chronic illness, MS

Not all hugs are loving: MS awareness

It starts with a stitch

A few deep breaths

Then you’re knitting my ribs together

With barbed wool

The front

Then the back

Swirling into my abs

Then my lower back

A corset of pain

The cat the cow

The cat the cow

Stretching every way for relief

Breathe

Distract

It’s just a physical thing

I hug myself hard

To try to get you to let go

Nothing helps

Just breathe


I’m writing this as I’m experiencing a common MS symptom, known as the ‘MS hug”. I’ve always been a hugger but this is not the kind of hug anybody wants to experience. When people refer to multiple sclerosis as a MonSter, it’s for good reason. It sneaks up and attacks when you’re at your weakest.

I’ve been fighting the cold from hell, downgraded from the flu thanks to the infrared sauna. I’ve also been living through a bathroom renovation which has been more stressful than I anticipated. Yeah, I’m a dumb ass. No actually, it would have been less stressful if I had managed the job myself. Okay, yes I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. But if you want something done right, you might as well do it yourself.

So – stress. The worst enemy of anybody with a chronic illness. Hence, the MS hug and an increase of all the other symptoms that make me feel like Beetlejuice in that electrified way, minus the energy.

Good times.

Just breathe.

❤️ Amanda

life

Infrared Sauna: Flu killer

We made it the whole winter with nary a sniffle, then the first day of spring our eldest woke up with the flu. Then our youngest succumbed. It’s a nasty one too, (what flu isn’t), fever, dizziness, headache, nausea and a deep, retching cough.

Having MS, I’m pretty paranoid about getting sick. Simply because what could be a three week ordeal for a healthy person, could drag me down for months. So, I followed my Tips for staying healthy in cold and flu season. Oh, and ate LOTS of garlic! 🤭

Still, the achy, weak fatigue descended. Although, it was difficult to tell if that was the flu because it’s pretty much how I feel all the time. It was when the cough appeared, painful as a badly scraped knee, accompanied by a killer headache that I knew it got me.

So, that’s when I followed my ultimate tip, and got myself into the infrared sauna. I stayed in for thirty minutes two days in a row, and while I have a cough and a bit of a headache, I believe the heat of the sauna staved off the worst of it. It’s like having a fever to kill off the nasties, without having to go through the nastiness of a fever.

A lot of people with MS suffer from heat intolerance, and I’m one of them depending on the day. The kind of heat produced in an infrared sauna is different though, not at all like the dry heat of a traditional sauna, or the sun. I find that if I don’t do it very often, it doesn’t affect my symptoms at all.

And if it killed off those flu bugs before they took a real hold, it’s definitely worth it. Mind you, my other theory is that my immune system is so overactive, that it might not have got me as badly even without the sauna.

Other MSers, do you find that don’t get sick as often or as badly since you had MS? Probably it’s like everything with this crazy disease, different for everyone. Well, I hope none of you have been ravaged by the flu this year, and if you feel something coming on, I strongly urge you to find an infrared sauna near you.

Stay healthy, lovelies!

❤️ Amanda