A slap in the face ??? … or 2?

Written by on April 2nd, 2013 – 5 Comments

 Going on 9 years with this stupid illness and I always manage to get a violent slap in the face to bring me back to my senses. 

On Jan 10th I went to sleep eating way too many cookies that I had just baked for my cousins baby shower that Sunday.  When I say “Way too many” ok it was only 3, but that’s MORE than I should have had.  I felt like my head was starting to hurt, but getting a headache was nothing new for me.  I woke up at 2:30am thinking “ugh I better call into work sick this morning, I don’t feel good” and fell back asleep.

I woke up that morning (Friday) at 3am and made a mad run to the bathroom.  By 9am I was laying flat on the floor in my underwear so I could feel how cold the floor was (let’s keep in mind here in Sask. It was -41), it felt amazing as I attempted to cool my body down from what I thought was the flu.  9:30am I quickly realized “this is NOT the flu”.  Our hospital isn’t the best hospital to be at over the weekend, so I figured I would give it the weekend to see improvement and if I wasn’t better, deal with it Monday.

By the time Monday came I was 100% in a relapse, with symptoms I had never experienced before?! Vertigo & vision loss are common for me, no panic there.  Where did this “frostbite” feeling come from… EVERYWHERE on my body!!??

When I saw my neuro that afternoon he took one look at me and admitted me into the hospital for the week. 

My week in the hospital was a series of ups and downs: my BP dropped to 84/44, my vocal chords were damaged somehow and my voice had changed to this high pitched 13 year old girl voice, my weight dropped, I had a panic attack due to an allergic reaction I had to medication through my IV, I was about to have a catheter inserted, I still had vertigo and triple vision, my hands stayed curled in a fist, I was 100% numb (from my eyes down to my toes).  The only great thing about being numb is that you don’t feel needles every night and morning!

Let me tell you, you QUICKLY lose any pride you think you might have when a 20 year old nurses aid comes to take you for a shower while your butt is hanging out of the wheelchair.  For the 1st time since my diagnosis, someone had to bath/shower me while another person held me and I couldn’t tell what was on my face … water … or tears. 

Me – a girl who has been a personal trainer for 6 years, couldn’t even stand on her own 2 feet without throwing up or falling flat on my face.

I’ll never forget the morning I woke up and could feel my right hand enough to uncurl it … only to discover that my left hand was worse. I had no pattern of improvement … everything at this point was a guess.  I was tired of the confused looks on everyone’s face, tired of the sad expression from the nurse because I broke down in the shower, tired that NO ONE ever expects me to break down … being strong is exhausting … and liberating. 

As I was wheeled out of the hospital with my release forms and a promise that I wouldn’t be a “dare-devil” and I wouldn’t be alone for the next 8 weeks … I saw my friend being admitted into the hospital for a very rare condition that none of the neurologists had seen … slap #2 in the face – “stop feeling sorry for yourself, sneak into his room and see if he’s ok” … I did and felt much better about my own situation … even though I couldn’t feel that slap on my frost bitten cheeks, somehow it was effective.

5 Responses

  1. danben says:

    Horrible relapse, just awful what you had to go thru, what we all who have MS have to go thru on a daily basis.Year ago I had a bowl of vanilla ice cream and hours later I had a nasty relapse and could really relate to what you went thru with the vertigo/dizziness,head hurting,numbness,difficult to stand.The entire month of last April was the very worst, took 20 minutes to put pants on, would fall in the bathroom and be stuck there on the floor for a long while, could barely wheel around for my arms were weak, my spine would curve forward so I wore a neck brace to keep my head up.Reading your story is a slap in the face for me to not let up on staying active like treadmill etc, like they say USE IT or LOSE IT.

  2. spicy says:

    thanks for sharing your story “danben”, I’m happy I could help you remember what’s important as well 🙂 I imagine your reply was also inspiring for others to read as well, it’s nice to know there is always SOMEONE out there who can give someone else hope!

    • danben says:

      Absolutely Spicy, all about helping one another anyway we can and thanks for reminding me that things can change in an instant with our topsy-turvy condition.I am doing everything I can to not have April repeat itself and every month going forward, like Loribelle on here told me that attitude is everything and I’m more positive than ever.

  3. Tracey says:

    It saddens me to read about your relapse and its severity this as I have not yet had the experience of this happening. My disease seems to be more directed towards general fatigue, bothersome eye issues and headaches at the moment for the most part (plus other smaller things). I’m glad you are doing better. I never take for granted that I’ll be in a manageable state indefinitely (and I appreciate every day that I am more than most people would ever realise). I appreciate hugs when things are not good and I hope someone gave you lots while dealing with the emotional aspects of a relapse of this sort. I am thinking of you!!

  4. spicy says:

    thanks for your thoughts Tracey, much appreciated. Thankfully the general fatigue is my daily symptom that I have and the more serious issues that I have (like my previous relapse) only happen alot less often. My first 6 years I was relapse free, and since then it has been one major relapse a year. I can live with only one relapse a year!! 🙂 Your right, support is everything – I had a lot of hugs and warm thoughts passed my way, it makes ANY illness a whole lot easier!

    great attitude, keep it up! 🙂