No illness indictment this time…

I have fought with MS for nearly twenty years through an undeterminable tug of war. This major battle rages on as it leaves deep-rooted physical, mental and emotional scars with no care for me. Multiple sclerosis may catch me off guard or by surprise at times but I usually rebound much more quickly. However, in its world full of the unknowns and uncharted territories being occasionally flabbergasted is an absolute probability.

aaa top dogI say all of that to say this; the real shock is that multiple sclerosis is not always to blame for my disheartening debilitating dilemmas. This situation is not a fight over the territory of my body and MS reigns as Top Dog. I can and have been sick with other medical issues though they have been few and far between. Typically they have been minor issues, but the following story shows that sometimes extreme Non-MS cases occasionally arise.

I woke up on Tuesday, and something felt way off. It was like I had a loose wire and my brain signals were not connecting. I tried to turn onto my side to turn my alarm off causing a challenge of massive proportion. After five minutes that dastardly decision was done. My alarm finally was silenced. This issue again alerted me of some physical error that was causing complicated chaos.

The procedure that follows is typically a simple one as I shimmy on my back to the edge of the bed. I then smoothly sit up pulling on my bed covers to aid my rise before I do my fling and flop onto my chair. However, this day I was not so lucky. This time I was going to have a rude awakening.

I shuffled with great difficulty to the edge of the bed. I grabbed my bedcovers as usual and pulled hoping to again pull myself to a sitting position on the side of the bed. My muscles were excessively weak and I did not have the strength to pull myself upright. I continued to lie on my back at a perfect distance from the foot and head of my bed as to not allow me to grab the headboard or footboard. I fought for an hour rolling side to side trying to lunge myself upward and into a sitting position. I looked like a turtle on his back with no chance of recovery.aaa turtle back

aaa grmblingEventually, I realized that my stubborn, bullheaded ways could only take me so far. I decided that I needed to call for help, but this was in the daytime meaning that everyone was at work. Let me state for the record that I have never required calling anyone for help. As an independent, self-sufficient guy I never want to be that needy guy that people dread talking to. I never want people to see me approaching and dreadfully wonder “what does he want this time?” However, sometimes unexpected illnesses can eliminate all other options. Hopefully, the goodwill seeds that I have planted have grown enough to help win others over. Maybe others will be willing to overlook this new blemish on my record.

I texted a friend from down the street I knew that he was retired and hoped that he was home. He arrived a few minutes later and contemplated this confusing conundrum before him. Sitting me up would be easy but getting me into my wheelchair would be a difficult endeavor. After some struggle we had success as I was now sitting in my wheelchair.

Properly positioned, in my wheelchair, I was faced with the new struggle of self-propulsion. To depend on me on any typical day is easy though today is not normal. I could not tightly grip my push rims making pushing myself an arduous task. I slowly and carefully pushed myself into the kitchen and got some water. Thankfully my friend was still there so that he could open a protein bar for me of which I ate very little of by the end of the day.

He stayed with me for an additional thirty minutes or so. I explained that to eliminate the risk of a fall I would not move. However, just after he left, I spilled my water onto the floor, and as I tried to clean it up, I flipped out of the chair. At this point, my phone was on the table entirely out of my reach though I struggled to get it with no success.aaa no move

aaa cant get up[Then I remembered that I could make phone calls using my Google Home device and my voice. “OK, Google call…” I shouted. It asked me if I wanted to call his home or cell phone. We live in pretty amazing times so there was no need to own life alert although I had fallen and I could not get up. You have to be able to see the humor in everything in life.

He came back from his very short respite and was befuddled and bewildered by my new bearings. Sitting me upright in my bed was much easier than picking up 140 pounds of dead weight and putting it in my wheelchair. We struggled for several minutes trying to position and then reposition me and my chariot for the best floor to chair lift. Thank God he has a strong back as success came after ten minutes of this terribly torturous tussle.

My friend left again, and I did not move until another friend came to assemble some furniture that evening. I called 9-1-1 at about 6:40 pm when my other friend showed up. I imagine that he was pretty surprised because when he called to let me know that he was on his way, I used all of my reserves not to sound sick. After what seemed like forever the ambulance showed up and started to check all of my vitals and thus began the trip to my first hospital stay.aaa 911 2

Listen carefully to your body because it will not wait for you to hear it

The final countdown…

This is my latest blog for the MS Association blog website. I decided that I would save everyone time by reducing the needed clicks for anyone who is interested in reading it. This means that it is posted here and there is no need to visit https://blog.mymsaa.org/7-things-for-MS-independence/ to read it. The given topic was New Year new beginnings so sit back relax and read my twist on this MS topic.

We are in the time of year that we hear many top ten countdowns. These top charts rank everything from music to cell phones and from movies to kitchen equipment. Here are some of my own top things in my life. Of course, I will not be saying goodbye to these items unless something better comes along. As for these irreplaceable items in my life, there is a bountiful list and here are seven.

aaa-wheelchairLet me start with my wheeled chariot. Without this magical manual mechanism, I would be bedridden and merely be waiting for the end. It helps me to stay active by requiring me to propel myself from one place to another. It is essential to keep the body in motion, and my chair demands that I do just that.

My microwave helps me to keep my independence. This programmable product provides by allowing me to cook the sustenance that I need to stay alive. I also do not have to stand above it to peer in, meaning that my microwave cooks at my eye level. I have even figured out how to cook dry pasta and not merely reheat it. I love spaghetti.

My smartphone and internet banking are essential for keeping my self-reliance. I am a private person with problematic penmanship. Internet banking eliminates the need for check writing to pay my bills. It also means that I do not need to wait for my monthly statement to verify my banking activity. aaa phone

My computer and smart technology are both paramount to my true freedom. When connected to my smartphone or computer all technology that I use can be activated even from a distance. It also makes these tasks simple to complete. Wi-Fi connectivity means that I can be anywhere in the world as long as there are internet and Wi-Fi.

aaa musicMusic of all genres is vital to my total well-being. With no music the silence of my house is deafening. As I roll around my house, I do not merely want to hear the noise of the television. I enjoy the rhythmic and melodious sounds of music echoing throughout the halls of my house.

The community center swimming pool and my swim instructor are imperative to my life. The pool has made me a stronger person both physically and mentally. This strengthening ensures that my daily tasks are possible for both brain and body. My instructor taught me how to use the pool fitness equipment to build the muscles that I depend on daily.aaa-pool

Although not things, my “fortitude and tenacity” are fundamental to my existence. My attitude and ability to “adapt and overcome” the adversities that are before me have made me a better person. It has made every breath that I take exceptional and worth having.

The above is a list of the “top seven” things in my life. These are just a few of the things that I cannot live if I did not have in my life. As you can see if any one of these items were not in my world it would be much more laborious and burdensome. As we enter into the New Year, we have many new and exciting opportunities. Are you ready?

Find the things that can jumpstart your journey to the independence that you deserve.

*Scott Cremeans lives in Central Ohio. He is a US Marine who was diagnosed with RRMS in 2001 at the age of 27. Scott has successfully managed his MS symptoms on his own with his faith, friends, and humor. You can read more about his MS journey by visiting his blog http://www.myramblings.blog where he muses about life in the slow lane with his literary wit.

SORRY FOLKS…

To the readers of my blog:
I am sorry that I did not post this past week, but I was ill -to put it mildly- and in the hospital for four days. I do have MS but funny enough it was not the cause of my time of torturous trauma in the hospital. I foresee a blog or two coming out of this pondering and perplexing puzzle. I do have a new post ready for posting on Monday or maybe Tuesday. I hope that life is treating you all well.
Scott