An MS dirge
Summer lovin, had me a blast
(NOT! Unless it was a nice big blast of cool air from my A/C)
Summer lovin, happened so fast
(Don’t I wish! These days are dragging already and July’s not even here yet)
….Tell me more, tell me more
Well, since you asked….
(Italicized words are lyrics from “Summer Nights” from the musical Grease.)
Vitamin D sparkling directly from the sun is supposed to do wonders for people living with MS.
(There’s a reason orange is the official MS color. Well, that reason and the fact that all the other cool colors were taken by other important causes.)
Despite this, summer and I are not friends.
The fact that I don’t like summer (and really, really don’t like spring because it’s a long drawn out time where the rest of the world is getting ready for summer,) is unpopular. For most people, July and August are their favorite months of the year.
Please allow me to state my case on why I disagree.
First of all, summer is hot. Only in the insanity that is life with a chronic illness would something that is ultimately good for you, (ie natural vitamin D,) also make you feel miserable. And heat does make me miserable my friends, trust me.
If you don’t believe me, ask the cute UPS driver who remarked what a nice afternoon it was when he dropped off my monthly meds. My vicious reply so frightened him he hasn’t been back in days!
Of course, he’s not due back until next week but still, I was pretty scary that 78 degree day when he stopped by.
Then there are the bugs. I try to stay out of their way, “you stay out of my house and I’ll stay inside and let you wreak havoc on my yard.”
But they refuse to cooperate and it’s hideous.
Earlier this month I went to a graduation party where everything was covered by these furry, disgusting caterpillars. I guess this is a prevalent year for them and we only have to wait for a bit and then these horrifically gross creatures will turn into gypsy moths- oh the joy.
Not long after that I went to remove the change in my pocket and I felt something squishy. I pulled my hand out and saw that the fingernail of my middle finger had impaled a small green bug that had managed to squeeze his way into my pocket. The head part of it’s body was on one side of my fingernail and the rest of him on the other. I’m still cringing about that little foray into the blissful days of summer.
And then there are the mornings where we should delight in waking up to cool breezes from windows left open all night. That MIGHT be lovely except that this is also the time of year that people get yard work done. But, they also want to enjoy the beach and so the yard work must be done super early.
Hence it was that the lovely sunny morning turned into a headache and then a body ache of ultimate proportions. It was 6:45AM when my neighbor’s landscaping crew arrived. Right outside my window one guy started the mower and the other guy started the weed wacker.
(Weed wacker would be a funny name if it’s screeching noise wasn’t so dreadfully painful to my super sensitive ears.)
Both guys had headphones. I did not and the motor sounds pierced directly to my brain.
When the landscapers woke me up it was the middle of the night still. Due to my bladder issues I had only gotten five of my needed 10-12 hours of sleep and the day was expected to be a busy one. I closed the window and covered my head with a pillow. Right away it got hot and added additional misery.
I thought of calling the police as there must be an ordinance against that type of work so early but I worried about being THAT neighbor. You know the one-Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched or Mr. Roper from Three’s Company. Or even Millie from my own childhood neighborhood; the cranky lady who kept all of our balls and Frisbees if they landed in her yard.
Of course I keep ear plugs for times of travel as airplane noise is also painful. And of course I was out of them. I tried cotton balls but they didn’t work.
The best solution was a brilliant one. Turn on my A/C and that steady sound will help drown out the horrific racket outside as well as cool me off. But since my head had already been affected so badly, I didn’t think up that idea until twenty minutes after the landscapers had finally stopped, over an hour later.
And just like that, my summer day sucked and was complete with pain in the brain, no thinking skills to speak of and just over all extreme fatigue-riddled, summer induced grouchiness.
All of the above just reinforces my dislike of the season. And it bothers me as I remember how much I enjoyed summers past. It used to be that I could function on only a few hours of sleep, hit the beach, work at night, go out drinking with my friends and repeat it all the next day.
I miss that.
I miss the days when I wouldn’t dream of missing fireworks- bright colors in the sky with explosive sounds, cool! Now I could care less. And that just doesn’t feel so good.
Yes my friends, only a condition like multiple sclerosis can turn a fun song from a popular, campy musical into a ditty of misery.
Sure I could lament how the bad things of summer have started to beat me up in recent years and that is true. But what I’m really struggling with is the mourning of fabulous summers past.
Even while I want to skip the fun invites I don’t want to skip them. I feel guilty for skipping them, and get mad at myself over and over again.
It’s a vicious cycle.
And so, with all things multiple sclerosis, I try to balance.
Maybe I’ll skip some invites but take part in others.
Maybe I’ll get extra strength bug spray and venture out once in a while.
I do live near lots of beaches- maybe I’ll go to one and cool off by jumping into the ocean, even if it means that is all I do that day.
I’ll weather (get it, weather,) these months as best as I can even if I do enjoy changing the lyrics to songs about summer and get irritable every once in a while.
Seems like that’s what MS is for….
But I’m definitely getting noise reduction ear muffs!
Happy Independence Day my friends!
May you have a bug free, fun filled holiday!
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