Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Breaking Out of Prison

I broke out of prison years ago, but some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis try to put me back there every day. As I was going out on a date with my husband the other night, anxiety and panic start building within me. I quietly sat in the passenger seat as severe pain shot from my head to my toes, my heart start skipping beats and my nerves felt like jumping beans. I wanted to scream to my husband to turn the car around and take me home.

I am proud of myself every time I stand up to symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. I was tired of always cancelling my plans or having my husband or daughters turn the car around because MS was rearing its head. I noticed when I did that I would become depress and at one point, I actually became a prisoner in my own home.

Instead of asking him to take me home, I fought back. I recognized over the years when I experience sudden severe pain, and nerve tingles, they would leave or calm down as fast as they would come. The skipping beats of my heart is a different story. I knew the first thing I had to do was to calm myself down to rid myself of the anxiety and panic that was building in me. I rolled my window down to deeply inhale and allow the brisk cold air hit me in the face all the while telling myself to relax. That caught the attention of my husband because he knew when I do that something is wrong.

Once I calmed my anxiety down I told him how my body was feeling, but I also told him I want to continue on our way. His only request from me was to tell my doctor about my heart skipping beats because heart disease is severe in my family history and I have been wearing morphine patches for over six months. I promised I would and I reminded him where to find my document that list the medications I take, the medications I am allergic to, and the surgeries I have had in case my symptoms did not calm down and he had to take me to the emergency room. We still had forty-five minutes to arrive at our designation and I was confident my symptoms would calm down to the point that was tolerable for me to enjoy my evening.

The symptoms of MS are so unpredictable, I never know when, what symptoms, or how severe it will attack me. I also know I cannot allow this unpredictable illness make me a prisoner in my own home again. That is why I have established a battle plan against this war I am in with Multiple Sclerosis. Each time I have a battle with MS when I am outside of my comfort zone (which is my home) and not allow MS symptoms have me retreat to my comfort zone. I AM THE WINNER! The cold air calmed my anxiety and panic; the severe pain left my entire body and mildly concentrated only in my fingers, my heart stop skipping, and my nerves settled to a mild tingle. My planned date with my husband ended as a beautiful, fun, and loving evening.


Diane J Standiford said...

EXCELLENT! That is the spirit. Empowerment. Freedom. Isn't life a wonderful thing?! Courage breeds courage. YEAH!!!!!!!!

Blinders Off said...

The battles are hard, but it feels GRrreeeat each time I win one.

Michelle said...

I'm so glad you continued on with your date. I was having a bad MS day yesterday and the day before my husband had seen me struggling with the stairs to our bedroom and hinted maybe we should move our room to the downstairs. A firm 'NO!' from me. I'll crawl if I have to. I don't want to avoid the tough stuff, because if I don't use it - I'll lose it. I've given up enough to this monster - no way I want to give up our room with walk-in closet! Here's a toast to determination, stubbornness or whatever word we use to describe our survival!!

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Blinders Off said...


Don't remind me about the stairs :). After falling down mine my husband made an executive decision. Our next and final remodeling project is to turn our 2.5 car garage into our master bedroom.

I gets no argument from me...that fall could have broken my neck.

Attack Anxiety,

Thanks for the website and dropping in.


Good for you!!