Two Saturdays ago I rode my bike out of our neighborhood and into one a few blocks away. As I was leaving that neighborhood, the all too familiar onset of instantaneous fatigue hit. I had ridden for 17 minutes but was still a good ten minutes away from home and had no choice but to keep pushing until I made it back. I have been paying for it ever since.
Oh, how I’ve battled fatigue these last many days! Nevertheless, I decided last night I’d test the waters by taking a short ride this morning. I got up early to avoid the heat and, for the first time in 2 weeks, rode up and down our street for almost seven minutes. The hardest part was when I was done. Walking back to the door from the far side of the garage where I parked my bike then up two steps into the house felt like I was conquering Everest. I had to sit and rest before taking a shower and getting dressed. I had to sit again, this time for two hours, before I mustered enough energy to brush my teeth. I’m beat! The fatigue is absolutely oppressive and utterly obstinate. I will rest and sit for the rest of the day, but I am determined to get up and ride again tomorrow. I don’t care if it’s just for a few minutes. I have to have some say in how I live with this and spend my limited energy. The old saying, “I might have MS, but it doesn’t have me” isn’t always true physically but it has to be mentally. Living with any disability eventually becomes a mind game. The ball has been thrown not only into my court, but straight at my head! I have to catch it, manage to throw it back, and get ready for the next shot that will inevitably come whizzing back in short order. The game is afoot!