Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? A comedy of sorts – from computer problems to extreme fatigue to accidents. But – I’m back! After taking on a temporaty position as the acting Head of Operations at work, during a very challenging time over the fall months and into January, my energy levels were seriously tapped…so much so that weekends were generally spent sleeping past noon, just to recover in time for the new work week! That extreme fatigue, combined with a computer crash, kept me from doing much on my website.

Once my acting stint ended, I went back to shift work in February, and discovered that my body just had nothing left to enable me to work night shifts anymore. I finally conceded, and am no longer working night shifts, in an effort to better managed my fatigue and pain, and remain as productive at work and home as possible.

A few short weeks after this concession, I experienced something which simply re-inforced that my pain and fatigue must be controlled, and that the decision to no longer work nights was the right one. In mid March, I fainted abruptly and quickly dead-away, falling hard onto the ceramic tile floor in my bathroom, and managed to knock myself senseless and give myself a concussion! One minute, I was preparing to take a bath because the pain in my legs and back was so high, I needed the heat “shock” of the water to help me; the next thing I knew, strangers were asking me if I knew who I was or where I was. My sons had called 9-1-1, and gone through our Emergency list, calling my neighbor over, my partner, my sister, and all those on our emergency file.

To make a long story short, I was taken to the hospital, where they figured I must have had a seizure due to my MS, and simply assumed MS was the cause for all – only discovering the huge lump on my head hours later when I leaned back and said “Ow!” My friends, who with me, were simply aghast that the doctors did not think to check for a concussion as a possible reason for my unconciousness, nausea, and disoriention. It just goes to show us – we must be very alert and advocate for ourselves regarding our health. Health practitioners can often be very quick to assume MS is the sole cause for our health problems, when it may have nothing to do with it – we ourselves have to be willing to push that fact, over and over if need be.

The final conclusion was that I likely fainted as a reaction to my MS neuropathic pain, and the subsquent unconsciousness and other symptoms was a direct result of the concussion I sustained from hitting the floor with my head. (I had two lumps – so it would seem my head bounced! 😉 Since then, I have had a flare-up of symptoms, fatigue and pain being the worst, but including loss of strength in my left arm, which hadn’t flared up in months and months prior to the head injury. This caused me some frustration, but I am never one to wallow.

There is always a silver lining to be found, even in this. My friends and family are wonderfully supportive – and I count myself lucky and blessed to be so loved and surrounded by such wonderful people. My sons were amazing towers of calmness and strength, and are able to find humour with me: they now have me wear a helmet as I prepare for a bath – which causes us no end of giggles.

As another birthday passes (a very romantic one, at that ;-), I am entering yet another new chapter as I take on another temporary period as an acting Chief, and enjoy the continuing love and support of my dearest family and friends.

Carolyne @
www.msmeans.ca

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