Tag Archives: ms diagnosis

The Curious Case of Multiple Sclerosis Part 3

Can’t Stop Going

Last night happened to be one of the worst MS bad bladder nights I’ve had in a long time.  As such, I feel wicked crappy today. Or, I guess I should say, wicked pissy.  

This is getting old, very old.  I’m so frustrated that I thought I should write a blog about it.  Then I remembered I already did.  

So for those of you who can relate to MS really pissing you off, this old post is for you.

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One would think that a subtitle called “can’t stop going,” would refer to a good thing, something you would find on an inspirational poster, or in a pop song geared towards the tween set; an affirmation if you will. But when it comes to this week’s blog, you would be wrong.

Very wrong. So wrong that I may just want to get violent and punch something wrong. When something makes me want to become violent, what can I do but write about it? At least writing keeps me out of jail and protects my already tingly fingers from more aches.

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When I say “can’t stop going,” I am actually referring to one of my insidious MS symptoms, bladder issues. In my case, I have to use the bathroom constantly and for normal people, that is the end of the story. You go, you’re done; at least for a few hours.

Not for me. No, my bathroom going trips have become so constant they are hard to believe. Which is why they are part of my series on The Curious Case of Multiple Sclerosis, blog posts that explore the particularly cruel irony of some aspect of living with MS.

(If you are bored, see prior posts Part 1 that discusses aging and Part 2 that discusses the difficulty of maintaining a healthy diet.)

But back to my current problem. If this rant sounds familiar it is likely because I have ranted about it before, a lot. I have even used the line, “these bladder issues are really starting to piss me off.” (Pun totally intended.)

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The line is not mine but my sister Laurie’s and before I used it as I thought while accurate, it was also funny. That was when my bladder issues happened at night and while it made trying to sleep frustrating and difficult, it was manageable; as long as there was something good on TV at 3 AM.

But lately, the frequency of having to go relentlessly and of then not going completely when I do go, is happening throughout the day as well. My bathroom trips are turning into revolving doors. In the time it takes me to wash my hands and leave the bathroom I have to go again and repeat the process.

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Really, what is the point of going at all?

The irony of this is water. Lately, in fact just as this issue started acting up, all I hear is how good water is for you.

I know this. I have given up diet coke and am drinking a lot more water. I have also learned to drink it earlier in the day to avoid the night problem so I can sleep. Now I just need to spend the day in the bathroom.

The medication I take for this problem does help but only a little bit. And it causes wicked dry mouth which means more water. Seems everywhere I look I am reading articles on how dehydrated people are and how crucial water is to your diet. Most people can handle this added H2O intake.

Me, I can handle it great. As long as I don’t need a life outside of the bathroom.

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I should discuss this with my neurologist but as I have mentioned before, he is kind of cute. How can I possibly talk to him about this? And even if I did, I am afraid the next step in treating this issue will involve tools that I don’t even want to think about. (Private message me if you have questions about this.)

But I know that I should bring it up and I probably will at my next appointment. (Maybe by then it will have gone away?) Until then, how do I deal?

One MS professional told me to do Kegel exercises. In case you aren’t aware, Kegel’s are pelvic muscle exercises Cosmopolitan recommended in the 80’s for a more exciting benefit. In a Kegel irony of their own, they were developed by a scientist, which likely makes you unlikely to be interested in the exciting benefits.

(Again, private message me- I am trying to keep this blog at a PG rating.)

The thing about Kegel’s is that they are super easy to do and can be done anywhere. Even in the bathroom.

The MS irony here? I forget to do them! Even when I write myself a note, I forget to read the note! Easy exercise- rare and good. Forgetting the exercises-very, very bad.

I heard that this particular bladder problem can lead to UTI’s which are also very, very bad. One way to prevent that is by drinking more water. (No, I am not kidding. According to the internet, that is a legitimate way to deal with this problem.)

Another way is to eat cranberries. I am a New England girl and so cranberries are my world. I can even tell you how they are harvested. Oatmeal raisin cookies? No way. Oatmeal cranberry cookies- awesome.

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But I am on a health kick so I decided I would get my cranberries in an organic, non processed, no sugar way. Raw cranberries are a little bitter and so I poured a glass of super healthy juice. And then I immediately spit it out as it was disgusting.

Apparently, even for people born and bred in cran country, you still need a little sugar to appreciate them.

So what’s a girl to do? I added cranberry tablets to my daily meds list which meant more water to get them down and then headed to the busiest room in my house. If you are looking for me or my TV, we have permanently moved into the porcelain and tile room.

And if that pisses you off, well, you likely have a bathroom of your own…

Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of  nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Image courtesy winnond /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of James Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

MS Horror Theory

A multiple sclerosis Halloween blog

ID-100207832Halloween is fast approaching and that fact, along with MS and a visit from an old friend, has gotten me thinking about ghoulish things. And by ghoulish I don’t mean the age of me and my friend, although that is frightening in and of itself.

My friend is one of those that has been a friend forever, although we aren’t able to get together regularly. But when we do, we can chat away a whole afternoon without realizing how much time has passed. If you have one friend like that, you are lucky. I am fortunate to have a few and am very grateful.

This friend reads my blog and so in the spirit of my Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere post, she brought me a pumpkin and some Hershey’s Pumpkin Kisses-yummy!

We were chatting and she suddenly said, “wow, how can you take that? Doesn’t that drive you crazy?”

 

I had no idea what she was talking about and said so. What she was referring to were the flashes of light that pass by the window in my new rental.

The rental happens to be on a busy street and I have blinds on the windows which I often leave open for light, but not all the way up as the glare is too much. When a car passes, it gives off a spark of light.

I was relieved she saw this and mentioned it to me. I had been living with these sparks since moving in but blamed them on another symptom of MS, (what I always blame things I don’t have an explanation for on,) or, ghosts. Ghosts didn’t make much sense as this building is fairly new but my MS brain didn’t put together the car/window connection.

Speaking of ghosts, she then brought up a theory about my All Aboard post, the post where I describe regularly hearing a train that doesn’t exist. After asking several questions, she determined I really was hearing a train.

“But didn’t you read my blog? There hasn’t actually been a train in these parts since 1938.”

“The bike path went right through the backyard of your old rental and isn’t too far away from here. You know, the bike path known as the Cape Cod Rail Trail? What you are hearing could be a ghost train,” she said sensibly.

 

It occurred to me that my friend was right AND she had solved the mystery! The famous local bike path was built over the old train tracks. What a relief. I wasn’t crazy and the train sound wasn’t yet another MS medical mystery. It was just a ghost!

This shouldn’t have surprised me. For a while now, I have compared my MS fog state to that of being a zombie. (See a former halloween blog titled Scary Brain, Scary Movie.) Aren’t ghosts and zombies closely related?

The more I pondered the ghost explanation the more it made sense. Especially since, I realized, ghosts have a lot in common with multiple sclerosis.

 

Ghosts are very popular during halloween which is represented by the color orange. Orange is the color that represents multiple sclerosis.

Ghosts are very scary at best, absolutely terrifying at worst. Just like an MS diagnosis.

Ghosts can hang around you for a very long time before they bother you enough for you to pay attention to them. Just like MS symptoms before an MS diagnosis.

Ghosts can take various forms and can affect people differently. Sound familiar?

 

Ghosts can be invisible and so people often don’t believe you when you tell them you saw a ghost. MS symptoms can often be invisible and so people often don’t believe you when you tell them you have MS. “But you look so good,” they say.

Ghosts hang around some people but not others and no one knows why. MS attacks some people but not others and no one knows why.

In spite of multiple studies and expense, there is no scientific solution that will get rid of ghosts.

In spite of multiple studies and expense, there is no scientific solution that will get rid of multiple sclerosis.

 

As halloween approaches, how is any of this helpful to me and my other MS friends?

What you can’t blame on multiple sclerosis, blame on the supernatural! You are then covered; people are horrified by both.

Now for our DWTS moment-

jackpasoJack danced an incredible Paso Doble this past week, a dance that recreates the viciousness of a bullfight. In rehearsals, his toughest job was finding the right emotions to want to kill his partner in the dance. He finally nailed it but I wonder if he did it by mentally changing his partner from Cheryl Burke to a bull to MS? That might have been what made it easier to bring her down.

Due to technical difficulties last week, there will be two eliminations on 10/28 so your vote is more important than ever.

Memorable MS quote-

“crotch forward,” Bruno.

 

Vote for Jack Osbourne and his partner Cheryl Burke by calling 1-800-868-3402 up to 60 minutes after the show on Monday nights or by logging onto ABC.com or Facebook.com/votedwts up to 24 hours after.

Whether you are a ghost or a zombie this year, Happy Halloween friends!