I think it’s safe to say that people with MS are always looking for ways to feel better. Pain, numbness, memory problems and especially fatigue can be debilitating at times and always annoying. There are several medications to help with MS symptoms and they can be quite effective but, before I take that leap, I’m going to try the hard way first…..I’m saying goodbye to sugar. This is going to be extremely difficult for me because sugar is highly addicting and I am a self-proclaimed, hard-core sugar junkie. I not only love the stuff and all the pretty, fluffy, decadent ways it whores itself out to me, I crave it daily. I’ve been told and have read several times that sugar can increase MS symptoms, especially fatigue. I want to feel better than I do now so I’ve decided to take the plunge. I’ve started with only a little sweet creamer in my morning coffee and a little agave in my oatmeal. I’m sure to a lot of people this is still a lot of sugar, especially to someone who has taken “the plunge”. Well, for me, this is a huge change! Next week, I’m going to be completely sugar-free with my coffee. Harder, will be eating my oatmeal plain. I don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners and don’t think they’re very healthy so that’s not an option for me. My hope is to get to the point where sugar is a rare indulgence. So, here I am, saying/writing it out loud, putting myself in the spotlight and hoping that this will help me to stay the course. Wish me luck and I’ll share this part of my journey in case it’s something someone else is either considering, doing or has already done.
Pretty much everyday I am fatigued by three in the afternoon. I say fatigued instead of tired or exhausted because “fatigue” is something special for people with MS. Not special in a good way, but special in the way that if you’re not part of our club you can’t really understand it. When I say I’m fatigued I’m saying that my body isn’t functioning correctly. It’s always my arms that bother me the most. They feel kind of like rubber and have almost no strength. I’m lucky if I can fold a load of laundry with them. There’s usually some numbness, zaps and zings but that’s almost unnoticeable next to the rubberiness. My legs get rubbery too and standing too long can be difficult. It’s actually harder than walking because with walking I’ll occasionally get “drop foot” (another club term) but the way my legs feel from standing too long is almost unbearable. Still, the arms are what I’m the most frustrated with. I feel like they’re letting me down the most. It’s all about dinner. I can fold laundry a bit at a time and any time of the day I want. Dinner is always sometime between six and eight at night-well past three in the afternoon. So, we eat out and order in quite a bit at my house. I know this isn’t the healthiest way for me and my family to be eating but it’s still the way things happen. I hate this. I am a stay-at-home mom and part of my job is feeding my family. I’m failing. Tonight, a friend told me that they rarely go out to eat. I know they don’t do this for financial reasons. They do it to be healthy. I hate it all even more which I really didn’t think was possible. So, I’m looking hard at myself and wondering. Am I just Lazy? I’ve searched and found slow cooker recipes online and have bought cookbooks with easy recipes. I use to cook all the time so I have no shortage of recipes when I add my new finds to what I already have. I thought that if I had really simple recipes and slow cooker recipes that could be thrown together early in the day when I wasn’t so rubbery I’d be back to cooking most of the time. It isn’t happening. I use to not feel bad about all of this because I chose to give myself a break. I have MS and if I’m not cooking dinner it’s okay, I’m allowed to not cook dinner. Well, now I’m just feeling lazy. It’s not enough anymore for me to know that the person telling me that they rarely go out to dinner doesn’t have a clue about how MS feels and if they did they wouldn’t be telling me this. My fatigue is the worse part of MS for me right now. I’m still hoping that it will get easier but it’s getting harder to hope for it. So, all I can really hope for is to not be so lazy. I’m putting it out there- this week we will only eat out or order in three times. Even if I’m the only one who reads this, it will still be embarrassing to me if I fail. I’ll have to come back here and write that I wasn’t able to prepare four dinners for my family this week. I feel embarrassed just writing it.