I’ve heard this so many times that it is a cliche: “Life is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs”…
Well, Tuesday I was up – went to Liverpool with K to get my ticket to see Henry Blofeld on Saturday and also to top up our spices from Mattas, and just for a general nosy. I felt good. K was a bit concerned about how much walking I was doing, but I’ve always been like that, even before I was diagnosed: If you can do it, then do it, if you can’t, then you’ve given it a damn good attempt.
Unfortunately, MS dictates that, to simplify Newton’s law, what goes up MUST come down.
Yesterday morning I went to get out of bed. I know I wanted my legs to move; I could almost feel them moving. The problem was, I couldn’t see them moving.
Because they weren’t. I had reached the bottom of the roller coaster.
I had to ask myself a question that I know will have the worst possible answer one day, and, due to the unpredictability of MS, I don’t know when: “Is this it? Is this the day when the wheelchair comes out of the shed for good?”
I try not to think about this. I’ve got a bike in the shed that I WILL ride again one day. I will finish doing K’s classic Raleigh Shopper up, get her the basket for the handlebars that she wants, and the two of us will go for a bike ride along the Wirral Way, or along the prom to New Brighton. This WILL happen; I will get my medication sorted and my MS stabilised to the extent where I can almost go back to “normal”. But unfortunately, realism has to be looked at as well sometimes.
One day, I’ll either wake up and not be able to get out of bed, or I’ll fall over (again), and not be able to get up.
(Writing this, and reading what I’ve written has led me to a realisation: I need to listen to people. K didn’t keep asking me if I was okay, and didn’t keep saying that we have a rest to be patronising, no matter how annoying I may have found it. She was asking it for the good of HER health. Because at the end of the day, when the roller coaster comes to an end, it’s HER that will be getting me off the ride and onto the slow ride that is the wheelchair…)
Luckily I’ve got up this morning and although a bit wobbly, I’m fine…
So, what can be learnt about the past couple of days? I can be a bit of a d*ck? But then it doesn’t take a genius to work that one out… No, what I think can be learnt is what we are always told about food and drink: Moderation. When I feel good and at the top of the roller coaster, I should stop. Don’t try to cram everything in. I should enjoy the view.
Life isn’t a roller coaster at all. It’s a much more gentle ride – sort of like the cable car at the Great Orme in Llandudno: Yes, you’re up high, but you’re taking you time and looking out over a fantastic vista. Yes, you will come back down eventually, but while you’re up there, enjoy the view.