a flare they will in time be restored to how they were before for the flare, or close to it, depending on the individual. I have had loads of flares and don’t let anyone tell it is like having the flue, a helpful analogy made by a nurse on one of my many hospital visits. It is the Progressive element that is to me the hard bit to work with.

I used to love knitting and I was fast and good at it, I could knit a mans Aran or Fair Isle in two weeks of evenings, it was relaxing, kept my hands busy not eating and productive in clothing the family. I noticed around the age of 30 that I was slowing down, speed suddenly cased mistakes, dropped threads or split one, it wasn’t my memory but my hands were no longer able to run totally on autopilot so the magazines were no longer read. The number of hour I could knit for decreased as well as my hands became painful and the weight of the garment became exhausting to hold. My two week project became a month or more, until it all became to much and the thought of spending week after week knitting the same pattern and item, destroyed my hobby.

As with any progressive illness it is not only your health but everything you do, that is slowly bit by bit taking away. For some I know this is really hard and frustrating to deal with, it was for me as well. Another of those things that no one spells out for you, no one says make the most of any hobby or pass time now, as you may not be able tomorrow, oh and I do mean tomorrow. Life for anyone able bodied or not slows with age, but it felt like I had suddenly found my body to be that of someone twice my age, it hurts. These are the invisible pains, not like the spasms or fatigue, these are the ones that cause pain in your soul and if you let them, they will eat away at it. No positive attitude will stop it, it takes work, conscious work, and what is left of my diminishing energy. To make my life bearable I have to keep my mind busy and that’s actually easier than it sounds. I have tasks to do each day, like writing, I set a time by when things need to be done by and they are realistic. I allow my self five hours from waking to completing both my blogs and sending out all the twitter feeds. Only a few years ago I would have allowed may be two hours, the extra time is for my wondering off to other web pages, getting lost reading other blogs and tweets. I never let myself just sit in front of the TV when I am alone, I don’t allow myself to let my mind numbly drift it has to have a purpose. The afternoons vary a little in structure but if Adam is at work I make sure I play games on my PC go on picture searches, anything that simulates and occupies me whilst awake, not allowing myself to dwell on what I cant do, but to work on what I can and what I could.

Progression will continue and so will I, as long as I can out wit it, adjust to it and keep adjusting to it’s game, Albert Einstein said “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” That is my intention.