Wednesday, January 1, 2003


Well! How did your Christmas go?

The weather in the UK was so un-Christmassy - no white snowflakes glistening here! More like springtime!

We had the heating on (fearing the worst) and ended up practically in our 'birthday suits'! My husband Arf raided the supermarket a couple of days before the big day and you'd have thought he was feeding an army! Not that I'm complaining - neither did our two black pussycats!

I'd been feeling off colour for a few weeks. No-one, other than Arf, noticed the change. I had hot sweats (not just at night but almost continuously throughout the day), a headache that was crippling, and fatigue (I'd fall asleep eating my dinner!). Worst of all, my feet swelled alarmingly and my skin looked like that of a monster from a 1950s horror movie! My Arf was worried!

On Christmas Eve we ended up calling the doctor. He met us at the surgery just before normal hours. He decided my heart and blood pressure were fine and my mottled feet were nothing to worry about . He concluded that I had 'a virus' and that I should "go home and rest for the next few days". Oh brilliant!

So we came home, thankful that nothing was seriously wrong. Then my doctor phoned back to say he had discussed my problems with a colleague as he was a tad baffled and from my medical history they had come to the conclusion I was having an MS exacerbation! Oh! So this was one of them! I'd rather have had the virus!

However, knowing the cause of my symptoms was a weird relief (I felt I'd partied forever and had the worst hangover known to man - or woman!).

Christmas Day was spent sleeping, eating, taking soluble painkillers and changing clothes due to hot flushes! Arf was trying not to look concerned but I knew he was when he put two small champagne bottles in the fridge without realising they were actually candles! He said afterwards that he'd thought they were rather light in weight!

I'm now taking things gently. This has been, and still is, a first for me. But for all of you out there who may yet suffer an exacerbation - whether it's Christmas or in the middle of summer - don't be scared! It will pass and you will be wiser in the knowledge of MS should it happen again. I've no doubt it will happen to me again at some point and this time I can tell the doctor it's definitely not a virus!

Happy new year to all of you. May 2003 bring you happiness and peace.