When I Plan and MS Laughs – Told in Real Time

I had the following plan for this evening:  attend my weekly class on Judaism, prepare my juices for tomorrow, and finish my Annette Funicello blog to post this week.  Well that’s all fine and dandy except for that little thing called “life” and that other thing called “MS.” 

Here’s what actually happened:  


I came back from class and despite the feeling of fatigue setting in, I gave myself a pep talk and convinced myself that juicing would not take too long and it would be worth the energy it will give me tomorrow.  I got right to work…  My breakdown started when the juicer, in its infinite wisdom, decided to switch which spout would eject the juice and which spout would eject the pulp.  As you can imagine, this resulted in two pitchers filled with VERY pulpy juice.  Almost like a puree – yuck!

I was frustrated to say the least but I still had to complete the process of taking the juicer apart and cleaning it.  This is a new juicer so I carefully read the instructions on disassembling the machine and then made an attempt.  Nothin’.  Zip.  Nada.  The thing wouldn’t budge.  I tried with all my might but I could not get even one piece of this machine to even wiggle a bit.  Of course by this point I was already thinking that it should’ve come with some sort of warning along the lines of:  DO NOT PURCHASE IF YOU HAVE MS.  I mean the amount of strength I was exerting to unsuccessfully disassemble this appliance is ridiculous.  I finally chucked the instructions, stared at the darn thing, and decided to take it apart in the way that seemed most logical to me.  SUCCESS!  But only for a few moments…  I got down to the last piece that needed to come off and I was back to square one.  It wouldn’t budge!  Eventually, I used tweezers to remove the strands of celery that were caught and as a result, were preventing the last component of this appliance from detaching from the base.

I had not even started cleaning all the parts when I turned around and saw 10:30pm staring me in the face.  I could already feel the finishing touches I wanted to put on a meaningful piece on Annette Funicello slipping away.

As I finished rinsing the last piece of the juicer it was 11pm and I slunk into the nearest chair and stared at the dining room table thinking about my next step.  Well, attempting to think I should say, I’m pretty sure my brain was mush by that point.  I could not even read through the drafted blog about Annette, let alone revise it in an effective manner.

Instead I decided to share a part of my reality living with this disease.  I’m sitting here after
two hours of fighting with a machine and every muscle in my body is aching.  I have to keep shifting positions to take turns alleviating one muscle at a time so that I will still be capable of dragging myself to bed at some point.  I feel like I worked out for a few hours at maximum exertion, but in reality, all I did was take apart a small kitchen appliance.  Yeah, try telling that to my body!

Of course I had the option of just going to sleep in this pain but the other fun part of having achronic illness is, whether as a symptom of MS, or as a side effect from all the medications over the years, this little brain of mine doesn’t quiet down so easily.  It might be mush right now and not be capable of eloquent writing at the level I feel Annette deserves being that I admired her very much, but my brain would still have succeeded to keep me awake.  If I had just crawled into bed after the juicing fiasco I would have had running thoughts about what I did NOT accomplish tonight which would of course be followed by frustration at my disease.  

So, instead of engaging in that dead end, I got to be a little productive.  I write most of my blogs in advance and take time to edit and reflect on them before posting.  Now you’re getting the raw deal.  What I’m experiencing right now in my body and in my mind.  A glimpse into the up to the minute, present tense, of chronic illness rather than my reflection on something after the fact.  This disease doesn’t wait until I have the time to be in pain and the freedom to not function.

Ironically, my attempt at prioritizing my health by juicing resulted in serious injury to my body, and let me tell you, this irony pops up more often than I’d like!  I can have great intentions sometimes but then life and MS collide in a way that derails any chance of a positive result.  I certainly know that I’m not alone in this experience; I sort of wish I was though.  I don’t like knowing that others experience this level of physical pain and emotional frustration too.           I know that ultimately it is important for those of you who do know what this feels like to be validated…to know that you aren’t alone.  And as I always say, it is just as important for the ‘healthy’ readers out there to gain some insight into the lives of those around them living with chronic illness.

Now that I feel I shared something important I can bid you adieu with the hope that brain will quiet down in order to let my body recover with some z’s!

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