Thursday, March 29, 2012
A Paralyzing Event
A strange thing happened the other day. Not strange in the sense that it was unusual, but strange in the sense that it was significantly more severe than usual. I had come home from driving my wife to work in Denpasar and I felt suddenly fatigued beyond description. All I wanted was to get to the bed and lie down. As soon as I did, and closed my eyes, I fell almost instantly asleep. About an hour later I awoke to find that I could barely feel my arms and legs, and had this comprehensive feeling of numbness all through my body -- my chest, my stomach, my neck. It felt as if all the blood had been drained, that my own body had become foreign, heavy, rock-like, a shell. On the one hand my most urgent desire was to simply go back to sleep, for the fatigue was still overwhelming; and yet on the other hand I felt that I needed to move, to get up, walk, shake myself, push. Choosing the latter, I paced about the house for a time, still feeling heavy, disoriented, tired. I went out to the porch, lit a cigarette, sat down in a chair, and felt within minutes that I might simply grow into the thing, like fungus or dry rot; and there was the urgency again to rise, to move. Little by little normal functioning returned, the blood flowed, my arms stopped tingling, my feet found their way. It was altogether an unpleasant experience, and another meeting with MS that was more intimate than I've been accustomed to of late.