Freedom, My Old Friend!

Crushed on the couch because I got dressed. My legs are telephone poles, it’s going to take a Mack-Truck to move them. Each arm is a 500 lb bar-bell. The remote is just a couple inches away. My brain keeps saying “reach out and get it” but nothing happens. I can’t sit up, I can’t even raise my head. It takes all my energy to blink my eyes. My mouth is open, too slack to close and it takes all my concentration to muster enough energy to swallow. One hour down, now three. I can hear. I can see. I know I am breathing. I can’t feed myself, maybe in the next hour. My chin itches but I don’t care, I’m too tired to scratch it. It’s four hours now. I think I can move my hands. Yes, but my fingers aren’t strong enough to push the buttons on the remote. Maybe 30 more minutes will do the trick. It was all noise before but now I can make out the words from the music playing on TV. I like this song, I don’t need to change the channel. Todd pulls me up so I can sit. Easy does it. Just enough energy to feed myself. The drink is too heavy to lift, but I can sip through a straw. I have to lie back down to rest. Two more hours pass but at least I can follow the plot of the show Todd’s watching.

MS Fatigue is not the same as being tired. You are tired when you expend a lot of energy, like overworking in the garden, or when you don’t get enough sleep, such as pulling an all-night study session before a test. MS Fatigue has nothing to do with sleep or overwork, it is present no matter what, and it is so oppressive no amount of will-power or positive thinking exerts any difference over it. It takes you and holds you prisoner in a nearly unresponsive stupor, virtually catatonic. Sometimes the excessive, paralyzing, worst form of fatigue enters and exits daily. Other times, it comes and goes like a distant relative you only see on holidays or special occasions. I hate it. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain it. I dread every time it visits. It doesn’t wait for invitations, it just shows up and demands an audience. I’ve been under it’s stern, cruel rod of chastisement more times than I can count. It doesn’t get any easier, BUT I know it won’t last forever. It will eventually ease and, though it may seem reluctant at first, let go of it’s vise-gripping, soul sucking, strangle of me and let me breath the air of freedom again.

(Inhale) Freedom, (exhale) my old friend!

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