I'm in the midst of my second exacerbation. It started on Christmas day. My upper legs felt slighlty numb, kind of like what it feels like to touch skin through clothes, even when I was touching my skin directly. I didn't think it was an exacerbation at first. I hurt my back about two weeks before so I thought maybe that was the cause of the numbness. I now feel the numbness from my belly button to my toes anteriorly (just the front of my body). I have no loss motor function. I went online and did some research and came to the conclusion that I am most likely having an exacerbation.
In the midst of this I continue to run and exercise and to work. I feel fine other than the numbness. But a weird (and totallly embarrasing) thing happened to me last night. My husband and I stayed in a hotel/resort for our 20 year anniversay and we decided to work out in the hotel's fitness center before going to dinner to celebrate. The fitness center was crowded. I ran on the treadmill and was feeling good. I only wanted to run for 30 minutes so I ran sprints (running fast then recovering by running at my regular speed). This gives me a good workout in a short period of time.
All of a sudden I was down on the treadmill. I tried to stand back up and couldn't because the belt was still moving at 7.0 MPH. I let go and got launched off the tread mill and landed on my back on the floor. I heard a lady scream and a man came over to help me. I stood back up on my own, said, "I'm OK, " and got back on the treadmill. I ran at a slower pace for another 10 minutes. Mainly because I was too embarrased to stop.
I'm not sure what happended. Did my legs give out? Did I trip? Did I step onto the stationary area of the treadmill next to the belt by accident? When I run on a treadmill my mind tends to wander and I don't pay much attention. I just listen to my i-pod and run. This is why running is a relaxing activity for me (I know that sounds weird). Anyway, I didn't get hurt, other than "road rash" on my calf and skinned knees.
I'm more disturbed by what caused me to fall. I now feel vulnerable. Is it safe for me to run, to climb steps, to walk across the street? Does any of this have anything to do with my MS and the exacerbation?
After crying in the shower in frustration, I decided to take a deep breath, pull myself together and go to dinner with my husband. We had a great time at dinner and I felt fine. I don't know what happened on that treadmill but I do know that I need to be more careful, slow down and pay attention.
Another learning experience in this unpredictable disease.