Monday, December 30, 2002

Just when I think I have this fatigue stuff beat, it comes back to rear its quite-ugly head. I took my shot on Saturday, since Tim was out of town on Friday. Well, Sunday, I was a useless waste of space. Even though I slept well that night, I woke up and was tired, tired, tired. I sat around for the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon on the couch. Sometimes, I was too tired to even read. I decided to get up and pay some bills, but even that little bit of activity was enough to exhaust me - I needed to nap for a few hours to recover. I had a simple dinner recipe picked out, but I wasn't up to cooking, so Tim picked up some Bojangles for us. I was worried that all of that sleeping/resting would make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime, but no problem there.

On the plus side, if I have to be too tired to get up, better that it happened on a day when there was loads of sports on TV. I lost my fantasy football Super Bowl, but I still enjoyed watching the Panthers win.

Today was OK. I felt tired, but nowhere near the mind-numbing fatigue of yesterday. I made it through a whole work day and am looking forward to watching Wake Forest play in a bowl game while I eat some lovely crock pot vegetable soup I made.

I'm just hoping I have enough energy to enjoy the New Year's Eve party we're going to tomorrow night. There's going to be fabulous food, and I have a gorgeous dress to wear. I'm a little sad, thinking that I'll be more subdued than I was last year, when I danced like crazy the whole night. But I'll be with good friends and my honey, so I know I'll have a wonderful time.

Friday, December 27, 2002

My legs hurt.

While I was in the shower this morning, my right leg started to tingle. I thought this might be a sign that my shower was too hot. After all, I had been warned that I'd probably experience some heat sensitivity, and that it would not be unusual if I had a brief flare-up of symptoms during/after a hot shower. But even though the tingling has subsided, my legs still hurt.

It's probably just inactivity, just like if I didn't have MS. After all, I haven't exercised regularly in a long while, so I should feel some stiffness and soreness. I'm just getting over a cold too, so I'm looking forward to getting more active.

Yeah, I had a cold. I was told that one of the bright sides of having MS was that I would have fewer colds and other similar illnesses, since my immune system is hyperactive. No fair, I want my money back. I'm still getting colds. One of the few perks of this disease, and I haven't really enjoyed that yet. I want my money back.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

I survived the holidays.

C'mon, I'm not the only one who feels this way. But this year, the holidays were definitely tinged with bittersweet.

Like when I sat in the congregation at church for the Christmas cantata. The last time the choir performed a cantata, I had been up there, bawling my eyes out...because it had been two days after we found out I had MS. I had a solo that day, and I was falling apart in front of everyone. I did pull it together in time to sing, but that was a difficult hour, as the emotional impact of my diagnosis hit me right between the eyes. That was only 9 months ago. Seems like such a short time - and yet, it seems like a lifetime ago.

We went on our first trip since my diagnosis, heading up to New York City with a few dozen college students. Oh sure, we had gone away for the weekend to celebrate our fifth anniversary in June. But that had just been lounging around in a resort and spa for a few days. This was traveling, complete with the airport pains and desire to sightsee and getting sick because I was hanging around other sick people and learning that my MS was going to change things no matter how much I wished it wouldn't. We didn't have to worry about traveling with my MS medication, since we were gone for less than a week and had carefully scheduled out my shots. But we did have to travel with the disease.

I was OK the first day (Monday), but the pace and lack of sleep caught up with me on Tuesday. We were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I just knew that my body wasn't going to be able to handle a full day. Since we had tickets to the opera that night, and I had been told that particular opera was a long one, I was definitely concerned. And mad. I didn't have much time in NYC, and I didn't want to spend my afternoon lounging in front of a television. We had an early lunch, in hopes that the food and the rest would help rejuvenate me, but it wasn't enough. We ended up back in the hotel for an afternoon rest. Once we got to the opera, we had to head all the way up to the family circle (and those familiar with the Met know what I mean by ALL the way up), and I didn't realize how much that would take out of me. I sat on the aisle, disoriented and nauseous, wondering if I was going to be able to handle staying up there for the 3+ hours of the opera. Well, I was OK after a little while, but I have to confess - what saved me was a short nap during Act I. Yes, I went to the Met...and I slept. There, I said it. And I felt better, too!

I had fun, but it was a tough trip, and I blame my illness for that. Outside, it was very cold, but the buildings were nice and toasty. So I had to bundle up to go outside, but was way too hot once inside. Yeah, just what a heat-sensitive person needs. And when you're feeling worn out and unsteady, the last thing you want to be dealing with is large crowds of people bumping into you.

It was a sad realization that my MS is going to affect our vacation plans in the future. I used to enjoy getting up early, sightseeing until we were tired, taking a short nap, and then heading out for a nice dinner. But now, I have to get used to the fact that the sightseeing period is shorter and shorter, while the nap period is longer and longer. And it's so hard to plan a multi-day calendar of events when you're not sure how much energy you'll have left at the end of Day 1.

On the bright side, our next scheduled vacation is a long weekend at the Greenbrier, so I think I'll be able to enjoy that, MS or no. After all, it will have about the same pace as our anniversary weekend did, and that was a delightful and rejuvenating experience.

Friday, December 06, 2002

We're OK.

On Wednesday, central North Carolina received a terrible ice storm. It looks like we got 1/2-1 inch of ice before it ended yesterday afternoon. Anything over 1/4 inch can spell trouble for trees and power lines. Needless to say, Raleigh is a mess.

I left work as soon as the sleet started on Wednesday, around 1:45 pm. The roads were crowded, but I got home in about 45 minutes (about the same amount of time as it takes during rush hour). Tim waited until 3pm to leave Chapel Hill. He can usually get home in about 45 minutes too, since he doesn't go during rush hour, but it took him 3 hours to get out of Chapel Hill. He walked into our house around 8pm. That's how quickly conditions detereorated.

Our power went out just after midnight. By the time we woke up the next morning, the house was already down to 58 degrees. Since it stayed in the 20's all day, the house just kept getting colder and colder. We sat in front of the fire, and we could heat water since we have a gas stove. We found out that our friend's hot dog place was open, so we headed out there for lunch. We also picked up some hot dogs and coffee for my parents. While at their house, my sister called to say her power had been restored, so we all pulled stuff out of our fridges, packed overnight bags, and headed to her place. Her power went back out sometime after 4am, but it was restored around 9:30.

Over a million people in NC, about half of which are in this area, lost power in this storm. That's double the total from previous disasters like Hurricanes Fran and Hugo. I'm amazed how quickly they're getting power back to folks. Our local electric company thinks they'll have everyone restored by the end of the day today. Wow - those guys are thoroughly impressing me with their hard work and dedication.

My office was closed Thursday and Friday, but Tim had to go to work today. When he got to the house this morning, he called us to let us know that we had power back! I'm letting the house warm up before I head back over there.

Safe and sound...and grateful that none of us have significant house or car damage. There are a number of people in this area who weren't so lucky.