My last post about relapses and remissions got me thinking about when I was newly diagnosed MS. I was always nervous, like there was a monster riding around on my shoulder and I never knew when he was going to attack me. Relapses are unpredictable, which didn’t exactly jive with my type-A-plan-everything-ahead-of-time personality. I decided that even if there wasn’t anything I could do to control whether my relapses occurred at the time that was most convenient for me, then at least I could do a few things to prepare. Having a few “survival supplies” on hand at all times puts my mind at ease a bit. After all preparedness is next to godliness (that’s a saying right?)!
My husband eats more than any human being I’ve ever met. He has to have a hollow leg or something because he’s also unfairly tall and skinny. I’m waiting for him to consent to an MRI so I can investigate this theory….but anyway! Food. I’m constantly trying to stock our fridge full of food which usually requires a couple grocery trips a week and some Costco runs here and there. So needless to say that when I’m laid up food is the first thing that causes rioting in the streets. I keep at least a weeks worth of easy meals in the pantry and freezer should I not be able to grocery shop.
As an example I always have on hand:
Rice & pasta
Pasta sauce (yes- jarred sauce even though my italian roots cringe at that fact)
Frozen meats- chicken, beef, fish
Frozen pasta sauces and soups
Alright, so I know we won’t starve- phew! Next I just simply make sure we are never down to one roll of toilet paper or anything like that, easy enough!
Then I thought about how to prepare for needing a course of IV steroids. I keep some Pepcid in the medicine cabinet just in case of emergency so I can take them to help the GI symptoms. I also keep some ibuprofen PM to help me fight the insomnia and get some sleep.
Next I suggest making a list of who you will reach out to in case of emergency. My fiancé is excellent at stepping up in times of need, but he’s a doctor-in-training so sometimes he can’t leave the hospital and get home or over to whatever hospital I’m admitted to. The second time I had to go to the hospital I knew he wouldn’t be able to get over to me so I quickly deployed the mom army. Both of our moms are only a few hours away and I know I can count on them to come to rescue. They did all my errands and stocked my fridge with homemade meals, it was a godsend! I have friends that are closer too that I could call on as reinforcements. Just try to think and plan ahead…if you have to go to the hospital or if you have a relapse who can watch your pets? Your house? Run to the pharmacy for you? If you don’t have friends and family around it may be a good idea to network through you local MS Society chapter and make some friends who also have MS. I know people who have done that and they act as each other’s bad day/relapse buddies.
What is in your relapse survival kit?