During the last weeks my wife’s legs have troubled her. She quit driving a few days ago. Walking is difficult.
I watched her in the kitchen from my chair in the living room as she literally had to think to slowly put one foot in front of the other to walk across the kitchen. (I need to write about how tough and tenacious she and other MS patients I know are in their fight to get things done. I’ve never met an MS patient who was a quitter.)
I told her yesterday that I think we need to visit her neurologist again before this leg problem gets too out of hand. It’s been a couple of years since she’s had an exacerbation so, on the average, it’s time for one. We talked and I mentioned I thought her doctor would prescribe the steroid IV for a few days. She said she dreaded it because of the effects that follow it for two or three weeks.
Easter is upon us so I took my daughters dress shopping today. As time goes by, either I’m getting better at it or they’re growing more patient with me. My youngest walked out of the dressing room in something I thought was too low on top and too high on the bottom. Just as I finished telling her to bend over and touch her toes, a friend walked up and said, “Rick, that is so 70’s. That’s a cute dress.” And that sealed the deal for my daughter. And when we returned home, my wife loved the little dress, too.
Anyway, our shopping done, we were getting in the minivan when my wife called.
“Guess what!” she exclaimed.
“I don’t know. What?” I asked, wondering why she sounded so excited.
“For the last two hours my legs have been fine! I’m walking without my cane!”
Just like that.
So what happened? Was it a random symptom? Is this just momentary relief or will her legs be fine now? Does she need to see the neurologist? I don’t know. I can’t answer any of these questions. I do know she seems more steady this evening and while she couldn’t walk around the block if she had to, I can tell she is walking much better.
This random symptomology is one of the really weird things about Multiple Sclerosis. Unlike symptoms of other things, MS symptoms often seem random. I prefer a more orderly, Newtonian symptomology where symptoms are the consequence of action. Hit your thumb with a hammer and you feel pain. Eat too much spicy food and you experience indigestion. MS isn’t like that.