I am blessed with a large family. I’m from South Louisiana which means many aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses and close friends make up my family. We grow quickly from there.
My mom wanted to take my aunt to lunch for her birthday and in two phone calls it turned into a surprise party of fifteen, a small affair for my family. This party was planned two weeks in advance and I had time to plan while my excitement came to a low boil. I even bought a new dress, made an appointment to get my hair styled, got a refill on my Adderall and saved up spoons.
I have had friends and family visit me; I was never lonely. Stir crazy: yes, isolated – YES!
My world has becomes very small and I realize the people in it are in it for a reason. I now need to control the temperature, the volume and lighting. There is comfort in that control because there is so much we can’t control.
As the excitement bubbled up for the party, my anxiety threatened to drown it out. While this was a very small sampling of my family, we have never been accused of being quiet and I haven’t been around anything loud since April. I was nervous and didn’t want to use up my cache of spoons before I arrived at the restaurant.
I tried to plan ahead. I can’t use my left hand so I made an appointment to get a blowout. I don’t wear much makeup so getting ready used up minimal energy. My wife and I arrived at the restaurant 30 minutes before my mom and aunt allowing me the opportunity to spend time with family I hadn’t seen in awhile. When my mom and aunt made it, the laughter grew. It was a beautiful celebration.
Being surrounded by people who love me was exhilarating, soothing and uplifting. It was an important reminder of what I’m fighting to keep.
The amazing day that turned into a sleepless night. I was asleep for the better part of the next three days. It has been a rough recovery period and I’m worried I’ve thrown myself into a flare.
I’ve since learned it was the increase in Baclofen I’d started that Monday that was causing my increased dizziness. My terrible fatigue has subsided and I am almost back to where I was. With amazing people like this on my side I have to fight. How could I choose otherwise?
Do you enjoy spending time with your family? How do you prepare? Does it make you tired afterwards?
Maria Thomas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April of 2015 and documents her journey with a monthly column on Modern Day MS. She has a wonderfully supportive wife, two dogs and lives in New Orleans.