I hate the fact that MS makes me doubt myself.
Am I tired because I stayed up too late or walked too far? Or is it MS fatigue?
Is my leg stiff because I have been sitting too long in one position or should do yoga? Or is it MS spasticity?
Is my face puffy and round because I am overweight or simply round-faced? Or is it moon face from the MS prednisone treatment?
Am I depressed because life is getting me down or because I am prone to mood swings? Or am I down or prone to mood swings because of the MS?
I no longer trust my own instincts about my body. I have tried to proceed as if I do not have an MS diagnosis. If I am tired, I should sleep… but when I am still tired after way too much sleep, then what? If I am stiff, I should stretch… but when I am still stiff, then what? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? Am I going about everything the wrong way?
But if I ascribe everything to MS, I don’t feel that I am in a better position to judge anything. By its nature of randomly disrupting neurological transmissions, multiple sclerosis causes symptoms that can vary widely from day-to-day or from hour to hour. As I mentioned on my travel blog a couple of weeks ago, symptoms can be affected by pain, stress, body temperature, outdoor temperature, infection, worry, anxiety, bad posture, uncomfortable clothing, a full bladder, and constipation. This is not very helpful. My leg might hurt because I have to pee? Or because it is a nice day? I can’t always do anything about those situations!
Thinking like this is counterproductive, too. If stress and worry and anxiety can make my nerves act up, I had better not stress or worry about my health!
To top it off, I recently read something that said that some researchers are wondering if Progressive Relapsing MS (the type I have) is actually Secondary Progressive MS in people who did not realize that “all those years of random physical problems that seemed to resolve themselves” were actually episodes of Relapsing Remitting MS all along, which has now progressed to the point that it no longer remits. This makes me question every health issue I’ve ever experienced.
Argh. I have no answers. I worry that I am just obsessed with my health issues. Actually, I know I am, but I don’t know if that is to be expected, since I have health issues, or if it is extreme. Argh.
- I’m grateful! for my supportive family.
- I’m lighter! since I have gotten such a good amount of sleep in the last 24 hours.