Category Archives: MS Sports

Unbalanced Cycle

More multiple sclerosis NO balance issues and a contest winner

ID-10044009

My last blog discussed how I had failed the heel to toe test at my neurologist’s office and how that caused drunken memories and great concern. It concerned many of my readers too, which made me analyze this over and over. Then I decided to take some action!

Naturally klutzy my whole life, until the heel to toe test incident, I hadn’t given my balance much thought. I did fall this past summer but that was only because Fido, my pet portable ac unit, tripped me. I fell again a couple of months later but that was only because I was packing up my home after needing to move and I was incredibly grouchy about it-the move and the packing.

But on a visit with family recently, I fell again. Not wanting to admit MS was the problem, I decided to make it a crime of assault instead. The sidewalk attacked me.

There is even a crime scene photo-

16120011

These goldfish didn’t survive the crime. They landed on the ground when my two year nephew dropped them to quickly reach for the doorbell.

No, he wasn’t reaching for the doorbell to get me needed help. He just loves pushing the doorbell. And with me on the ground, there was no adult to stop him.

I did get my first black eye from the incident which I tried to take a picture of, my first selfie. But it didn’t come out; proving that I should not take selfies, ever. But you totally should have seen what the sidewalk looked like when I was done defending myself. The crack I gave it looked something like this-

16120012

But what if these falls have more to do with balance than assault charges or klutziness? Maybe, they are a combination of both.

Suddenly I realized I can do something about this! I don’t have to be content with being a Fido/sidewalk victim, at their mercy whenever they decide to be obnoxious. My Wii Fit has balance exercises I can do.

I went looking for the Wii Fit. It’s not that I have been neglecting it exactly. It’s just that I only moved a few days ago and the Wii Fit board got pushed aside during the move. I hadn’t unpacked it yet.

Ok, ok, the move was actually five months ago, but that is a few days in MS terms.

I pulled it out, took the batteries from the TV remotes and put them in the Wii Fit board, after removing the old ones and cleaning up battery acid in the compartment-guess it had been a long time since I used my Wii Fit, and then checked out the exercises.

ID-100215263

I discovered a new balance exercise I hadn’t tried before- ski jumping! Aren’t female ski jumpers entering the Olympics for the first time this winter? I need a goal. I will practice and practice and then enter the Olympics!!!

No, I’m not crazy. I know I would never get good enough in time for this year’s team. But the next Winter Olympics, I’m in!

Ahhh, but the Wii Fit is a cruel and bitter trainer. It refused to cooperate. When I would do the ski jump game, it would tell me I failed. Over and over I would try, eager to improve and become Olympic ready. And over and over my TV would flash the word unbalanced at me.

ID-10048051

Unbalanced, like a washing machine stuck in a wet useless cycle, unbalanced. This was almost more upsetting than the heel to toe test.

Luckily, I found other balance exercises that I did pretty well at.

Ski slalom for one. I aced the ski slalom game.

And tightrope walking. I was actually pretty good at that. And, the tightrope on the game is between two tall skyscrapers. Yet, I didn’t fall once!

Ok, new goal- Nik Wallenda watch out!

I’m training to be famous tightrope walker!

 

Contest Winner!

Only a few more weeks until the release of MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less Story” of Multiple Sclerosis!

My publisher won’t give me an actual release date for fear that I will stalk them if it is late, which of course, I would. But they have said that mid- February is likely!

Please keep an eye on this site and my FB page for updates.

One person who doesn’t need to watch for updates as she will be getting an autographed free copy along with a $10 gift card is reader Kym B from NJ! Her name for the MS monster on my cover won my most recent contest.

The name she entered is Myron. Myron just seemed to fit. I think I will refer to him as Myron, the myelin munching monster.

Congratulations Kym!

And thank you to all for entering and for supporting my writing!

ID-10079330

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve Fallen and I Don’t WANT to Get Up

MS Wipeout

 

Fido pushed me.

Fido is the name of my portable air conditioner that lives as my personal puppy during the summer months. He provides hours of relaxation and bliss this time of year, but needs constant attention and is very high maintenance.

I was walking by him during one of the hottest, most miserable days of July when he suddenly leapt out and tripped me. I’m not sure if he did it on purpose or not.

Perhaps he senses that I will be moving soon to an apartment with a real air conditioner and thus will no longer appreciate him. So he decided to act out. Sort of like when one of my dog owner friends stays out a little too long and comes home to find doggie presents in her expensive, new shoes.

Picture 13

Whatever reason Fido had for pushing me, I was down. The heat misery had added to my MS balance (or to be more accurate, no balance) issues and lack of coordination. I fell over Fido and over the edge of my bed, and landed roughly on the floor.

Things hurt. A lot.

I could see the bruises forming on my arms from where they hit stuff as I went down. This summer had me looking like a four day old banana with all kinds of bruises covering my clumsy body.

 

Fido seemed to feel bad as he hovered over me, blasting super cool air in apology. How can I stay mad at his cute, little pathetic face?

While I was lying on my floor, I realized I just didn’t want to get up- who says I have to? As much as things hurt, they were going to hurt wherever I went, whether I got up or not. So I stayed where I was and let my mind wander, once I got past the hurt and annoyance at Fido.

I let him breathe cold air on me and thought about how, specifically, he made me wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of the TV show Wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of an MS edition of Wipeout. Wouldn’t that be fun? I started to picture how this new network hit would go.

 

The thing about multiple sclerosis is that it affects each of us differently. And for some of us, it is an invisible illness which makes people insist there is nothing wrong with us. How many people have asked me how MS affects me and then shaken their heads at all of my bruises thinking, how come this girl is such a klutz?

It is for this reason that I often don’t use my handicapped parking placard unless I really need too. But some days it is a help. Yet, I get out of my car and drag my achy legs to the store only to have people shake their heads at me and toss me dirty looks. Even if my difficult walking is obvious, people seem to look at me as if I am walking that way on purpose.

 

I have thought maybe I should get a cane just to advert the dirty looks. Perhaps using a cane would prevent a fall like the one that lead to my lying on the floor pondering all of this, except that my falls are fortunately random and rare.

In the craziness that is multiple sclerosis, I can’t imagine being wise enough to have a cane with me when I am actually about to fall. I would likely fall on my way to grabbing the cane and swear even louder.

Since I look healthy, I am not sure if I would be allowed to enter the MS edition of Wipeout.

For those of you who don’t know, Wipeout is a TV game show where athletic but crazy people try to win money on what is described as the world’s largest obstacle course. These folks must successfully bounce across the giant inflated big balls, dodge automated punches while quickly stepping across a high platform, try not to be knocked down by a sweeper arm and complete many other feats to win the money.

cookies

These obstacles have a total MS feel, even just by their names alone; Sucker Punch, Dreadmill, Dizzy Dummy, Cookie Cutter Swing (cookies, I’m totally in!), Tumble Towers, Slippery Stairs, Butt Kicker. I swear the producers must have someone with MS in their family.

If you falter on one of the above obstacles, you fall into a pool of water. Hello, Aquatic Therapy is recommended in the treatment of MS!

 

And with so many of my fellow MS’ers practice in issues similar to the above, I bet many would do well. But if I showed up to compete, I would probably be deemed physically fit enough to enter the regular Wipeout show.

But here is where my MS would be a hindrance on the course. Brain fog would set in at some point and I would totally forget what I was doing.

How did I wind up on this big bouncy thing?

I would likely make my way over to the Dizzy Dummy and try to lean against it and take a nap. If I fell on the course, I would leisurely float in the pool and just rest. And maybe rest some more….

Lying on my floor I was just about convinced that I should write to the show and ask for an entry form. Floating in a pool, whether or not I made it up the Slippery Stairs, sounds quite lovely.

ID-10064798

But another MS symptom kicks in, that of the obnoxious bladder. I am forced to get up and I do so gently. Where is the Wipeout pool when I need it? I take care of my bladder, empty Fido’s bladder-heaven forbid I should go to the bathroom and ignore him, and pop an Aleve for the pain the fall has caused. I am pretty sure nothing has been seriously injured.

Next I do what I do so well. I pat Fido’s cool head and collapse in front of him yet again.

This time I manage to land on my super soft bed…..

ID-10021769 (1)

Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Maggie Smith] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flipnastics, Again

Incidental MS sports

Picture 21

Thank you to WEGO Health for making me one of the ten finalists for their Hilarious Health Activist Award! It is so fun and exciting to be nominated and I am in amazing company!

Yesterday a handsome FedEx guy delivered an unexpected package. The handsome FedEx guy should not be confused with the handsome UPS guy who delivers my drugs and who didn’t show up last night- hmmmm…..

Inside the box was another box with ribbons and a bow and inside that was fun party goodies to make a celebration out of the awards ceremony this week. Stay tuned! Win or not, I was thrilled to be nominated which came from readers (and the people I bullied into nominating me,) so thank you!

ID-10065559

If you are a regular reader and the following post seems familiar, your brain fog is not acting up. March has been a little insane so I thought I would re-post the very first blog I ever wrote. If your brain fog is acting up, you likely won’t remember reading this the first time. So conintue on to see how how multiple sclerosis has made this normally clumsy girl super agile….

Like with everything else related to multiple sclerosis, it makes no sense that this disease would turn me into an Olympic worthy gymnast. It makes no sense as my whole life, I have been an athletically challenged klutz.

ID-100105886

I still remember clinging for dear life to the neck of my 3rd grade gym teacher as she tried to get me to flip over the uneven bars. Those things were high! She might as well have been telling me to jump off a water tower. With my panicked cries and the limited breathing my clutching her neck was causing, she finally put me down and let me skip that exercise.

Entering into the middle grades I thought I might play basketball. My grandfather had loved that sport and really, how hard could it be?

My two memories of participating were of confusing the referees and saving a crucial game in an embarrassing way.

In the former, I was on the bench where I spent most of the games when the ball came right at me. I caught it and was quite proud. It was a good catch and I thought everyone in the stands would cheer. But apparently, as I learned, catching the ball when you are not on the court is not the way to play. Fans jeered and the refs got into a debate on how to fairly resume the game.

ID-10036460

The latter incident consisted of an exciting match-up against our arch rivals and I was actually on the court, defending an opponent. I managed to keep the high scorer from getting the ball when a throw bounced directly off my head. I was dizzy and mortified as everyone laughed, but we won. I will take credit for that win, thank you very much.

I’m not sure how far back you can go in blaming MS for your clumsiness but as I have learned to do with many things MS, I will blame MS for everything. Weird then, that through the illness I have picked up some incredible gymnastic feats. For example, I have become an excellent flipper, the 3rd grade trauma non-withstanding.

Two years before my diagnosis, my then boyfriend was visiting and wanted some ice cream. As he only wanted a little, I got a mug down from the cupboard. Everyone knows that even if you fill it to the brim, and go back for seconds and thirds, ice cream served in a mug instead of a bowl has far less calories.

The quart of cookie dough was frozen solid and I didn’t want my new love to have to wait. And I hadn’t yet learned the trick of running the metal scooper under hot water. Nor did I believe the trick about microwaving the whole quart for a few seconds.

ID-100134160

I struggled and struggled with the scoop until I formed a perfect ball of creamy sweetness. But I couldn’t get it out of the container. I pulled and pulled and the scoop of ice scream suddenly flew out of the quart, rose several feet in the air, did three flips, and landed dead center in the waiting mug. Amazing!

That was a 9.987 for difficulty and a 9.998 for execution. Hey Dorothy Hamil, take that and the silly haircut my mom made me wear in the 70’s-ha!

scan0002

(2013- added note. I have shared this post with many, many people and no one caught that Dorothy Hamil was actually an ice skater not a gymnast/flipper. Go figure! Maybe no one caught it as it was all MS people with brain fog I was sharing this post with. I only figured it out now as she is on this season’s Dancing with the Stars. And now, back to blog.)

 

But no one saw it. All my date witnessed was me laughing hysterically and trying to explain the reason for the giggles while also trying to breath.

Recently, I was putting on mascara. Quite a brave feat for some MS’ers as my sister Laurie has stabbed herself in the eye with the wand on many occasions. I was feeling brave though so I confidently applied my make-up.

Suddenly, the wand shot out of my hand, rose three feet in the air, did three flips and then wrote out my name on my back and on my floor. 9.854 for difficulty, 9.8675 for execution.

Ok, so maybe it is a stretch to say the wand spelled out my name. But as I looked at my left shoulder in the mirror, the splashes of brownish/black took the rough form of a “y” and a “v”. Where the wand landed on the floor was a circle blotch “o”. Perhaps I have to keep working on that move to get the spelling of my whole name.

So maybe we are onto something as MS has made me good at several sports, not just flipping. There is the sport of Falling Down Gracefully Without Getting Hurt and the Dancing Rhythmically Down the Bottom Portion of a Staircase if you Miss a Step or Two, sport.

The staircase event is a little dangerous and I, for one, need some work to compete in that arena. And maybe protective gear.

But I have also almost perfected the Elegantly Gliding Around Your Floor When You Spill Something Slippery On It competition (2013- ahhh,  now we actually get to Dorothy Hamil).

Many MS’ers do okay in the balance beam events as long as spectators realize that the balance beam is actually the ground.

ID-10045290

How come these feats of wonder aren’t worthy of a medal?

How come we are only able to compete in them when we aren’t trying to?

How come we aren’t being filmed at the time or witnessed in any way when we obtain the perfect aerial feat?

It really sucks when you have this talent but no one is around to view it or believes you when you describe it.

Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s MS, of course it sucks.

To see all the WEGO Health Activist Award check out their Facebook page.  To learn more about them, check out their website,  www.wegohealth.com

 

 

Image courtesy of [Master Isolated Images] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [David Castilio Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [rakratchada torsa] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MS Extreme Sports

Multiple Sclerosis sporting events

Years ago, my 10 year old nephew spent the weekend with me and we went to the video store to rent some movies.

(For you young ones who need clarification, my nephew is 21 now so this was back in the scary days before Netflicks, On Demand and Amazon. There was no instant movie watching gratification. If you wanted to watch a movie you actually had to get in your car and drive a few minutes to a store to see if the movie you wanted to watch was even available and then you paid for it and brought it home. This is how we used to have to do it- horrors I know.)

He was into skateboarding and so the movie we rented was about extreme skateboarding. We unknowingly turned it in late and I had some explaining to do when my boyfriend and I rented a movie the next weekend and he wanted to know why he was paying a late fee for a movie titled XXX that I supposedly rented with my nephew.

“It was called XXX as in triple X sporting events-skateboarding, snowboarding, dirt biking.”

‘Uh huh.”

For some reason, remembering this story got me thinking about extreme sports for MS’er’s. I know many of my fellow MS’er’s keep themselves very active. Montel Williams went snowboarding in Chile this summer. Is there even snow in Chile, especially in the summer? I was too fatigued to Google this fact to get that question answered.

My aunt tells me her friend has MS and participates in triathlons. I don’t know what a triathlon is but just saying the word is making me tired.

And then there are a lot of people with MS who walk in the MS Walks to raise money and awareness about this insidious disease. I could do that. I bet I could walk the whole route; if someone let me borrow their motorized chair maybe.

I am proud of my fellow MS’ers and say good for them! But it is making me feel left out. How come there isn’t a sport for me to go the distance in? There are some things I am great at.

How about an extreme sleeping event? I would totally ace that one! One time I slept a total of 23 out of 27 hours! Can Montel do that?

What about an extreme bladder release event? How many times can you empty your bladder in one night? My record is 18 in a five hour time period. That is extreme for sure!

How about a driest mouth event? My meds cause the worst case of dry mouth and I swear that if I didn’t brush my teeth constantly, I could grow a forest on my tongue.

How about a pin cushion event? One time, I had three different shots in one day- my regular, a blood test and the flu shot. How many living pin cushions are there in this world?

I do, I feel left out. Perhaps I will make my own extreme video. Of course it might be a little boring for others to watch in the sleeping event.

And I am not sure how much visual detail in the bladder event I want to include, but I will figure this out. After I go to the bathroom and take my meds. Then perhaps I will rest for a bit……

Image courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net