I was asked today by my physical therapist how are you? I am sure anyone with a chronic disease thinks this is a loaded question. Actually a good friend of mine called me the other day and said, “I’ve learned so much about you and what you deal with on a daily basis from reading your blog. I never knew. Some of it makes me laugh, some makes me feel so bad that I can’t help you, but I never knew, you never talk about it.” I laughed because when someone says, how are you, we say fine, how are you? What are we going to say, well last night I fell a again, knocked over my favorite glass vase which broke. Gave my arm a huge bruise which is turning a lovely shade of purple today. Oh and crawled up a flight of stairs because my legs were so tired they couldn’t carry me…how about you? See doesn’t really work. It is a funny thing the rhetorical how are you question because most people really don’t want the actual answer no matter if your chronically sick or not. 99.9% of the world answers with I’m good, fine or an ok.
Today though, as soon as my therapist asked how are you, he quickly added, how are the good days versus the bad days? Now that’s a better question and one I could answer. The bad days, well they’re bad. They are tough, exhausting, challenging and overwhelming. The good days are good as they can be. I haven’t hit the MS exhaustion point or suffer from severe fatigue. My symptoms are status quo and my multiple sclerosis problem are not exacerbated. That’s a good day. My legs recover quickly if I overdo it. I can get more done. I don’t feel like a couch potato taking up space. I feel lately that there are more good days or days that aren’t bad then those bad days. Does that mean I’m cured, of course not. It means I’m learning how to balance my activity with my disease. Resting when I need to and giving my body the right time to recover on most days. I’m learning how to avoid those bad days where I just can’t do anymore. It’s taking me a year of not working to learn some of this, but I’m learning. Are there days I don’t recover no matter what I do? Of course. Are there days that are just bad and I’ve done nothing? Of course. However I’m learning how to go with the flow and adjust as necessary. I’ve cancelled things I didn’t have the energy for at the last minute if I needed. I’ve been just better at paying attention to my schedule of activities to make sure there is ample time to rest in between. It’s just another step I had to learn having multiple sclerosis. It is a great step because it helps me have more of those good days verse bad days.