Before the current pandemic, I was swimming regularly three days per week at a local community center pool. My time in the water varied depending on whether I was taking a class, simply swimming, or both and would last two to three hours each day. The pool truly worked magic on my body, maximizing my muscle mass and movability. It was also beneficial to quiet the many mental monsters voicing various ventures which would not benefit my soul.
Each year, the pool closes for two weeks so the staff could clean completely crown to the ground. I exercise at home during this shutdown, but it was not the same. No matter what I did, I could feel myself slowly deteriorate, so I eagerly waited for the pool to reopen. Unfortunately, this discouraging degradation happened even in this small time frame no matter how much I exercise, proving my MS cares not about time. After the two weeks of astringent atrophy, it would easily take several additional weeks to build back my body when returning to the pool.
It is essential to know that everyone with MS is different. For example, you can put ten people with multiple sclerosis muscle spasms in a room, and every one of them would likely have spasticity to a different degree and in a variety of body parts. So when I am making a statement about MS, it is my experience and not everyone with multiple sclerosis. I never want anything I say to sound like an all-encompassing blanket statement, as that is never what I mean.
Sadly this pandemic has not been kind to me. I would have gladly accepted indifference or total disregard towards me, yet that was not the case. I minimally exercised in the first few months as I thought we would return to normal very soon. I then became more serious about my fitness, although there is no one to keep you accountable when you are alone.
Someone asked me about a month ago how long I would be capable of living in this house by myself. That innocent-sounding question has kept me up many nights and instilled total trepidation, and fear like no horror movie ever has. The thought terrorizes me because I have always been able to do so much by myself, and now I will need an assistant for my pool time if that is the correct title.
I am simply scared out of my mind at the prospect of not being able to live independently. Yet, this query poses a new quandary: what is the alternative to this newly-developed dilemma? I do not want to think about it, but I cannot ignore it anymore. This monster of mythical proportion called MS has relentlessly and brutally beaten me like a bookie collecting a debt. Since this maleficent monstrosity is invisible, I cannot defend myself, meaning I must merely take the abuse. Every time I think things have stabilized, something else occurs and proves my thoughts are wrong. As of late, I have realized I cannot go to the pool by myself for a while, nor can I go for two or three hours each day like i used to.
So here I sit, deeply drenched in dark dread that rocks me to my core, and I do not know what the near future holds for me. I do not know what to do. I know I have to hire someone but who? I do not want to hire somebody for thirty to fifty bucks an hour which seems to be the going price but extremely expensive for my budget. So, of course, then my question becomes where do I find these professionals or more importantly the non-professionals to find someone to hire? I would honestly shed a tear or two, but I cried so much in my early MS days that a dehydrated ant could sweat more water than my tear ducts can create.
I AM MORE SCARED THAN EVER. I AM AT A LOSS.