My recovery from Covid is making me very emotional.
To be fair, people have always told me that I am overly sensitive. And I do cry a lot. Not over personal things or big things or real life things, but all of the little things that ultimately have nothing to do with me. That swell of the music in the movie when the child realizes who his father really is and that he is truly, deeply loved. That heartwarming moment when the athlete helps their fellow Olympian get back up and cross the finish line.
That Instagram video of the pregnant woman who just wants one teeny tiny piece of a breadstick. Not a WHOLE breadstick. Just a piece.
Over time I had concluded that I was an empath. I feel an overwhelming sense of loss and heartbreak for those I have never met, just by reading or watching their story. But this week I read another article on the correlation between MS and mood. Apparently MS lesions may have formed in the part of my brain that helps me control emotions. Apparently there might be another culprit or at least a better explanation for my overwhelming feelings and ability to cry at the drop of a hat. Or maybe I am just an extremely sensitive empathic person.
Either way, here is yet another thing I cannot be so sure about. Friends often ask me if I am tired because I have Multiple Sclerosis or because I didn’t sleep well. Is that muscle pain from working out too hard or from my dear old friend, MS? Coworkers try and relate to my foggy brain full of soggy memories by explaining that we are all forgetful nowadays, that everyone over 40 just cannot remember anything anymore. So where does normal life end and Multiple Sclerosis begin? How can any of us possibly know when a symptom is occurring because our disease is rearing its moody little head or simply because we are alive?
When I recently tested positive for Covid and proceeded to feel the absolute worst I have ever felt in my entire life, I wasn’t surprised when the questions began to roll in. The big one everyone seems to want to know is if my body’s reaction to this awful virus was made worse by my Multiple Sclerosis. Were my particular symptoms just terrible because, well, it’s Covid… or were they exacerbated by my suppressed immune system and already damaged nerves?
It’s difficult to know and yet so crystal clear.
Because deep down, at the bottom of the well of unlimited insight, I always know the difference. My exhaustion from lack of sleep feels like I need a nap while my MS fatigue feels like a boat ran me over and docked inside my head. My complete inability to remember what happened last week differs from the cloudy, murky waters of thought that settle in like an MS fog. My Covid symptoms were terrible because it is an unrelenting horrific virus called COVID.
If I pay close attention and listen to the silence, my body can always tell the difference.
Today I want to cry. I want to sob with relief that my Covid symptoms have passed and I am beginning to feel like myself again. I want to cry for all of the people that contracted this virus before vaccines were even available. I want to sink into the floor and become a blubbering mess because I want to.
Because I know there are lesions on some part of my brain that make me more emotional.
I know this because I’m an extremely sensitive person.