Having multiple sclerosis challenges so many aspects of your life.
From the simpliest task to the most difficult situation, an MSer battles far greater adversity than just stepping over a high curb.
One thing we do is drive and/or ride in a motor vehicle.
We think nothing of a 40 minute drive to a favorite restaurant. An hour ride to meet friends. Or several hours for a weekend getaway.
Driving (and riding) is part of our lifestyle. But add MS into the mix…and the game changes in dramatic fashion!
Fatigue, spasticity, bladder, car sickness, vertigo, dizziness and more—it’s a full smorgasbord of issues those of us with MS face every time we buckle up.
I for one, deal with extreme spasticity, cramping, spasms…along with bobble-head type doziness as soon as we exit the friggin driveway!
The following is a pictoral reenactment of a typical trip with yours truly as the passenger.
Warning: Contains graphic images some viewers may find disturbing.
Here I am all strapped in. Sitting tall in eager anticipation of a wonderful time with family.
Groomed. Cleaned. Pressed. Toileted. Rested. Medicated. Hydrated.
Ready for new experiences & engaging conversation.
After about 30 minutes in the car, conversation has ceased.
I’ve read everything in the glove box including a warranty for the new Michelins.
My legs are beginning to cramp, spasm & curl like plastic on a hot stove.
And my head is bobbing with such force I’m giving myself whiplash.
Arriving at our destination, I am a dishoveled disaster.
Barely able to move, I pour myself out of the seat. Not just a few steps to reclaim my caveman gait, but a few hundred.
Often it takes a full day for my MS-riddled body to recover.
“Don’t mind me” I tell our hosts as I sprawl out on their floor to begin a stretching routine that would choke a contortionist.
Yes, driving (and riding) in a car is my most burdensome activity with multiple sclerosis.
How about you? How do you deal with MS as your co-pilot?
I won’t stop going places that’s for sure. And neither should you. We do that and MS wins.
So suck it up Nancy. Do as you must. And keep pressing.
That’s all we can do. (That, and bring a napkin to wipe the slobber from our chin.)