Why the Bad days are not all Bad
Why the Bad days are not all Bad
Every once in a while I am blessed with a Good Day; a day that is a stark reminder of my life before my body began to wage a war against itself. I say blessed in the absolute sense of the word: no other word comes close to adequately describing the sense of relief and utter gratitude I feel when I wake up on a Good Day.
A Good Day is a day free of fatigue, free of a fuzzy-head and with only the tiniest amount of niggling pain that merely serves as a subtle reminder that the MS is still there but that it has decided to turn its back on me for a couple of hours (plotting like an evil villain!).
“I’ll take it!” I’ll take a Good Day any way I can and to hell with what comes tomorrow. You see, I’ve heard many folks with a chronic illness define themselves as ‘Spoonies’, a term that originated from an article written by Christine Miserandino entitled: The Spoon Theory wherein Christine explains what it’s like living with a chronic illness.
I love the article and Christine’s explanation has helped many people verbalise their daily struggles with conditions that are invisible. I have a slightly different take though. Multiple Sclerosis, for me, is like a Payday Loan Shark, a term that Wikipedia so aptly defines as:
‘a person or body who offers loans at extremely high interest rates. The term usually refers to illegal activity, but may also refer to predatory lending with extremely high interest rates such as payday or title loans. Loan sharks sometimes enforce repayment by blackmail or threats of violence.’
You see, Multiple Sclerosis is the very definition of a predatory lender. The Good Days, the brief respite, the couple of hours of normalcy will ALWAYS attract a huge repayment rate and the lender always collects! The Good Days aren’t granted for good behaviour or because I’ve stored up a reserve of energy over a couple of days. I don’t start each day with a certain amount of energy that has to be divided and closely guarded throughout the day. The Payday Loan Shark giveth and the Payday Loan Shark taketh away! The Good Days come about as a result of a ‘loan’ from Multiple Sclerosis and the loan amount is never guaranteed.
My pockets aren’t deep enough anymore to be able to afford the repayments. Each new lesion attracts a higher rate of repayment. I suspect that my immune system’s ultimate goal is to completely destroy the body it’s meant to protect. So, whilst my Good Days are still good, I will do as many of the things on my To-Do list as I can. I will go for ridiculously long bike rides, I will wash my car and dig the garden, I will play sports with the children and take the dogs for a walk and I will do ALL of these things, or as many of them as I can, until I flop down on the sofa from sheer exhaustion; unable to move, eat or even string some words together to form a comprehensive sentence and maybe even suffering some pangs of regret.
But…every Good Day will see me living life, embracing life and being grateful! So, the bad days are not all bad…most of them are merely reminders of an amazingly Good Day I’ve just had…and I still think the bad days are worth it! So, I will push myself and my body. I will do all of these things knowing that the Payday Loan Shark will be knocking on my door to collect. And I do this because, to feel alive and normal and to have a sense of ownership over my own body, even just for a couple of hours, is more of a driver than the fear of the pain and discomfort that is ever-present.