Around two years ago, a virtual carpet was pulled out from under me when I was initially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I wrote about it once but don’t really mention it in this blog too often. I can’t say I mention much in this blog, the rate of updates has dropped but never mind….
Yesterday I rode 150km in one go. Well, with pauses, one of which was enforced and caused by own recklessness going in to a turn at high-speed in wet conditions with slick tires and, surprise surprise, they came out from under me. Bit stupid but there you go. And one to have a look at a small crayfish lurching awkwardly across the cycle path; I am not that focused on lines, average speeds etc.
Two years on from the initial diagnosis and I still cycle. I didn’t expect that, to be honest. I expected to be unable to walk, one of the stereotypes I had of MS that came from my lack of knowledge about what I had been diagnosed and the then comparative lack of guidance.
But I have been very lucky. A good neurologist, honest and pragmatic who also referred me early to a revalidation clinic that has taught me so about what I can do, what I cannot do and how to keep doing what I can do. The importance of rest, of staying fit. Add to that an employer who has shown enormous understanding and support and friends who know how things work when I say that going out comes with small print and that I may cancel at the last moment.
Nevertheless, on days like yesterday it is difficult to believe there is anything wrong. And then the little reminders chime in; the pins-and-needles and numb feeling on the right side, the trembling of the right hand when trying to do something fiddly (despite an extra-thick pen, my already bad handwriting is now disastrous!).
To the point. Cycling is something that has been important through the last two years, keeping me fit and refreshed. I have set myself targets the last two years, personal targets. Why not make the target for 2016 something that will send sponsorship money toward MS research? Not sure what yet but there are plenty of options. The main challenge of many of these is that they will not involve me riding solo and it is hard work riding with others. Same thing that can limit me at parties, concerts, busy things in general; too much to take in.
I’ll stop that before this blog becomes a further list of symptoms!
The clinical aspect of my MS can be traced to the coating of my nerve-cells being damaged, causing lesions that lead to MRI’s of my brain looking someone has sneezed on the screen, lot’s blotches of various sizes. Underneath the clinical element, there is still so much that is unknown about something that affects so many people in so many different ways.
So, a ride involving some sort of sponsorship is on next years agenda. Just need to think what…..