December 24, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Posted in multiple sclerosis at 9:24 am by melissasummers

With the holiday season rapidly arriving, Michigan received a gift of snow storms, high winds, ice and below average temperatures over the last few days.  The bitter cold has been rough, not only increasing my spastic muscles but also has been affecting the circulation in my fingers.

A recent visit to my regular doctor confirmed that my circulation losses are from Reynauds syndrome.  The main reason that I went to the doctor’s was that I had been experiencing a 3 week long headache.  Turns out that my muscles were so spastic that it had been giving me a tension headache!

The other day it was a brisk 16 degrees out my door.  The wind was taking the already knee deep snow and tossing it into drifting banks.  My house was warm and cozy..and then the new pup needed to go outside for a potty break!  Since we are in the midst of housebreaking, any hints of a full puppy bladder are not ignored!

Armed with full winter gear, I trudged through the snow suddenly realizing that there are benefits to this winter weather.  My midcalf boots provide a brace type effect, preventing foot drop.  The deep snow becomes my resistance trainer for leg strength and also provides a soft landing when I trip or lose my balance.  Plus the more I move around, the better it is for helping my spasticity.  There is also no greater motivation than watching my dogs wagging their tails inviting me to play in the snow.

Yes, visions of being curled up by a flickering warm fire with a book in my hands dance through my head as I brave the brisk air..but my chimney doesn’t work, the puppy would steal my blanket and play keep away…and then I would get that look from her……..”Momma, I think I have to go potty outside!”


December 11, 2008

My Friend

Posted in multiple sclerosis at 7:19 am by melissasummers

Each year as the temperatures get lower, my spasticity increases.  Most commonly my legs are affected, but when it is cold the back of my arms and my stomach also start contracting. 

Overall, my legs have been very well with coordination and even strength.  Stairs give me minor troubles, but as long as I am careful, they are not an obstacle.  When I did have problems with steps and getting off the floor, one of my dogs was always there for me to hold on to and steady myself. 

Last week, I lost that beautiful helper of mine.  He was more than a helper.  He was always there for me, during floor exercise time, walking exercise time, and during my sitting down and crying my eyes out times when frustration took over..he was there for me to hold.  During his last month, I held him, cheered him on and helped him..just as he had supported me in the past.  That circle was now complete and it was his time to move on.  He had shown me the meaning of devotion.  And I was able to show him that I learned that lesson as I held him during his passing.

 I was blessed that he shared the last seven years of his time here in our home.  The lessons and memories that he has left us with are numerous and precious. 

Peaceful journey Joker…you will be missed.