Friday, July 4, 2008

Life's a Beach...

...and I'm caught in a Rip Current...

Nature is fickle, and she has a way of sweeping us off our proverbial feet. Take the rip current, for example. Far out to sea, strong winds and storm forces create ocean swells. These swells travel to land, and strike the coastline with powerful, breaking waves.

These breaking waves form the shoreline, creating an irregular sea floor with channels, holes, and varying sand formations. When angled waves meet these sand formations, the flow of water is diverted out to sea, in a swift and powerful rip current.

See example below. Note that I am smiling, and also skinny-dipping.

Playing on Life's Beach is Dangerous, and MS throws unpredictable waves and currents into the picture. Forget to pay attention for one moment and WHOOOOP! Swept away in a relapse.

When you notice you are moving away from the shore and making no progress when trying to swim in, then you have likely been caught in a rip current (Welcome to my Day!).

Fighting a Rip Current will cause distress, fatigue, and likely drowning. To get back to the beach, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the seaward current, then swim into shore. If you are having trouble, just relax and wave for help (hence me waving above... Need HELP!!).

Remember: Rip currents pull you out to sea, not underwater.

Hang tight... It all comes back around...

I'm not sure whether I am in a pseudo-relapse or a realapse right now. It's HOT, and I don't do hot well (although I am getting by with a little help from my friends!! See here.)

While swimming yesterday, my right leg cramped up and sent me running for the hot tub. Hot tub was sweeping me rapidly toward unconsciousness, so out I hobbled from there and limped my way to the cool showers. My right let continued the game, playing "Dancing Feet" all night last night. I couldn't sleep, felt all wrong, couldn't stop twitching and wiggling. Bladder kaput. Digestion a mess.

Today, I went to the funeral of one of my patients, and ended up out in the sun too long. On the way home, I told my right foot to move to the brake pedal for upcoming red light.

BETRAYED! My leg disobeyed, deciding instead to cramp firmly from thigh to toes. Lucky, lucky, lucky -- there were no cars going through the other way.

Heart pounding, I realized that I can handle the gas and brake with my left foot. It was a long drive home!

I am exhausted, and had to phone in and cancel tonight's shift at work. I think that the red light was some sort of cosmic sign.

Stop, Rest, Wave to some Friends, or Drown Trying too Hard!

Info on rip currents pinched from here.



So sorry. Sounds like you are having a tough time. If it's possible to have a bright side, maybe it's that another Realapse will replace the 'probable' with 'definite' in the MS department. Not a great bright side, but something.

Denver Refashionista said...

I am so sorry. That sound sreally scary and it does sound like a Realapse to me but I'm new to this stuff. Rest up and stay cool and hydrated.

Diane J Standiford said...

What a great post! Great great great. Now, N.Rex, you DO know that the olden days test for MS was putting people in hot water? Then you lay in sun? Did you put a bullseye on your back too? "MS HERE" Sounds like a typical pseudo attack. Cool down, ride the tide back. LOVE the analogy. So true. I hope your body is already reclaiming its cool.

Bear Naked said...

Oh my goodness.
You must have been terrified at that traffic light.
If that had been me I would have dissolved into a giant puddle of tears.
Take care, rest and stay cool.
Hugs to you

Bear((( )))

Diane J Standiford said...

Hang on! I'm throwing you a life preserver! Grab Hold!

Shauna said...

Excellent analogy. I didn't drive for a week after my first attack as I couldn't trust that my leg would do what it was supposed to do.


CrazyCath said...

Woah Shawna! You seriously have to slow up a little and just take care of YOU! You can't work when you're like this. You need some time off. That was scary with the red light: you read it right - it is a warning sign. Take note and slow down. Let your body cope with the heat and everything else.

Thinking of you.