In the past months I finally came round to understanding and eloquently spelling out what it is that MS robbed one off. This helps me to get a clearer understanding of what it is that I am hoping to recover following my HSCT procedure.
Where I came out is; ‘Stamina’ and ‘Agility’, both Physical and Mental. Here are the dictionary definitions of both terms:
Stamina (Physical and Mental)
• Enduring energy, strength and energy; resilience.
• The power to withstand hardship or stress; staying power.
Agility (Physical and Mental)
• The power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness.
• The ability to think and draw conclusions quickly; intellectual acuity.
Stamina and Agility, my long lost friends that made who I once was; 14 hour work days, stress resilient, huge drive and endurance, both mental and physical. I think this is as sharp a definition of what MS strips you off as I can construe. As I assume people who are reading this are either MS sufferers or their caretakers, elaborating on this theme is superfluous.
So, now that I have a definition, where do I stand on both accounts?
Interestingly, only 6+ months post transplantation, my ‘Mental Stamina and Agility’ have recovered to I’d say 90% of what they once were. Specifically: Short-term memory, language and speaking, alertness, emotional stability, ability to see and appreciate subtleties, speed and ability to analyze and draw conclusions. Also, I can engage in conversation and communicate for hours at a time or just read a book without falling asleep after 4 pages (at best).
What’s still a far cry from the past are my ‘Physical Stamina and Agility’. It’s like I am still running on old rechargeable batteries. They provide limited power and quickly run out. I can best define it by what it is not; I do not jump out of bed in the morning, do not seamlessly button-up my shirt and put on my shoes, shave, grab a sandwich and a cup of coffee, hop into the car and make my first call to the office while driving, and pumping up for another day of challenge at the office, and take a call from my wife to plan our ski vacation after Christmas. I cannot endure more than 10 minutes of sustained physical effort, and my ability to effectively move around is limited to 400 meters, after which I am seriously exhausted.
Now this is not to say that I am not starting to progress on the physical front as well. Now, I realize that the extent to which my mental/cognitive recovered will not be duplicated in the physical realm. How do I know this? I guess the only answer is that it’s a hunch. But, as far as I am concerned, I will recover every inch that is in my reach. I exercise daily, eat well, get sufficient sleep, try to be happy (yes, happiness is to a great extent voluntary) and remain positive. It remains to ne seen in the next 24 months how far this will take me.
That’s all I wanted to share at this juncture, I will keep reporting any progress.