MS Predictability: Am I sick or having an MS attack?Posted: January 30, 2012
The more I study my body’s response to the world around me the more predictable I find my Multiple Sclerosis.
This month has been challenging. In preparation for a 10k solo and a 34k relay swim this summer I upped my training adding 6k swims on Saturday and 4 morning 3k swims bringing my total swim volume to 35-40k per week. This is topped up with 3 outrigger paddling sessions to help build my core strength and 2 spin sessions just for the heck of it.
I was careful to add the swims gradually as I did not want to exhaust or injure myself. I was also not sure how my body would respond to the strain. MS is one thing but being over 40 is a whole other story 🙂
Three weeks in and everything was going as scheduled. The 6k swims on Saturday were becoming easier and I had started the morning swims. I was a bit tired but not exhausted and there were no signs of MS creeping up.
Part way between week 3 and 4 I moved into a new position at work and with that came a new office location. Stressful? A wee bit – but nothing worth worrying about as I had prepared myself for the change.
Week 4, day 2: I swam in the morning (I love starting the day that way!), went to work and then headed down to the dock for a paddle. It was wet, windy, and cold but we are diehards so paddled anyway. Once done I headed to the pool for a double swim. About half way into my swim my legs and arms started to feel numb. I convinced myself it was because I had been out in the cold and finished the workout.
The next morning my arms and legs were still numb. I decided to not swim. I needed to recover. I was depressed and frightened. I was worried my MS was going to stop me from training at the level I need to for marathon swimming.
I went to work and then it hit me: I had a horrible nasty cold with one heck of an overactive nose.
YES! Relief. It was not my training that was aggravating my MS but rather my cold. And it all made sense: new job, new building, lots of new germs and paddling in the wind and rain – a lethal combination.
Lesson learned: uncomfortably numb does not mean I am having an MS attack. It usually means my body is busy fighting other stuff and doesn’t have the energy to deal with my MS. MS tingles now have new meaning and have become a way of predicting the onset of a cold, flu or other ailment.