Name an illness you're thankful for.
Multiple Sclerosis, yes I just said that I'm thankful I have Multiple Scelrosis. Don't take that to mean that I wouldn't get rid of it if I had the chance but MS has been an amazing journey for me. MS has taught me that I'm not invincible or indestructible but also not disposable. I'm not perfect and I definitely do not do things the way “normal” people do, but I never did anyway, but I am still a damn good person to have around. I sometimes miss things that MS has taken from me but arrogance isn't one of them. I don't take things for granted like I used to because it may very well be the last time I ever get to do it. I think back to ballet and modeling dreams and then I visualize me walking down the sidewalk now and chuckle at how much happier I am being the “today me”. The “yesterday me” was a little obnoxious for my taste anyway 🙂
Me putting up MS awareness flags. Yesterday me never would have made the time.
MS walk team captain. Yep non MS Erika would have had nothing but excuses 🙂
Now that I've sucked you in, here's the back story on the title. I have been on tizanadine, which is the generic version of Zanaflex, for close to seven years for muscle spasticity. I don't love the drug, to be honest it terrifies me, but without it I cease to move which is just not acceptable. In the past I have heard and read stories of this one tiny itty bitty little “possible rare side effect” of zanaflex, but until Wednesday night I had no idea how scary it could be. There is an occasional issue with people on Zanaflex thinking they are having a heart attack and dying, yes you actually think you are going to die. I can now attest to the fact that you become incredibly concerned that you are about to die.
My heart raced, my pulse was through the roof, I was in pain, I was sweating, I blacked out a few different times and my hearing kept going in and out and at one point I seriously considered calling an ambulance. My daughter woke up for a moment and to her recollection I looked “terrified”. Truth be told I often joke about what the meds I'm on could do to people but I will tread a little more lightly when joking about it from now on.
Thankfully, as most people typically do, I was aware of the fact that the heart attack like symptoms were a hallucination. Multiple Sclerosis and all that comes with it has angered me, annoyed me and crippled me but until Wednesday it hadn't scared me. I remember at one point staring into the mirror in our hotel bathroom and thinking that if I could just make it through the night I would never take tizanadine again. I've kept my promise so far and I'm going to call my neurologists office tomorrow and have a pretty in depth conversation with them about different ways of dealing with my increasingly spastic muscles. I am also going to start a more intense look into more natural ways of dealing with the muscle spasms. I have said in the past that I don't expect to live to a ripe old age but I'm certainly not ready to go yet.
From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?
Daily Prompt: Your life the book
I have two answers for this, they are two entirely different types of people and it is for two entirely different reasons.
1. Neil Gaiman: Aside from Roald Dahl my favorite author. I'm not certain if it's his sarcasm or the way he describes things but I feel he could capture my “essence” better than anyone. There is a way of explaining morbid while still being happy and positive and Neil Gaiman does it masterfully 🙂
2. Jack Osbourne: I admit that even I was a little put off when Jack Osbourne was diagnosed with MS. As horrible as it may sound I had a real “how dare he” moment. At this point I had known about my MS for nine years and I was upset that all of a sudden people cared about it because a celebrity had it. I had a change of heart one night watching Auction Kings. It's a long tear filled story, but I finally realized that even celebrities are blind sided by a diagnosis like MS. That's why I would like Jack Osbourne to write my story. I would just like to know what a newly diagnosed person would see in the life of someone who has been living with the disease for a while.
As a final treat follow the link below to one of the greatest commencement speeches ever given. Neil Gaiman delivers a speech that I think all college graduates should hear but especially anyone who plans to pursue a career in art of any sort.
Neil Gaiman University of arts 2012 commencement
What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?
Truth be told I try new things pretty easily, I guess I've always figured what's the worst that could happen. I'm not a daredevil, but I'm certainly not scared of much.there is just one thing that I wish I could do but plain old unadulterated fear stops me.
I would love to stop taking my muscle spasm medications. I have already been told I can't take most of the Multiple Sclerosis treatments because they are designed for relapsing MS and since mine is progressive, there is really no point. That doesn't mean that I don't take muscle relaxers and NSAIDs by the handfuls. I don't take them for fun, to be honest I don't like them at all, but the baby giraffe impression I do trying to walk if I don't take them is comical to say the very least. I know of people who don't take any pills and they have MS, but I just don't know that I'm ready to give up the independence I still have.
Recently I've taken to reading things that involve natural remedies , and if I ever get the confidence maybe I'll try that over the other. While I have faith in my ability to “take care” of things using nutrition, massage, stretching and yoga, my muscle spasms terrify me. I have been able to deal with many things but when my muscles start to seize up, I panic.
If anyone knows of a natural or herbal relief for muscle spasms I would welcome it. Until then I will continue to research until I can find an herbal relief for muscle spasms :). That being said when the day comes that I can do it, I will flush the left overs gladly.
Daily Prompt: Might as Well Jump 🙂