Making a relapse nest
A few weeks ago I relapsed. I woke up and I couldn't raise my right arm. Then my right hand went dead. And over the next few days the vision in my right eye clouded over.
I have lived with MS for 30 years, yet relapses still take me by surprise. Predictable in their unpredictability.
It made me think that what I need is a 'relapse nest'. A box I can keep under the bed containing the stuff I need when I wake up to discover my body has broken. It needs to contain things which are both practical and comforting.
So, I need your ideas... What should we include to make the ultimate relapse nest??
Nibbly comfort food
The first thing which springs to mind is food. (Actually, that's generally the first thing on my mind – so no surprise there!)
Foods with a long use-by date, as I am highly optimistic that this box will remain closed for a long time... I'd like cans of vine-leaves and stuffed aubergines with pull tabs - I don't want to be faffing around with can openers. Savoury crackers, a bag of muesli and some canned fruit - pineapple and grapefruit are my favourite.
Oooh, and I like those crisps that are supposed to be for toddlers. They're a bit dull due to the notable lack of salt, sugar or artificial flavourings, but they would satisfy my desire for nibbly comfort food!
From crockery to catheters
Oh yeah, and mustn't forget mugs, bowls, plates and cutlery.
A small lightweight plastic kettle would be useful, a bottle of water, some teabags, coffee and herbal teas, and some long life milk. Actually a flask would be good, then I could make hot drinks ready for the day rather than repeatedly doing it.
A toothbrush, toothpaste and a plastic cup would be helpful. So would contact lens cleaner and saline.
And definitely a box of catheters and the attachable catheter bags - sometimes getting to the toilet is like climbing Everest.
I think an extension cable would be handy, so everything could be plugged in next to the bed.
And I think a weeks worth of pre-sorted daily medication would be good. Sorting out my cocktail of daily medication during a relapse is never easy.
What's in yours?
I just asked my lovely friend who is currently relapsing what she thought and she had some great ideas; favourite music, audio books, feel-good photos, biscuits, favourite perfume / aftershave and face wipes. And she said nice underwear and great pyjamas always cheer her up too!
So there's a few thoughts, but I’m sure you'll have loads more! Please share your ideas, I'll definitely feel more secure knowing there's a superb relapse nest box hidden under my bed. And then hopefully it will remain there, unused, for a very long time.
(I'm much better now thankfully, eyesight is back to 'normal-for-me' and my arm and hand have regained strength.)