Wow, have I had a crazy couple of months! My eventful summer has kept me away from writing for too long, but I’m happy to be back in action on my blog. I’ve missed all of you! Hopefully I can catch you up on what I would have (and should have) been writing about.
Since June, my life has been filled with lots of transition, as well as an amazing adventure for my son — and some MS annoyances that put my life on hold for a little while. But I’ve also had some enlightening moments that have helped me put these ups and downs into perspective.
Everything kicked off with the excitement of my son’s high school graduation. I’m so proud of Jake for working so hard, both in the classroom and on the baseball field, over the past four years. Next month he’ll be headed off to a very well-regarded private Christian University in San Diego, where he’ll continue to play baseball. I’m so happy for him!
But on the not-so-exciting side of things, Jake’s graduation marked the end of child support from his father and other disability payments that had been a big help to me financially. So I’ve been putting some time into looking for flexible jobs that will make up the difference. Money is always a big source of stress for me, as it is for so many people, so this has been heavy on my mind.
So, back to my summer of craziness…two days after Jake’s graduation, Jake and I and my dad headed to the East Coast for lots of baseball and traveling. Jake was invited to play with the U.S. Military All-Stars baseball team on its Red, White and Blue tour. My dad and I went along for the ride (and to take a lot of photos!), making stops in Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston and New York.
A lot of the players serve in the military and choose a word or phrase for the back of their jersey that’s meaningful to them. Jake wore “Cure MS,” bringing great visibility to our cause. While we met some wonderful people and got to see new places, the nonstop travel wasn’t kind to my body. We didn’t sleep enough, we didn’t eat enough, and we were basically in a different city every night. It wore me down.
So I shouldn’t have been too surprised when, about two days after returning home completely exhausted, I had an MS flare-up that really shook me. First, it came on as vertigo and feeling very off-balance. Then, a couple of days later when I woke up, both of my legs were numb from the knees down. It was painful and pretty scary. There’s always the worry that symptoms like that won’t go away. Luckily they did, although it took almost three weeks before I was able to walk normally. I couldn’t go to the gym, I couldn’t take my dogs on walks, and I withdrew socially.
Now I’m easing back into normalcy and digesting all of the experiences that I’ve had over the last couple of months. I’m now a firm believer that stress — emotional and physical — really does influence your health and can bring on MS exacerbations.
The last couple of months have forced me to remember my guiding principle: “Everything in moderation.” That’s the rule I try to live by, but I certainly veered off the moderation path with my overdoing it. I’m grateful for my experiences, yet embracing the routine of the life that I love. I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer, hopefully filled with more healthiness and less madness.