One of the most significant issues with multiple sclerosis is the many hidden symptoms leading to accusatory statements. The invisibility of these MS issues means others do not see, perceive, or believe they even exist. Two of the primarily posed comments are you do not look sick; you must be okay, or even, I know someone with MS, and they do not complain like you. These statements drive MSers insane and can cause us to stand our ground vociferously in defense. All people with multiple sclerosis are different, so if you know one person with MS, you only know one example of this inexplicable, unpredictable medical condition.
I have been a member of several local MS support groups and currently in various MS Facebook groups. In the following blog, I will do my best to explain the experiences of those dealing with these conundra-causing covert complications. I am in a wheelchair, so rarely does anyone question the unseen symptoms impacting my life. First, I must help defend my MS brothers and sisters by spreading my words to the ill-informed masses. I hope using my words can do justice for all of us warriors struck with multiple sclerosis.
In the multiple sclerosis family, we deal with an excess of dilemmas and even daunting doubt from others. On a good MS day, it is merely a beastly condition continually taking from every aspect of our daily lives. Our courage gets questioned while our pride is persecuted as we struggle through our every movement. We endeavor setbacks every time we attempt to take one step forward, not backing down from the fight for our very existence. Most people will never know or understand the debilitating issues we warriors go through to simply get out of bed in the morning. Yet with every strike against us, we persevere like a baseball star hitting out of the park every psycho spitball thrown by the diabolical devil himself.
We no longer have the luxury of taking any part of our lives for granted and must consciously consider every minor task. Simply drinking a glass of water, for many MSers, requires extra steps that could choke and kill us if not followed. Like a pitcher watching the catcher’s hand signals, we must follow the extensive steps for every essential task. We have a deep-seated fear of dinner out with friends or family as we wonder will tonight be the night ending in an ambulance trip. These constant concerns continually capture our consciousness because the risks can be dire if not followed. It is no wonder why melancholy and depression fill the manipulative and maleficent world of MS.
We have deeply drenched fear of every movement and how our multiple sclerosis-riddled bodies react to our locomotion. Will the next treacherous step we take land us in a motorized movement machine changing our lives forever? We think about the terrors while we are awake and maybe get a reprieve when we slumber. This respite from our day-mares is only if the sandman does not brutally bombard us with cruel memories of what we will never be. So much depression forces us to cry as the rivers of fears turn into oceans of tears, drowning out our thoughts of survival.
There is a symptom with a perfectly pleasant name but has devastatingly diabolical impacts on the MSers body. MS Hug is the name of this symptom, and physical terror is its game. The explanation to me was a python that wrapped itself around you and squeezes. The squeeze is hard enough, so every lifesaving breath is excruciatingly exhausting. These breathing complications are not only challenging, but they can last for weeks and, from my understanding, even years in some cases. It was detailed from someone else as five bands wrapped around the torso tightened like a vice grip allowing only slight pain-filled breathing.
Pain is a common theme across these invisible indicators, severely impacting my multiple sclerosis family. The pain some MS patients go through is so torturous they need a properly positioned pain patch. They might even require some other form of continual pain soothing medication to dull the suffering though barely. In life, most people know the mundane pain of a headache, stubbing your toe, or maybe even a broken arm. However, the pain of those with multiple sclerosis continues forever, yet we have learned to smile through it like the warriors we are.
Most people have been tired from a long day at work or f from a vigorous workout. However, from an MSers perspective, we sometimes get dreadfully debilitated and need a respite from merely taking a shower. Needing a major rest after a minor task is as common as the sun rising in the east. Fatigue impacts parts of our lives we do not always expect, like it can make us ridiculously weak. For example, I have been so tired my speech gets significantly slurred and hard to comprehend. This complication causes a need to close my eyes and rest for at least ten minutes as soon as it is physically advantageous. If I do not find relief, my disabilities can get excessively worse, requiring a more extended respite.
I hope I have done justice in explaining some of the invisible symptoms plaguing some multiple sclerosis patients. My MS brothers and sisters and I courageously combat these unseeable issues like the battle-tested warriors we are. I believe these hidden afflictions would take down most mere mortals, yet we stand with our heads held high like superheroes in a movie. Like Tub Thumping said in their song: I get knocked down, but I get up again; you’re never going to keep me down.
They cannot stop us, superhero warriors.