Category Archives: MS Mood Swings

You Can STILL Call Me Oscar!

A multiple sclerosis transformation

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I originally posted this blog on 9/6/13 but ironically, with the heat and humidity and all, it still applies today.  Except for the “it’s autumn” part.  I have to wait a couple of more weeks for that.

But trust me, I’m counting the days!

I slept really well last night, despite the two nights of lousy sleep before last night’s night of good sleep.

I blame the two previous lousy nights of sleep on the incredibly obnoxious bladder issue that the meds don’t always help.

That pisses me off.

(Get it- pisses me off??  I have used that one before and it’s not my own but it IS a classic.)

Anyway, last night was a good night’s sleep so why did I wake up so crabby?

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Well, first off, after my morning bathroom run I turned on my computer to discover that an email I expected and eagerly anticipated was not in my inbox.  On top of that, for some reason, I couldn’t open my other emails, even after logging on and off a few times.

Things went downhill from there…

I turned into the biggest crabapple ever!

AKA, a sourpuss.

AKA, Oscar the Grouch.

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Email is a completely silly thing to get that upset over, especially since overall, things are well.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday that ran on time, went smoothly, and all my results were good- miraculous.

After a miserable summer, autumn is here and the weather is fine.  (Don’t you dare nitpick- I am in no mood.  For Cape Cod folks like me, autumn begins the day after Labor Day!)

I was settled in my new place

I was making decent progress on a project I was enjoying.

So what was with the lousy mood???

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When I don’t know the answer to something, I blame MS.  And in this case, there is some merit to that blame as it was the morning after my MS shot.

In addition to my email annoyance, other things that could be MS related went wrong.

My lack of concentration caused me to have trouble saying my morning prayers.

I spilled tea all over myself.

My clumsy fingers had trouble opening my cereal box.

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My lack of coordination dropped some of my breakfast on the floor.

My MS meds hangover was starting to cause my head to ache.

So what was I to do?

It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be very productive until I cleared my head some and I needed to be productive today.  Since the weather was gorgeous, perhaps a walk on the beach would help.

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It was at that minute that the sky darkened and scary looking storm clouds passed over my new home.

Then it started to rain.  Not a light, pleasant, stomp in puddles rain.  But a heavy, raging, life sucks with a vengeance downpour.

Oscar the Grouch was alive and well and had moved into my body and I was helpless to stop him.

I figured since I was now officially Oscar the Grouch I should do some research on him.

What I found was terrifying!

Oscar is not actually a monster, but a Grouch.

He was born in 1969- just like me.

He is rarely seen outside of his can.  (Hmmm, when was the last time I left my can, I mean, my house?)ID-100154859

He complains, A LOT.

He likes to say things like “Scram” “Get Lost” “Go Away” and “Ding Dong- you’re wrong.”

And scariest of all, he used to be orange.  And as most of you know, orange is the color of MS!

Oscar is actually MS and MS has actually taken over my body and turned me into Oscar.

Need more proof?

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It has long been known that multiple sclerosis is associated with depression (what is more depressing than being told you have MS?) and also with major mood swings.

I looked into this further and learned that MS is also known to cause “frequent bouts of anger and irritability,” and “are likely to affect everyone in the family.”  (Unless they run and hide.)

So what to do about it?  My doctor already has me on mood drugs as I snap at her as soon as I get to her office.

Like Oscar, I was tempted to hunker down in my can and pull pillows over my head.  But that seemed too unproductive even for the grouchy and unproductive me.

Plus, the remote control for my bedroom TV died.

So I wrote this blog instead.

Now, I will hide.

But not before first sticking my tongue out at the world and saying “Na, na, na na na!”

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Do to legal issues that I may or may not describe in a future blog I was not able to include an image of Oscar the Grouch in this blog.  Your imagination and emoticons will have to do!

Quotes on emotional changes with multiple sclerosis are from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

Quotes from Oscar the Grouch are from Sesame Street and me.

Quote about being pissed off about bladder issues are from my sister Laurie.

“Na, na, na na na” quote is all mine.

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiating-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of at Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Feeling a Little Icky, All Over Again

An MS inspired parody

 

Funny how things come around.

I wrote this blog two years ago and while the children I mention here are now older (both are official toddlers,) the words in this blog post still apply.  So while I rest up after one of our yearly visits with these little ones, a Thanksgiving Day visit to be exact, here is a repeat of a former spot on blog post. I hope everyone had an awesome turkey day!

What is with me and show tunes lately?   I don’t even really like show tunes yet I can’t seem to get them out of my head.

Just recently I posted a blog based on the song A Few of My Favorite Things and now the song I Feel Pretty from West Side Story is lingering around.  This is especially weird as

  1. I don’t even like that song and
  2. I really, really don’t feel pretty at all.

On this family trip my get fit plan has gone right out the window.  And, as during the packing for this journey my suitcase was too filled with toys for the little ones to add any of my nicer clothes, I am schlepping around in my least pretty wardrobe possible.

Luckily, kids don’t really notice what you are wearing. And while family may notice what you wear, they aren’t really supposed to care.

boys and blankies

So it doesn’t matter that I don’t feel so pretty.

So why is that stupidly annoying song hanging around my musical brain?  You would think the songs that would be lingering might be Rockin Robin or Riding on a Train, both songs that blast frequently from two of the kid’s toys.  But no, I Feel Pretty it is, over and over again…..

To help combat this frustrating ordeal, I thought if I actually sang the song, maybe it would go away.  But since I don’t feel so pretty, I may have to change the words to be in keeping with how I really feel.  So, on a day after one of my blasted shots, where the kids have a prior engagement and I am in a rented home with my mom who isn’t feeling well and my sister who insists on watching bad TV, here is my MS/vacation version of I Feel Pretty.

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I feel achy, oh so achy

I feel achy and shaky and uptight

And I pity the person who bugs me tonight

 

I feel icky, oh so icky

It is sickly how icky I feel

And so icky that I can hardly believe it’s real

 

(Since the state we are visiting is on the west coast and it is hotter than it should be in December)

 

I feel sticky, oh so sticky

I feel sticky and sickly and tickly

It is a wonder if I will sleep tonight

 

(And since the state we are visiting is covered with cottons fields that we all seem to be allergic to)

 

I feel itchy, oh so itchy

It is witchy how itchy I am

A very itchy and bitchy ma’am

 

See the grouchy girl in that mirror there,

Who can that crab apple be?

Such an achy body,

Such tired eyes,

Such a lazy gait

In another state I must be.

 

I feel sleepy, oh so sleepy

So sleepy and weepy, it’s not right

And it isn’t even close to night!

 

(I actually did some research for my little song parody and it turns out, I don’t even have to change any words of Part 3 of the chorus for it to fit into my own little MS away from home song.)

 

It must be the heat,

Or some rare disease,

Or too much too eat,

Or maybe its fleas!

 

I feel icky, oh so icky

It is sickly how icky I feel

And so icky I can hardly believe it’s real!

 

Don’t worry friends, I just wrote this little ditty to do anything to get rid of this song.  If my version didn’t work, the effects of the shot are starting to let up, the MS MonSter (see my prior blog post MS/PMS MonSter Mash) is starting to head back into its cave, and the children have time on their dance card to hang tomorrow which will be a straight shot of adrenaline and joy.

I don’t know that after chasing and playing and hanging with them that I will be feeling pretty tomorrow either.  But I will definitely feel less icky.

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Dear friends,

Want to stay home and avoid Black Friday shopping?  

Want to give a gift that brings laughter to others this holiday season? 

Why not give MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis to family and friends? 

MS Madness! is a gift that will make them smile over and over!!!

 

 

Call Me Oscar

An MS transformation

 

I slept really well last night, despite the two nights of lousy sleep before last night’s night of good sleep.

I blame the two previous lousy nights of sleep on the incredibly obnoxious bladder issue that the meds don’t always help. That pisses me off.

(Get it- pisses me off?? I have used that one before and it is not my own but it is classic.)

Anyway, last night was a good night’s sleep so why did I wake up so crabby?

 

Well, first off, after my morning bathroom run I turned on my computer to discover that an email I expected and eagerly anticipated was not in my inbox. On top of that, for some reason, I couldn’t open my other emails, even after logging on and off a few times.

Things went downhill from there…

I turned into the biggest crabapple ever!

 

Aka, a Sourpuss.

Aka, Oscar the Grouch.

Email is a completely silly thing to get that upset over, especially since overall, things are well.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday that ran on time, went smoothly, and all my results were good- miraculous.

After a miserable summer, autumn is here and the weather is fine. (Don’t you dare nitpick- I am in no mood. For Cape Cod folks like me, autumn begins the day after Labor Day!)

I was settled in my new place

I was making decent progress on a project I was enjoying.

So what was with the lousy mood???

 

When I don’t know the answer to something, I blame MS. And in this case, there is some merit to that blame as it was the morning after my MS shot.

In addition to my email annoyance, other things that could be MS related went wrong.

My lack of concentration caused me to have trouble saying my morning prayers.

I spilled tea all over myself.

My clumsy fingers had trouble opening my cereal box.

My lack of coordination dropped some of my breakfast on the floor.

My MS meds hangover was starting to cause my head to ache.

So what was I to do? It occurred to me that I wouldn’t be very productive until I cleared my head some and I needed to be productive today. Since the weather was gorgeous, perhaps a walk on the beach would help.

It was at that minute that the sky darkened and scary looking storm clouds passed over my new home.

 

Then it started to rain. Not a light, pleasant, stomp in puddles rain. But a heavy, raging, life sucks with a vengeance downpour.

Oscar the Grouch was alive and well and had moved into my body and I was helpless to stop him.

I figured since I was now officially Oscar the Grouch I should do some research on him.

What I found was terrifying!

Oscar is not actually a monster, but a Grouch.

 

He was born in 1969- just like me.

He is rarely seen outside of his can. (Hmmm, when was the last time I left my can, I mean, my house?)

He complains, A LOT.

He likes to say things like “Scram” “Get Lost” “Go Away” and “Ding Dong- you’re wrong.”

And scariest of all, he used to be orange. And as most of you know, orange is the color of MS!

Oscar is actually MS and MS has actually taken over my body and turned me into Oscar.

 

Need more proof?

It has long been known that multiple sclerosis is associated with depression (what is more depressing than being told you have MS?) and also with major mood swings.

I looked into this further and learned that MS is also known to cause “frequent bouts of anger and irritability,” and “are likely to affect everyone in the family.” (Unless they run and hide.)

So what to do about it? My doctor already has me on mood drugs as I snap at her as soon as I get to her office.

 

Like Oscar, I was tempted to hunker down in my can and pull pillows over my head. But that seemed too unproductive even for the grouchy and unproductive me.

Plus, the remote control for my bedroom TV died.

So I wrote this blog instead.

Now, I will hide.

But not before first sticking my tongue out at the world and saying “Na, na, na na na!”

ID-10056127

 

Quotes on emotional changes with multiple sclerosis are from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

Quotes from Oscar the Grouch are from Sesame Street and me.

Quote about being pissed off about bladder issues are from my sister Laurie.

“Na, na, na na na” quote is all mine.

Image courtesy of farconville/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

MS PBA

A new excuse for the crazy…..

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I am usually known for posts that offer a comic nature to my life with multiple sclerosis. But today, I would like to talk to you about a serious issue, one of which you may not be aware, MS PBA.

Yes, I know, you think I must be writing in the midst of one of my cognitive episodes as you have never heard of MS PBA. You are likely thinking I typed a letter wrong and maybe I meant, MSPCA.

No. I love animals as much as the next person but I am not referring to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

So now you are wondering if I meant MS PDA. No to that as well. I am currently single and there are no public displays of affection going on in my MS world.

If I happen to be witnessing some PDA in your world, I am probably gagging out of spite.

 

If I wasn’t single, and out in public with my beau, I probably would display lots of PDA mostly because standing is exhausting and as I am not ready to start using a cane, I would probably be falling all over my beloved in an attempt to stay upright without tiring myself anymore than I have to.

And I am not talking about MS PB&J either. While a healthy diet is important, and peanut butter is a delicious source of protein and fiber (I am getting some healthy nutrients right now with a jar and a spoon beside me,) the jelly not so much.

PBA is a medical condition that can affect people with neurological disorders. I learned this while trying to fight brain fog with bad television.

A commercial appeared showing a man crying, followed by a woman laughing, then a woman crying and a man laughing and so on. It was an advertisement for PseudoBulbar Affect and it is a legitimate diagnosis where people display bouts of uncontrolled laughing or crying emotions.

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Too bad I didn’t know about it in the years before my diagnosis when I was a teary eyed mad woman freaking out everyone around me.

I wouldn’t mind if I was displaying the laughing side of the illness; I strongly believe an all out belly laugh is good for you. Unless you are laughing at someone bigger than you who decides to beat you up because you are laughing at them.

But being able to blame the random sobbing on something other than the sappy movie or PMS? Excellent!

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The commercial provided a phone number if you wanted more information. I called and received a packet within the week. The packet described PBA in more detail and gave helpful tips;

keep a diary to track the uncontrollable emotions (too grueling)

tell people what’s going on (like they’d believe you- they already think you are crazy)

breathe (duh, don’t we have to do that anyway?)

It also suggested if these tips and others provided don’t help, you can go on medication. So I looked at the medication info and the side effects mirror MS– dizziness, weakness, UTI’s, and flu like aches.

Figures. Thus, I stopped reading about PBA. My crying spells have calmed down and so I will live my life in the throes of MS PBA without an additional RX.

But really, MS, can you give me a break? Can you at least make my unruly symptoms be of the laughing kind?

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Note-I intend my blog posts to be humor based. But if PBA is an issue for you or someone you know, you can obtain more information at www.pbafacts.com

 

 

Image courtesy of [farconville] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [piyahpantawong] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [farconville] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MS/PMS MonSter Mash

An MS transformation

I recently joined a Facebook group for people with multiple sclerosis. The group is awesome and if anyone is looking for an online community where you can ask questions, meet other people in circumstances similar to yours, or just joke and vent, I encourage you to look into it. It is called Friends against the MonSter.

When the friend who started it told me about it, I was a little confused about the title. To me, monster is an affectionate term. I think it comes from being a kid.

When I was maybe eight or nine, Monster Mash by Boris Pickett was fun and huge and my favorite book back then was called How to Take Care of Your Monster by Norman Bridwell. Somehow I lost that book and have never found it again. If anyone knows where I can locate it, please let me know.

Several years later, when my nephew Drew was a grouchy baby living with colic, I took to calling him Drewmonster or Monsterbaby– see, total affection. In my messed up brain, for some reason when I think monster I think cute and cuddly. Thus, the name of the FB group didn’t seem appropriate. It is a page for people living with multiple sclerosis and I have yet to find anything cute and cuddly about that.

Vampire, Zombie, Serial Killer, Alien, Ghost, the specific name of frightening creature is frightening, but the word monster just doesn’t scare me.

Now Drew is a grown man and he and his wife have two little boys of their own. Both kids are adorable, and yes, cute and cuddly. One is just a baby and as innocent as a baby can be. The oldest of the two is 21 months and is smart, funny, delightful, and for the most part, happy. Like his dad, he is also stubborn. Upon this discovery I began to rethink the monster term. Something wasn’t clicking and I think I figured it out.

For 99.9% of the time, the child looks like this.

But when he is exhausted and his stubbornness kicks in, he can suddenly and terrifyingly change. I swear, one time I needed to change his diaper and he didn’t want it to be changed. I am still shuddering from the Linda Blair like look he gave me and had nightmares all that evening. I could literally see the transformation from adorable, perfect little boy to a creature I did not recognize.

This transformation reminded me of something but I wasn’t sure what. Eventually I figured out that it reminded me of me! But me when PMS attacks. All you male readers who hate hearing about things like PMS, may want to skip ahead a bit.

Before my family and I left on the trip to visit these amazing kids, I was trying to get things crossed off my to-do-before-I-leave list. As everything I attempted to complete didn’t get completed and were doing me in in their own frustrating way, I suddenly underwent an insidious transformation.

I could feel this ugly scary black cloud envelope me and I began to stomp around my home growling these guttural growls and shooting daggers at anything in my path. My landlord needed to stop by and when I answered the door he must have been frightened by the creature I had become. He backed away from the door saying the thing in the house he needed to check could be checked later and ran to his car.

“Wow, that’s screwed up,” I barked to no one, “why the hell did he come over in the first place??”

Sure enough, six days earlier than expected, my cycle started that evening.

Ok, so PMS can turn me into something scary but who knows what that something is…..

After a plane ride with my mom and sister to the state where the youngest members of our family lived, the transformation happened again. Two days after the arrival, the exhaustion from the long day of flying and headaches from all the noise, overwhelmed me. Then, landscapers showed up to work on the property we were staying at, complete with their machines and loud motors.

Next, somebody ticked me off and (and there was definitely no PMS about it,) the black cloud showed up with a vengeneance. I turned mean and scary, and my family and residents of the neighborhood began to run screaming from me as I approached.

Insane mood swings can be considered a part of MS, so I have been told. What is this blackness born of frustration, aches, and pain? What does it turn us MS’ers into? Where does it come from?

Since it is MS, it is probably unlikely that it will get figured out. But as my young great nephew can turn from cute and cuddly into a monster child in two seconds flat, I realized so can I. Whether it is PMS or MS (put them both together and I can probably take on Godzilla), 99.9 of the time I am still cute and cuddly.

Thus, I now understand why the FB group is called Friends against the MonSter. The monster is our cute and cuddly selves under the influence of the insidious demon that is MS. Or, PMS. Or maybe like my nephew, our stubbornness at getting a diaper change when we are clearly not in the mood for a diaper change….

Post Scripts to this post

1. There are actually several great FB groups I belong to that can help people with MS have a forum to discuss living with chronic illness. The above mentioned is only one of them that I used for this blog because of the great name although it is also a great page. Please contact me if you would like more information about this group or others- [email protected]

 2. While all of the above is/was true, and this blog needed to be written, this was also a place where I could get away with showcasing pictures of some of my nephews. The first picture is Drew during one Halloween and the others are his firstborn.

 3. While I truly hope my blogs are helping others and that is my main and only goal, I still wouldn’t mind a WEGO award! Here is how to nominate me if you think I should be considered.

WEGO Health Activist Awards

 4. Thank you all!