Multiple Sclerosis should come with a warning label, but it doesn't. Everything it has taught me has been by trial and error.
Take for instance, this morning...I awakened from a deep sleep with the usual drool hanging from my lip and slowly oriented myself to the sight of my bedroom. Everything seemed just as I had left it last night, as I adjusted my eyesight to the slivers of daylight peeking around my window shade.
Being a quick study of MS, I proceeded to do my standard routine of a body check before making any sudden moves. After all, one never knows what surprises MS has in store for the day when first waking up! As an example, I learned a long time ago I needed to do some serious bed ballet with my lower calves before trying to stand up. One too many falls from muscle spasticity has taught me to stretch my legs and lower calves BEFORE asking them to hold me upright.
My legs actually felt remarkably comfortable after completing my private version of Swan Lake, so I moved up my body with my internal MRI scanner, searching for any signs of discomfort or warning. The only things I found were the nagging pain in my left shoulder that has been with me since my last relapse and a fuzzy head buzzing with a slight headache in my forehead. Everything else passed the body check, so I decided I was officially "cleared" to get out of bed.
I did my usual slow rise from laying flat on my back to pushing myself up to a sitting position...so far so good. It wasn't until I stood upright and took two steps toward my bedroom door that I realized the rest of my body wasn't following my feet! I proceeded to complete a very ungraceful swan dive into my wall and landed like a stunned wrestler doing a body slam onto my floor.
In my customary and insightful way, I yelled out to no one in particular, "What the hell?!?", as I sat stunned like a bird flying into a glass window.
The weight of my fall was cushioned by my well-padded rear end, so I wasn't concerned about any broken bones. I was too busy crunching data in my head, trying to find the culprit behind this morning's tumble prank. It wasn't the calves...they were mooing contently today. It wasn't vertigo because nothing was spinning.
I suddenly remembered I had started Neurontin last night to try and combat the intense arm and shoulder pain I was still feeling from my relapse. Ah Ha...that had to be it...the Neurontin had caused my gait difficulties this morning! **Mental Note To Self: Warning. Neurontin may cause you to fall...make certain your legs work next time BEFORE walking.
I finally picked myself up off the floor, smiling and laughing out loud at myself. Just another day of learn experience from the great master teacher, MS.
I have decided I am changing the name of my new drug to "Morontin" because I think it is a more descriptive name of how it affects me. I can't wait to see what other great lessons I have yet to learn from my "Morontin"...I just hope there are no broken bones involved!