Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Four Seasons and MS (And I'm not Referencing a 5 Star Hotel Here!)...

     Let me first start by clarifying something right out of the starting gate.  I'm NOT BITCHING about the rain that has begun to fall in Western Washington...Lord knows we have needed it, having just survived one of the driest summers ever on record.  But it IS raining again...that stuff that Seattle is known for.

     I suppose I should also say once again, "I love fall."  I really's my all time favorite of the four seasons (see a previous blog post for more fall gushings).  But, I have noticed with the changing of the guard on the season issue there also comes a "changing" of my MS's sort of like solar clock work.

     It has become apparent to me fall and spring are the two worst seasons for my MS.  Personally, I find this "odd" as I would think the heat of summer or the cold of winter would have a more dramatic effect...but not so with my personal "brand" of Multiple Sclerosis!

     Every one of my major relapses has occurred in late winter/early spring...not to mention this is also the time I received the lovely diagnosis of MS in 2003.  Looking back in time, I don't think I've had a major relapse in the fall, but I am aware of many symptom changes that occur in autumn.

     One of the first things that becomes NOTICEABLY apparent in the fall is the spasticity in my calves...I feel like I'm walking on a couple of 4 X 4s of wood.  Mornings are the worst and I have to allot extra time to stretch things out before I try to walk, lest I do a painful swan dive to the floor.

     Then, there is the generalized arthritic feeling throughout my every joint...I don't "normally" (in quotation marks because the word normal seems an odd one to use when speaking of MS) have this feeling...or at least not every day like I do in the fall.

     My fall fatigue is not something I can judge accurately right now because fatigue in GENERAL has been kicking my butt for a few seasons in a row.  But I do recall fall being a particularly difficult one as far as motivation to move goes...I'm certainly continuing to experience it on a much broader scale than I ever have before...fall or no fall.

     The other "interesting" symptom I notice more in the fall is the facial/eye twitches/tics.  I can only speculate this occurs more frequently because the air outside is colder...but I'm not a physiologist or a biologist to apply the necessary physics and anatomy principles to figure this one out!  I'll just take a wild guess this might be the causative factor. LOL

     I'm interested in hearing from YOU, MS reader, if you also experience symptom changes with the changing of seasons and what those changes look like for you?  Is one or more season more difficult for you than others symptom-wise? 

     Please comment in the "Comment Section" below if you feel so inclined...or if AOL is still giving you grief in commenting, send me an email at and I'll post your comments for you.  (I'd like to use this page for more than my blathering bitching, etc., and hope it can be a tool for others to share/learn from.)

     And for my dear friends/readers/coworkers who are NOT living with MS, please feel free to comment about YOUR "special" ailments and the effects you feel with the changing seasons...who may find there are those of us with MS who ALSO deal with neurosis, psoriasis, erectile dysfunction, etc...LOL...we're ALL just one, big, happy family here!


harkoo said...

It is with great relief that the heat of summer has ended.   Fall in New England is very energizing.  My walking is improved and i have more endurance now that the temperature is lower.   And there is more energy to consider exercising more.   Have you considered finding a pool to swim in to help with your stiffness?   I can push myself further in the Autumn and have less fatigue now.   How is your fatigue factor while you are on break from work this week--any improvement?   Sleeping better?   Do you seen any effects from your tsysabri this month or is it too soon to tell?    My exacerbations come after periods of too much stress and are usually not related to seasons.   Also, i am not skiing anymore in the extreme cold so winter passes by with no difficulties!  

mdmhvonpa said...

Something about a seasonal affected deficit disorder (or something to that nature) comes to mind.  I'm always the worst in the Summer though.  A little stress around the holidays is the 5th horseman of the apocalypse sometimes too.  Nope, the fall is a grand time for me.

baitulos said...

HARKOO:  It appears Fall is your Friend!  That's good to hear.  Also the fact you feel no seasonal effect is good to know...we're all so different with this wacky disease!
I hope fall continues to lighten your load and brighten your days!


mdmhvonpa said...

Oh, just read your comment to my comment 2 posts ago.  Yep ... that's me.  EEEEVIILLLL Repuglican.  Heh.  Just ask my kids:

    mdmhvonpa - Eat your broccoli.
    a/j - I don't like it...
    mdmhvonpa - What!?  You some kind of commie?
    a/j - No!  You a commie.
    mdmhvonpa - Well, you're a democrat!
    a/j - No!  You a stinky democrat head.
    mdmhvonpa - Ok, eat your broccoli.

Ohhh, I'm going to hell.  I cannot wait to be called to the Principal's office when they go to 1st grade to explain their behavior.

baitulos said...

MDMHVONPA:  Well, at least you'll have FRIENDS in hell! LOL  Mostly will be fellow Republicans, I'm sure, but'll all have something in common! LMAO


sonyasuzanne said...

Hmmmm....I'm wondering what the cause of all my wierd happenings are?  I have no clue.  Clueless in Chicago should be my name.

And yeah, I'm bitching.  Sorry.  I complain alot lately.  I know.  

Love to you, as always, and knock the socks off those dayum symptoms will ya...then tell me how you did it, so I can do the same??

baitulos said...

DEAR SUZY OR CC (CLUELESS IN CHICAGO!):  If I ever get a handle on my MS life, I'll be sure and write a book of the "How To's"...I'll even autograph a copy for you!  And...that will most likely happen about the same time wild monkeys fly out my butt (a line from Wayne's I enjoy using!)!!!