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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mentally Run Aground


Depression and emotional symptoms of MS often go un-diagnosed.
I think I am depressed – and, I think I know why. For the past couple of months my condition has been deteriorating. This morning I am unable to wash myself or hold the electric toothbrush steady with both hands. My feet, fingers and legs feel like they have been given a numbing injection from the dentist. They ache all the time.
When I lie on my bed, or more commonly these days, on the floor, I remember the days when I used to run three miles cross country before work, hurdling ditches and streams.
In the twilight hour, when sleep is always close but never quite catch-able, I go back 20 years. In that happier place, it's always summer and the grass – freshly mown – is thick and spongy. I can smell it now as I dance through the fields, possessed by the animal joy of being young and alive.
On those early, hushed and sacred summer morning runs, with my own sweet sweat dripping down my back, I would never jog. The pace had to be fast. And, even after an intense 20 minutes, I would feel the need to sprint home, running as if my very life depended on it. I felt then I could run forever.
But my daydream never lasts long enough. And then I am back. Back to the numbness and my ever decreasing options.
My toughest challenge most mornings is to get into my wheelchair. It’s becoming harder to do simple stuff too, like using a knife and fork and turning on the light. Even going to the toilet becomes a Herculean effort and frequently involves a complete change of clothes. It bores and embarrasses me and I do not feel comfortable writing or talking about it. Using the bathroom takes me forever, and by the time I’m finished, I need to go again.
These are some of the reasons why I think I am depressed.
I spend a lot of time sleeping: it helps the days go by. I know this mood will pass. And when it does, somewhere, deep inside, I still believe that one tomorrow I may wake up feeling better.
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