*I posted this article yesterday at my blog “Rustyknucklers Stuff and Things“, Sean asked me if I would like to write here with him at ownmultiplesclerosis.com of course I said yes. Sean does a great job here at this site, more than one of his posts has provided me with some much needed inspiration. Sean and I all also writing colleagues at theoilersrig.com so this really did seem like a natural fit. Thank you for having me, I hope the readers here will enjoy my articles. So here is the re-post from yesterday, when I write about my life with MS it will be done here on this site from now on*
I started this site “Rustyknucklers Stuff and Things” back in 2012 as a site where I could write about pretty much anything, but mostly the Oilers. This was before I started writing with OilonWhyte and now of course with the Oilers Rig. Hence why I’ve only ever posted two blogs on this site.
Recenty I’ve been thinking about coming back here to write about other things, specifically what it has been like for me since my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Writing, you see, is quite therapeutic for me, as I’m sure it is for most people that write about anything. So today, this site is back. I’m not sure how much I’m going to write here, and neither am I sure exactly what I’m going to write about. This site is mostly going to be for me, It is going to be filled with both happy and sad stories, all depends I guess on exactly what I feel the need to get off my chest. There will be bad words, bad grammar and incomplete sentences, and unorganized thoughts. Sometimes it will seem that I am looking for sympathy or empathy, that is not the case. While this is a public blog, it really is just a place for me to vent a little.
Since being diagnosed with MS in the spring I have gone through a whole spectrum of emotions; Why Me? What Now? What’s Next? What is going to change? I’m sure all these questions are normal for someone that goes through anything this life changing.
I’ve been really down and out lately, the fatigue that seemingly comes along with this disease has hit me like an acme anvil dropped from the top of a cliff by Wile E Coyote. I’m tired, all the time, I can go to bed at 9, sleep till noon, get up drink a coffee and an hour later I’m ready to get back to bed. I’ve known this was a possibility, a common symptom of MS, but I was/am not ready for it. I’m sitting here writing this thinking man I could go to bed, it’s 5pm. The thing I’ve realised just lately though is that this fatigue is bringing along other more mental symptoms, I’m cranky, short tempered, overly emotional. I’ve know I’m these things, but can’t seem to find a way not to be. I wake up in the mornings and tell myself, today I’m going to be happy, I’m not going to snap and my wife or children for something trivial, yet it doesn’t last. My mood flips like someone playing a game of quarters. It’s not all bad, but it’s a weight I need to get off my chest. Something I need to manage, another thing on the list of things that I have to deal with now for the rest of my life.
Listen, I know I should be happy. I have 2 beautiful daughters, a wonderful wife, great family and the best friends a person could ask for. The support is there, yet why do I still feel so down in the dumps? I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. My condition could be worse to, but it isn’t, I’m very lucky as my diagnosis is called Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) there are a lot of people who have it much worse than I do, quickly losing things I used to take for granted, motor function, speach, sight. Suck it up right Dave, I KNOW.
Recently I began talking to another MS fighter, Sean Wingrave. It was funny really he also blogs about the Oilers and after reading one of his hockey articles I noticed in his bio that he to suffered from MS and had a blog that talked about what exactly that was like for him. Well I reached out to Sean, asked him some questions about what he’s gone through, how he managed symptoms and the like. Of course right away I received a reply from Sean, he answered what I asked and also offered up some other invaluable advice. The advice that Sean offered wasn’t exactly new to me, but it felt better hearing in from someone who likely knew exactly what I am going through.
When I’m feeling particularly down I hop over to Sean’s blog http://www.ownmultiplesclerosis.com/ to read what he’s up to, and while I can barely bring myself to get out of bed some days I see Sean has been training hard, running crazy amounts of KM’s each week in order to run 85km to raise money and awareness for our disease. Way to go Sean, I am actually quite jealous of your ability to commit to something like this.
Excersise is important for you in general, but it is even more so for someone in my condition. I started running in late August with the goal of being able to run 10km by, well right about now. But of course having let myself fall out of shape the last few years, I knew this was going to be hard, but I was going to try it anyway. Well, try it I did, I loved it, I had my runs scheduled every other day and I was noticing improvement in the way I felt, the distance I could run, how quickly I could recover so one day I decided I’d really push it, see how fast I could run a certain distance. and push it I did. I ended up with knee pain so bad for the next month it hurt with every step I took.
Knowing how easy it is to fall out of the habit of excersising I went out and bought myself a road bike, you know one of those silly looking things with the skinny tires, I set a goal of riding in the Johnson MS bike tour next summer. It was weird, something new, my knee didn’t hurt when I rode, I loved it. The speed you can get going on one of these bike is incredible, exhilerating, just plane fun. Again, I started scheduling rides every other day, in the few weeks of owning the bike I put on about 300km and I enjoyed every km I rode. But instead of injuring myself this time, like with running, the winter weather came. My big got hung in the garage, my mood changed and boom here I sit. HOLY SHIT. See I said that writing this blog was going to be more for therapeutic reasons, I think I just figured something out.
Ok well, ha, I’m going to commit to going for a run tomorrow morning (a light one don’t worry I’ll do my best not to hurt myself. HA). I’m also going to commit to running along side Sean in his Really Long Run to End MS for 10km of his journey. In sitting here writing this I’ve had somewhat of a eureka moment, Goals are what kept me going this fall, therefore goals are what should keep me going through this winter, summer and beyond.
Tomorrow when I get up I’m going to once again tell myself to be happy, that I have so much to be happy for. I’m gonna kiss my wife and hug my kids, then I’m gonna go for a run. I don’t like that cranky, depressed tired version of myself. Maybe that is going to be me sometimes, but I’m going to try hard, very hard to break the habit of that being the norm lately. I was right to when I said righting was therapeutic, I actually do feel better. Huh.