Summer is finally here and it brought me a little girl! My second child was born at the end of May, I am very excited to be a father again but I forgot about all the work that goes into keeping a newborn happy and quiet! While trying to keep my little princess happy I can’t forget about my most fragile dependent…Multiple Sclerosis.
Having a newborn in the house has been great but my MS tries to butt in whenever possible. The simplest things are complicated by being twitchy or by being unable to use my fine motor. Picking up a sleeping baby is something that needs to be done with precision and finesse to avoid waking the slumbering mini. Unfortunately this Dad has the finesse of Charles Barkley on a golf course. My left hand is pretty weak and fine motor is non-existent so getting those tiny little snaps to fasten together is incredibly frustrating, lucky for me my wife is much more patient than I am. Lucky for her diapers are still totally doable for me.
”It is hard to remain sleeping when the guy holding you twitches and is constantly bouncing”, said my three week old daughter. Over the past few months my arms and legs seem to have a mind of their own. It started with my right shoulder jerking around a few months ago; I figured it was a side effect of the stress of work and preparations for the baby. I’ve had twitches in the past during stressful events, but they went away over time. It seems like these twitches have moved in permanently. The shoulder twitch has evolved into a full right arm flail when I get tired or stressed out, same as my legs. This has been worrisome as almost all of my MS symptoms have stayed on the left side of my body, I will be seeing my neuro next week to discuss all of this.
Finally my old friend balance or lack of balance has sprung up again. While trying to walk around carrying an eight pound bundle of joy it is important to not trip and fall, so far so good. When I do carry the baby I am overly cautious and try not to go very far with her. When my son was an infant I did fall but I was able to lay him on the couch as I went down, kind of a baby finger roll. That was one of the scariest things to ever happen to me, but it could’ve been much worse.
Over the next few weeks of Summer I hope to get a hold of these symptoms and try to relax a little now that the baby is finally here. With any luck the baby will rest and grow and MS will rest and stay quiet.
Be a warrior today,
Now that I am in summer mode finally I have gotten back on a more solid exercising schedule. A lot of my program involves keeping up with the very active miniature man that lives with us! He helps keep me moving with a daily stroll around the block and frequent trips to the parks in our neighborhood. In addition to the toddler training regimen I’m looking forward to getting back to Yoga with my friends at Yoga Moves MS in Novi next week.
Something I have struggled with for the past few years is stiffness and spasticity in my legs, it seems no matter how much I stretch or what I do I can’t get around it, until now! Over the winter Mindy my yoga instructor told me about Benjamin at Summit Muscular Therapy in Troy. She said that he had some sort of machine that could successfully stretch out your muscles and help to reduce stiffness, spasticity and muscle pain. Finally last week I was able to go check out the set up and get stretched out. The machine that is used is called a Therbo. After about an hour working on my hip flexors and my calf I was all done. Standing up and walking was strange it felt as if my legs weren’t connected below my hips. Two treatments later and I have pretty much lost my leg hike and in the morning my heel touches the ground before stretching.
How many of you saw the POV movie “When I Walk” on PBS this week? Wondering what your reaction was after watching the struggles of a man with PPMS and his daily life? I found it uplifting that he had such a strong support team around him and used his resources to work positively to help others that struggle getting around in chairs or scooters with axsmap.com.
Keep up the fight and be a warrior today,
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