EMOTIONS!

What could be causing the big tears to roll down my cheeks as I commute to work in the wee hours of a Friday morning? Really – this is a much larger question then you can imagine. When I find myself in that position, the tears rolling down my cheeks and all, which happens more then I would likely admit to anyone IRL. I try to run through the list of potential whys. See if one fits more then another.

It’s early. It’s still dark early. It’s “I get to watch the sun rise each morning.” early. I am over tired. I am always over tired. Being exhausted is an easy way to bring on the tears. It’s as if my emotions are just worn out. They are mixed up and racing in and out. They are not sure when its their time to shine. Cry now? SURE! It’s crying time, right? Isn’t it? SURE it’s totally appropriate. No? Wait. Shit.

I’m a words person. I listen to music and strain to hear the words. I look up lyric to read what is being said. What message is being carried on those notes. A song played at the right/wrong moment can send my head swirling into space. Send my heart into tailspins. I feel deeply – love, loss, anger, want, fear. Was that it? A song trapped echoing in my mind? A chorus constructed from broken dreams?¬†¬†Eating at my shadowy stability?

Then there is this whole MS crap. One of the super fun potential symptoms/effects/issues that comes along with this disease is that many people have emotions that run a bit wild. They call it MOOD SWINGS. Seriously. I’m 39 and going through MOOD SWINGS. Some people even end up with Pseudobulbar affect (PBA). It causes uncontrollable and often misplaced emotional outbursts, like crying and laughing. I do not have this. I do not even suspect this. But, some folks with MS have that as a reality. I’ll take my occasional mood swings and call it a day, ok?

There is also this thing that comes along for most of us with MS – a little thing called FATIGUE. It can seize hold of me and weigh me down like a pair of concrete shoes. With it it drags my easily limb function, my cognitive ability, and my mental state. Ie; EMOTIONS. Yay. Only not at all.

I am also a 39 year old woman. And for the moment I still have a hormone induced menstrual cycle. But my hormones are waning a bit these days. I am told that this could increase my emotional response to situations. Damn those old hormone receptors. DAMN THEM! Oh yeah – and since I do still currently bleed on a relatively regular basis, it could just be THAT. Whooo!

It is just as likely situational. My husband and I own a beautiful home, which I love. What I do not love is that some of the very important inner workings of the house are about 30 years old. And with that age comes fragility, inconsistency and a high price tag for any repair/replacement needed. We are at this moment experiencing some grief associated with our heating unit that had gasped its last breath. Although we have yet to determine the final cost, it is likely something we will need to put off. Lose numbers fall between 5 and 10K, depending on what it is we replace. The thought of adding a monthly payment from a loan we will inevitably need is heartbreaking. No one wants another monthly payment. We have been doing better financially – feeling good about our bills. So, you know, of course – right?

Things begin to hurricane around my head and heart about all of this. I grew up cold a lot – living on the east coast with brutal winters. Oil heat was a very expensive endeavor and we maintained a pretty low maximum to conserve. I felt cold in our home a lot. I remember dressing under an electric blanket because it was so cold outside my bed. I hate being cold. I hate feeling as if I can never really be warm. I moved 3000 miles away to flee snow and ice. I never wanted to live that way again. A CA weather wimp now I am distressed when its 41 as I leave for work, but know the comfort of a space heater in my office will compensate. As I head home, with temperatures dropping I had counted on a warm home to envelope me. We heat with wood fire for many days during the winter. The highly efficient wood burning insert allows our first floor to reach a blissful temperature. A fuzzy blanket of warm for the air. And while heat rises, very little reaches the bedrooms upstairs. Too many turns. We have fans to draw the air up and around, but it is insufficient at best. We need our heater to make up the difference. To prime the space we awake in, at predawn hours. To make undressing and dressing possible without shivers. To warm a bathroom, tucked furthest from all heat, so a shower can be had with comfort. Our poor dead heater will no longer offer these luxuries. We can get space heaters. Turn them on and wait. The fireplace really is a life saver. But, I will be cold. I know I will be cold. Now, I no longer just hate being cold, I dread it. I am one of the lucky few with MS not as affected by heat. For me – it’s cold. Cold makes my body hurt. My hands shake. My feet buzz and tingle. I have pain. I do not live with much MS daily pain, nothing I cannot push back to the recesses of my brain. But the pain I feel when I am cold – it eats away at me. It burns and aches. And it scares me. It is an in my face reminder that I have this fucking disease and it sure has me. And I do not want to live like that in my own home. Emotions run mountain-range high and threaten to teeter off the cliff.

Where does that leave me for the moment? Driving down 80 in the cold dark morning, dressed in not enough layers, listening to sad songs, ignoring my weak right arm that comes along with periodic ice pick pain, scrolling through funding options in my damaged brain with big sloppy tears rolling down my cheeks.

Insufficient Funds

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I was reminded this morning that I had to use my overdraft account last week. My mind got fuzzy and I forgot about an auto-payment that goes through every month. Every month. Automatically. On the same day. Just slipped my mind. Slipped through one of the many holes in my Swiss cheese brain. Thank goodness for overdraft – so the payment went through. No one, other then myself, got notified there was insufficient funds. I was able to transfer back the overdraft amount quickly, but at the end of the billing cycle I get a reminder that I owe the overdraft account the $1.50 fee for processing. Not a huge deal, $1.50. I sent the payment right away, or else it would slip my mind. Again. And on I went, like nothing had happened. Fee paid, life forward!

It got me thinking about an MS quote I saw somewhere online, something about some people feeling like a million bucks when they wake up. And people with MS wake up feeling like there are “insufficient funds!” I know that feeling, that lead legged, brain fog that does not shake away with coffee. Does not shake away ever. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simple pay the overdraft fee? Use the energy you need now. And at the end of the month get a reminder that you used more energy then you had in your bank and you can simple pay the difference now and all will be forgiven. Forgotten. And life goes on. Imagine!

But, that’s not how it is – is it? There is no fee to be paid simply at the end of the month. End of the billing cycle. No emailed reminder to pay up. It’s an every day struggle to maintain. The alarm goes off for it’s last time in a succession of snoozes. Your eyes peel open, stare into nothing but darkness. Momentarily unsure if the darkness is the fog fighting to stay put or some new eye related issue robbing your vision. Again. Blink. Pause. Sight adjusts. And up you go. Staggering into a somewhat standing position to begin the routine necessary to mask the exhaustion and discomfort from the outside world. Squint painfully into the just turned on bathroom lighting and assess the situation for the day. Good day? Bad day? Or just the usual insufficient funds.