Drunk without drinking

I woke last night just after 1am as I needed to go to the loo, it was the scariest journey I have taken through my own home in ages. When I woke I was aware straight away that I didn’t feel right, sitting on the edge of my bed proved how right I was, I felt so completely drunk that although I knew I had had nothing alcoholic outside of my normal evening Gin and Tonic, I was questioning myself over and over. I don’t know how I got to the bathroom or back to my bed as the whole time I was on my feet, I was actually expecting to find myself flat on my face on the carpet. I have always hated that sensation and it is the reason that I have never liked getting drunk, in fact. I would go as far as to say that it is the reason that I don’t understand why anyone lets themselves become drunk. I have always been the sort of drinker who sipped slowly and made one or two drinks last a whole night, that second one was always a struggle, as I knew by the end of it I would wish I hadn’t had it as that swimming feeling would have taken over and I would be just like last night worried about staying on my feet, not that I ever remember falling due to alcohol, it was and is a constant fear. If you add in the fact that it is impossible to put on any lights to assist the passage across the hallway and my normal inability to stay firmly upright, well my fears make sense. That drunk sensation is of course part of MS and for many is one of the first symptoms, feeling dizzy and unsteady on your feet is all to familiar, it also make me look back with a question over those occasions years ago when I felt drunk after just a few mouthfuls, were they in fact not the alcohol at all. Last night though was on the plus plus side of drunk, even to the extent that I had flashing lights on the inside of my eyelids and felt as though I could be sick any second, getting back to my bed was a huge blessing and once I was lying down again, it took seconds to find sleep, but I was horrified when the alarm sounded to find that I still felt ill and if I am truthful, I still have the edge of dizziness plaguing every second, all too familiar as a hangover, which just isn’t fair as I honestly didn’t have the pleasure of enjoying anything extra to drink.

There is a twist to all of this and that is I do know that food can make me feel this way at times, it used to happen a lot but these days it is occasional and I fell right into it’s trap this morning. By 8:30 I was feeling brighter and I headed off to the kitchen to fetch my breakfast, which I enjoyed, but now, well I fell rotten, I just want to head to bed curl up and feel sorry for myself. MS and my other conditions can throw whatever they want at me and I cope, but when it makes me feel like this, well it is the one thing that always wins, the only thing that defeats me. I didn’t notice it last night as I was totally overpowered by the feeling of being drunk, but I am very aware this morning of my diaphragm and lower ribs are in a constant spasm, every time I have to stand up to go somewhere my stomach joins in which could have something to do with me feeling sick all the time.

There was one odd addition to my middle of the night wondering, I suddenly found myself with an extreme itch in the middle of my back, I stretched my right arm behind me and to my joy for once I could reach it, but I was shocked to find that as soon as I touched my thumbnail to my skin, it felt like I was trying to scratch my back with an ultra-sharp knife. Now this is the same nail I have been happily sticking into my skin all over the place to check how much I can still feel and all to often have found I can feel almost nothing. When I got up this morning I double checked it and it still felt the same way, so either my back is hyper sensitive beyond anything I remember, or the feeling in the rest of my body is far worse than I first thought. It brings me back to one of my favourite question, how are we supposed to know if something has changed when we can’t actually remember how it used to be? Being ill can be incredibly frustrating but not for the reasons that the able-bodied might think, not being able to walk or get out of the house, or being unable to pick things up without dropping them, aren’t frustrating, the frustration comes from all the impossible questions that other and ourselves, always want answered. I am quite sure that I could write a book filled with nothing but annoying questions.

I had some plans worked out of what I was going to do today, but that was when I had totally forgotten that Adam was off work today. It is apparently the September weekend, a very old-fashioned holiday in Glasgow which I am sure most of the people who live here can’t even remember the reason for, I have an excuse as I am not a Glaswegian, I suspect it has something to do with the shipyards, most of the odd holidays in Glasgow do. Anyway he is here and snoring happily on the settee, which means I won’t be doing what I planned, having a shower and dying my hair, it isn’t that Adam stops me doing those things, but I, of course, spend time with him talking and that means I get out of sync with what I should be doing and I just won’t have the time. So I am now putting myself back into Sunday mode, which of course means I will be lost with the rest of this week if life wasn’t confusing enough for me already.


Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 29/09/12 – Life plus Drifting

There is snoring coming from the settee so therefore it is Saturday, lol. I sat here late last night, right through until 10 pm as I thought that sitting on the settee even with my added cushions where part of the problem with the pain in my spine, I wondered if it was possible that the harder higher seat might…..

New Year nerves

I am sitting here with a glass of buck fizz, Oliver Twist on the TV and Adam snoring, it may be a New Year but somethings don’t change. lol. I woke briefly early this morning as I was in pain down my left side again, it was more I think to the strange position I was in, propped on the back of one hip as though I hadn’t actually had the energy to move fully onto my back as I normally do. I always go to sleep on my side then roll to my back and stay there for the rest of the night, I know this is a fact as there is no sign of movement in the sheets and if I have straightened my hair it is as straight as when I lay down the night before. I guess last night I got stuck part of the way and just gave up, but the result was that this morning I could hardly move, I was so stiff that it was a struggle to get out or to put my dressing gown on. I often wondered how I manage to sleep when clearly my body is in pain, you would think that I would wake because of it and not be able to sleep again, if I can’t deal with pain when a wake how can I when asleep?

For the past couple of days I have had really bad nerve pain, they are shooting in two directions at the same time but I am not sure where they start. The fly upwards to just behind my left ear and down to my finger tips, on occasions not making it that far and stopping just above my wrist. Nerve pains are so unpredictable and when they start they take days to calm down, I have never found a reason for them starting and each and everyone makes you cringe until it passes. They may well be short in the time they hang around, but the pain level is horrendous, add to that their unpredictability and you are left just waiting for the next for ever, stop thinking and bang there is another. It would be bad enough if it were just that one but I have also one sparking away to itself in my left leg, why is it always the left side of my body that causes me so many problems? The strangest thing about the pain in my leg is that I also feel sick with it and sort of dizzy, all the fun of having MS.

New years is all about looking to the future and making plans of what we wish would happen, I learned a long time ago that those wishes rarely come true and looking to far ahead doesn’t achieve anything, it’s like a weather forecast, the future is unknown. I also think that looking too far ahead would be depressing for anyone in my position. I really believe that taking life each day at a time is the best way, if I sat here making plans for next month or next year I know that my health would get in the way and disappointment would be the only real result. So today is it nothing more ahead just a day to be enjoyed and made the most of, who knows what will happen in an hour.

It has just touched 11:30 and although on any other day of the year I would still be leaving Adam to sleep, there is a tradition that on New Years day we have a cooked breakfast, one that on the surface sounds expensive but it’s not. I always make scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and croissants, buy salmon scraps and it all costs less than a pound, but is totally delicious. Traditions have to be held to even if it is several hours later than I would have liked it. Have a great New Year, breakfast is calling.

Falling over

You know that falling over thingy, that second in time when a small particle of dust jumps up in front of you, and lands a sucker punch. The specialty trick of MS and other illnesses that has Occupational Therapists walking round your house, sucking in breath, wincing and tutting at everything, and picturing in their minds removing everything and transforming your home into a safe hospital, yeah, that falling over thingy. Well I haven’t really spoken that much about it I know, from time to time I have said that I took a tumble, or related a fall from the past, but I haven’t really gone over the impact that it has had on my life.

I can remember years ago taking tumbles in the house and feeling stupid but not a stupid as the falls I took outside. Before I knew it was MS, I just told me that I was clumsy, well add falling over nothing and dropping things you get normal clumsy. I have landed up with hundreds of bruises and cuts, even broken a few small bones and knocked myself unconscious, but luck has usually been on my side. On the surface from that description it would appear that it is a minor inconvenience rather than a real problem, well don’t be deceived. When my MS became progressive this was one of the early signs and one of the scariest as well. I became unable to walk anywhere there wasn’t a wall or something to hold on to. I always had one hand ready to grab or guard against taking that unwanted tumble. I knew that when added to my unsteady walking it all added to my looking drunk when perfectly sober, strangers treated and looked at me as if I was drunk, looks of disgust and physical body swerves were an everyday reaction. I had one fall not far from my office after work, I flagged a taxi down, wobbled my way towards it and as I reached for the door handle I fell, the taxi drove away, clearly he also thought I was a drunk. That is the painful part of falling, not injuries, not bruises but people.

I would recommend strongly to anyone with this problem, get a walking stick! I tried to avoid the stick at first, I saw it as some sort of proof that I was ill, but what it was, was a flag that declared that I wasn’t drunk, I am just ill. Suddenly people didn’t look away when I got on a crowded bus, they stood up and offered me a seat, they held doors and offered assistance when they saw me struggling, they suddenly saw me as a human with an unfortunate had a problem rather than someone who had caused a problem by drinking too much. It was at this point that I decided to change my attitude to having MS. At work I started making sure that all new staff knew I wasn’t drunk and that I had MS, I talked openly about it and I did my best to answer their questions. I think that that little walking stick changed everything about my attitude and although again when I had to use a wheelchair, I at first fought it, I adjusted faster to it than I had the stick. My decision to be open about my condition continued so when I was having the Mitoxantrone/Novantrone treatment I emailed the entire company asking all staff who had any bug from a cold to measles to stay away from me, as my immune system was compromised.

Ultimately the impact on my life of that falling over thingy, is what you are reading here and in my entire blog, an attitude of wanting to gain and spread understanding so possibly the next time you see someone fall, you might help them up, before deciding they are drunk.