You know you have MS when…

I may or may not have gone overboard this Christmas (as usual).

I’m enjoying the crap out of my holiday time off, guys. I mean, not one damn thing has changed. I’m still wondering if Provigil is actually working. I still can’t walk far enough without resting. And my legs still often feel like they’re made of stone. All of it. Not a single thing has changed or gotten one bit better.

But not having to deal with work stress while experiencing all of the above is truly a gift. I always scoff when I read articles that emphasize how stress exacerbates MS symptoms. I mean, who isn’t stressed 24/7? How can you even tell if stress makes things worse?

Here’s how. You take a little time off, slow down, give yourself little room to breathe and leave your days relatively schedule free. And viola! Your broken brain is all of the sudden much better at dealing. Go figure. I haven’t cried in days.

I know, right?

I struggle with the notion that I am so limited physically. I hate asking for help and lately it seems like all I do. So when I have a task that requires doing that can be modified, adjusted or altered to allow me to do it all by myself, I am thrilled like a little girl on Christmas morning who’s been very, very good this year.

Today, I was facing a mountain of presents that required wrapping. As usual, my online shopping led to a situation where I bought a few too many things for my loved ones. I mean, they deserve it. I love giving gifts to people! It’s one of my most favorite things. Finding just the right thing for someone who will love it especially much. There is truly nothing better, in my book. But I overdid it. No doubt about it. The task was daunting. Here is what things looked like before:

No peeking, friends and family. I hate ruined surprises.

But it’s done! I did it. It required some modifications like learning how to wrap large items while sitting, paying extra special attention to what is actually in what I was wrapping so the right people get the right presents (thanks brain fog) and taking a few ibuprofen halfway through because my entire body was on fire. But it’s done! I am victorious.

So you know you have MS when wrapping bunch of presents feels like winning the goddamn NY marathon and leaves your body feeling much the same way (or so I would imagine having never run more than 3 miles at one time ever before in my life). But I imagine one’s body hurts after one completes a marathon? I mean, it must. And so does my body after wrapping all of those presents.

Holy crap. My shoulders are on fire. My legs are shaking. My lower back is aching and my vision is a tad bit blurry. I did the crawl up the steps to pee thing, that I love so much, once the job was complete but you know what? Who cares. Sometimes when I’m worn out I have to crawl up the steps. That’s just the way my life is now. It might hurt, but it also feels good, to know I did this task myself.

Maybe it’s a Christmas miracle or the wonders of what life is like when you have MS and you’re not trying with all of your heart to keep up with your old life…but whatever it is, I’m taking it. I’m really proud of those wrapped presents. That’s when you know you have MS.

One more thing should be noted. I usually keep my wrapped gifts up high to prevent my four cats with four sets of very sharp claws from undoing all of my efforts before Christmas morn. But as I mentioned, I went somewhat overboard and I didn’t have enough room for stacking up high. There is one rather large stack within reach of those nefarious creatures that has me kind of worried.

If there is a feline unwrapping party at my house tonight after I fall blissfully to sleep, my family will be getting some naked gifts cause that wrapping thing can’t happen two days in a row.

You know you have MS when you totally don’t care if you end up giving naked gifts. I did it. And I have proof.

Tell me what you think...