Nothing up my sleeve . . . Presto!

sky II by Cammer's Camera on flickr

Watch me pull a blog post out of my hat.

I have been away for a while. Away from the blog, away from my friends, away — to a great degree — from being an active participant in my life.

It’s hard to come back. Hard to explain what was going on, hard to reconnect, hard to make the multiple daily decisions to step out and not retreat.

Many days over the past six months, I have not wanted to come back. Not to any of it.

Other times, it seems like things are on an upward trajectory, like I’m making progress, like the end of this is in sight. I have not determined why this happens, or how; I am glad when I feel better, and devastated when I slip back down again.

I have decided to keep making the attempt, though. I’ve been working on reminding myself of all the things I love, all the people I miss, all the reasons that life is worth truly living. Trying to see the blue sky reflected in the puddle that is left from all this rain.

So here I am.

Presto!

sky II” by Cammer’s Camera / CC BY

Detective work, part I

Fatigue. Apathy. They have been my constant companions for almost a decade. The question has been, what is the cause?

A glance at a WebMD slideshow gives some possible causes, and I had eight of the first ten:

  • Not enough sleep (as any reader of this blog knows) ✔
  • Sleep apnea ✔
  • Unhealthy diet (historically, although I’ve gotten much better recently) ✔
  • Anemia (since I was a kid) ✔
  • Depression ✔
  • Hypothyroidism (for almost 30 years) ✔
  • Caffeine overload
  • Hidden UTI (an issue I often have due to MS) ✔
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration (I know I don’t drink nearly enough water) ✔

The others were heart disease, shift work, food allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, none of which I have to deal with, thankfully.

And then, of course, there is the elephant in the room: MS. Fatigue is one of the major symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, affecting 80% of people with MS.

Here’s a tidbit from the National MS Society:

Researchers are beginning to outline the characteristics of this so-called “MS fatigue” that make it different from fatigue experienced by persons without MS.

  • Generally occurs on a daily basis
  • May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep
  • Tends to worsen as the day progresses
  • Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
  • Comes on easily and suddenly
  • Is generally more severe than normal fatigue
  • Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities

MS-related fatigue does not appear to be directly correlated with either depression or the degree of physical impairment.

I’ve been working with my doctors (neurologist, naturopath, and primary care doctor) to figure out which of the many possible causes is actually the source of all this fatigue. Suddenly, a new possibility came into play, something that no one had thought of.

Tune in tomorrow for part II!

tired by fltmech98 / CC BY

Out of whack and In a funk

For the third time since we left on the trip, I am seriously down today.

There is no apparent cause for this; I went to sleep feeling fine, got a normal eight hours of sleep, and woke up feeling like a truck had run me over emotionally.

We had a big day planned… so David and Quinland are off visiting cool museums, because that didn’t sound as interesting to me as “not moving and just staring at the brick wall next to my bed.”

Not that David didn’t try to coax me out of the house. A little-known fact is that when I am depressed like this (which is more often than either of us would like), my often-prickly husband is adorable. He is caring and understanding and kind and sweet. He tells me how much he loves me. He reminds me of The Rules and checks to make sure I am following them. Today he discovered that I have missed three doses of medication this week, including everything I was supposed to take before I went to bed last night.

It reminds me of why I love him, but it didn’t get me out of bed. Instead, I told him, “I’m sorry I am a disappointment to you.”

He was surprised. “You are not a disappointment to me!”

I told him, “Oh, I will be.” And he was disappointed that I was going to miss the Modern Art Museum at the Gulbenkian, where he even tried to tempt me with the existence of a Sonia Delaunay. But no, I just remained listlessly staring at the wall. That very wall you see above. You can see the appeal, I am sure.

It’s about five hours later. I am feeling a bit better – probably due to having a proper amount of three different kinds of chemicals coursing through my veins – but I am still in my pajamas at 3 PM, unwashed and unfed. The guilt I feel about not blogging regularly has pulled me out to the computer. I also have one additional task ahead of me; David asked if I would book our lodging in Barcelona. I will do that. Then I might go take a nap.

Whew… I am sure a downer over here today. I need to take my own advice and Lighten Up! If you want to hear about the positive things going on in my life, you are invited to visit the travel blog.

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for my amazing husband and his support. The poor man has had to live with my mood swings for over 20 years; he knew what he was getting, and he married me anyway. I will be forever grateful for that.
  • I’m lighter! than I was this morning, I suppose…   I really do need to focus on doing the right things for myself.