Sunday, 3 June 2012

Stranger Feet, the sequel

This post is potentially upsetting to those close to me and to those of you have MS and are newly diagnosed. Consider sitting this one out.

Saturday was a great day - had a little doggy hike, supper with friends, and a keg party fundraiser at a pub. 

And it all torpedoed in an MS moment. At the bar, I went to the washroom - wait, to clarify... granted, I had had a number of frosty beverages, but I was by no means completely sozzled. I like that warm, tipsy feeling, but don't like the loss of control that comes with drinking too much, so I try to moderate myself. So, I went off to the washroom and took a step from the stall towards the sink and Left Foot sneered at me, "You want to walk forwards, eh?" and it yanked me sideways. Right Foot wasn't much help. It shuffled off a little waywardly and then ignored me. Stranger feet had returned.

Fuck. (sorry, mom)

There was no one around, so I stayed there a minute, composing myself. I knew I hadn't had all that much to drink and my feet were telling me this wasn't from the booze. MS moments aren't all that common for me and when they happen, they take some emotional grappling. After a minute or two, I told Left Foot that I was going the hell home, with its cooperation or not. So, my feet got their act together somewhat and I was able to take a few steps. I ambled back and forth in the washroom until I was fairly certain I'd not fall down, and then headed back outside. Nancy had noticed me missing for a while and was on her way to see if I was okay. Left Foot decided to take yet another snooze, no matter what signals my brain were trying to send to it. I told Nance I had to leave. My brain to foot transmission was sincerely messed up. So, without a word to a small group of friends, we left the pub and hit the sidewalk. Each step a misguided, misdirected crapshoot.

By the time we made it to the sidewalk, I had started crying. Overwhelmed. A random, friendly drunk man stopped to make sure everything was okay. Not sure what he thought was wrong, but it took a little convincing for him to keep walking. I love Atlantic Canada. Even the drunk people are polite.

We grabbed a cab home and I was pretty much a sobbing mess by the time we stopped outside our doorstep. I was crushed. 

See, not being able to walk a straight line from a few too many beers? Well, that I can handle. Not being able to walk a straight line nor predict which direction your foot will move? Incredibly unsettling. Left Foot was a wobbling, lurching entity every third or fourth step.

Thankfully, Nance helped me inside and sat with me while I blubbered and snivelled. Grieving normalcy begins again with every big MS moment - never the same twice, but the emotion has to be processed anew each time. I'd love to be able to tell people that you get used to it, but you just don't. The stairs were too daunting, so I bunked on the couch for the night. I laid awake, contemplating the unpredictability of MS for a while, finally lulled to sleep by the heavy purring against my side. 

I woke today with a tiny headache. No stranger feet. Dark emotional cloud.

Lesson learned: If I say the phrase "I am so tired" BEFORE heading out somewhere for the night, I should 1. stay home, or 2. nap, ffs. I need to respect fatigue and the results tiredness can wield. This isn't the first time that being tired has brought a sticky onslaught of symptoms.

Had a sea glass picking beach stroll with friends today to take my mind off of my body. Nothing calms me like being on a beach. I can't remember a time when that wasn't the way.

In much better news, it's 10 weeks until my very dear friend visits from the other side of the Atlantic. Lots of fun planned. With naps.

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