Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In which I ride a bike and learn about sunscreen

Usually I like to blog about BikeMS before the ride, but well, here we are, after the ride, and this is the first blog post I've had a moment to write about the ride.

Look! I made a video!

Even now, I don't have a lot of profound things to say. I feel very much the same as I did last year. You're all probably aware of why I ride. I've been shoving this cause down your throats for six years now, and I don't intend on quitting any time soon.

You are welcome.

But it really was a great ride. I finished all 86 miles for the first time, and I'm pretty excited about that. It was hard and great all at the same time. Riding this particular ride is ridiculously fun once you're on it, but I still dread riding every year because I know how much effort it takes. When they finally cure MS? You'll probably never see me on a bike again.

And more than anything, I am exhausted. More exhausted than any other year I've ridden, which is funny since day two was cancelled because of severe weather, so I got more rest than I had been expecting this weekend.

Except adding on the royal wedding on Friday at 4 a.m., then being up at 5 Saturday and Sunday, then the President's announcement late last night and work Monday morning were the perfect storm. And oh yeah, this year I was the captain, so that's slightly more work than just riding. It kind of sucks the life out of you, to be honest. And every moment I was walking dead today, I couldn't get past how it must be to feel like this all the time.


All. The. Time.

This is one of the main symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, and many people living with MS seriously do feel exhausted much of the time. It's one of those "invisible symptoms" so common to diseases like this. Most everybody I've talked to who has MS will say that that's the worst part - not the wheelchairs; not even the pain. The uncertainty and the fatigue messes with your life more than anything else.

And I believe it. I have only had a few days of fatigue and I'm getting stupider by the second.

So I'll take a few days of exhaustion for the people who feel like this all the time.

I'll struggle to get out of bed with my sore muscles this one week for the people who struggle to get out of bed every morning of their lives.

I'll grimace at my sunburned arms a little while for the people who can't lift theirs.

I'll sit carefully on my sore underside for a few days for the people who will sit in wheelchairs the majority of their lives.

I'll swallow my pride and beg for donations for the people who swallow their pride and ask for help to go to the bathroom every time they have to go.

Can you imagine that?

Neither can I. And when the MS Society accomplishes their goal, none of us will have to ever again.

Now there's a reality that's worth the exhaustion.


Thanks for considering making a small (or large!) donation to the MS Society on my behalf! You can do that here!
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