What Are Some of the Side Effects?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a tendency to encounter a lot of side effects from both having the drug in my system and also going through the physical withdrawal of having it leave. I experienced:
- Ravenous hunger and thirst
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Blurred vision
- Frequent urination
- Itchy skin
- Hair loss
Some of these side effects are easier to manage than the others, but they are all hard nonetheless.
Recovering from an MS relapse is intensive work and struggle. There are many days that feel hopeless and impossible.
I would look in the mirror and not recognize the person I was looking at. The entire experience is demoralizing and scary. I always know that it is coming, but I never get used to the reality of it all.
Taking It Day by Day
Each day is a different struggle to find normalcy, and there are many days when it is easy to forget the person you were before it all began.
Recovering from a relapse is not just a struggle against the damage the disease has done; it is also equally (if not more so) a struggle against the damage the drug fighting the disease has done.
How do we move through life with our heads up, knowing we can be knocked down into the abyss again? How do we climb back out each time?
- We take it one day at a time.
- We take the time to remind ourselves as often as necessary who we really are.
- We remember who we want to be.
- We carefully construct our lives, curating the moments and choices that will forge our paths.
- We look past the moment that is and reach forward to grip the moments that will be.
- We live lives of choice with decisiveness and self-motivated direction.
- We seek out people who will see us — really see us — in all of our moments, the good and the bad.
- We surround ourselves with support and kindness.
- We use all of the love and compassion we have been given to recharge and give back in kind.
- We wake up every morning with the clear understanding that no one is promised another day.
- We live each day that we have as a gift.
- We go to sleep every night grateful for what we still have.
If we can hold onto these tenants, we can deal with the hardest days, the darkest nights, and the scariest moments. Through the pain of the drugs, the moments of joy and beauty continue to rain down upon us if we are willing to drink them in.