I've not been avoiding monitoring my M.S. Its just that nothing really significant has happened since earlier this year while I was managing the college contract.
Looking back it very nearly killed me.
I first assumed I was having a relapse, but I was wrong. It was my first real introduction to the world of fatigue.
I've written about the effects of fatigue before, but now realise the 'mild' episodes I'd experienced weren't even a '101' for what was to come.
I hope don't have to write that again in another 6 or 7 months!
A few weeks ago we experienced a strange phenomenon here in Blighty, the sun came out, stayed out, and bestowed it's radiance in abundance on our perpetually damp island.
I now know that when the temperature rises above 20C (sorry, can't find the degree symbol on my iPad) my body goes into shut down. I'd have an uneducated guess at Uhutoff's Phenomenon. It doesn't effect some with M.S., but that's M.S. for you... individually tailored, bespoke.
I can't actually begin to describe what it feels like. Some over on the M.S. forum have tried, but analogies are just that, analogies.
The lack of energy ain't the half of it. There's the background nausea that's suppressed my appetite. My mental functions are greatly impaired, which leads to lack of motivation, which leads to frustration, which leads to depression, and I'm back in the cycle.
I still dose myself nightly with 15mg of Mirtazapine, which was prescribed to help my sleeping. It's also an anti-depressant.
I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the varity of anti-depressants I've been exposed to over the years and now believe, much as it grieves me to admit, I probably do have some kind of cognitive problem.
I've always found it easy to think myself into a ditch, It's thinking my way out that's the tricky bit.
I don't really need the Mirtazapine as sleeping aid now, I could sleep for England at a needle match between Man U. and Liverpool FC., but, considering the levels of depression I've experienced recently I worry about what new gates of hell would open up if I chose to stop taking it.
6 weeks ago I began trying to get a grip on what was happening to me.
Using a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being 'normal' and 10 being 'OMG. Kill me now!'). Most days were in the 5 - 6 range (with one anomaly of a 2 on a cooler day). The last two weeks have been in the 7 - 8 range.
The amount of sleep I get seems to have no baring on the level of fatigue I experience. I can sleep for 8 - 10 hours and wake feeling like I haven't slept for a month... or two.
My hope is this will be a temporary situation and it will improve as the cooler weather arrives, but I'm not holding my breath.
There is another, rather more worrying aspect of this current situation..
In my head, when ever I find my mind drifting, when ever I close my eyes to sleep, a huge red neon sign lights up in my consciousness. It reads...
"IT'S THE JOB!"
Do you think I could be trying to send myself some kind of message?