I've also been spending a greater amount of time awake during the NIGHT than during daylight hours in an effort to try to convert my sleep patterns to something ungodly and unholy...that's right...I'm heading into the NIGHT SHIFT MINE tonight at 11:00PM. But, not just for ONE, gruesome night of torturous fun and folly...nope. FOUR.
That's right. You read that last line correctly. I drew the short straw (figures, since I ride the "short" bus, after all) this rotation in my work schedule and I am now expected to do hard time in the mine (I don't actually work in a mine shaft, but I think you can make the jump in the analogy!). I'm only hoping the MS stays in check AFTER this adventure.
Why yes, I DID just recover from a case of probable piglet flu...thank you for asking. But this does NOT preclude me from *doing my time* at work. Random night shifts fall under the category of "Other Duties As Assigned"...and I was put on notice last week that "Other Duties" would become part of my "Assignment" this week.
I struggle a lot with things like this...when to play the MS card and when to keep my poker face on and hang onto the card...for the sake of winning a much bigger pot later. I could probably quite easily get the infamous *note* from my doctor, alerting the world and all it's leaders, I have Multiple Sclerosis and should NOT be made to alter my schedule/lifestyle/sleep patterns so drastically (aka, request formal accommodation)...that doing so can set up the perfect planetary alignments and weather patterns for a raging MS storm...that I'm somehow genetically *special*, unlike my other colleagues, and I risk the possibility of debilitating illness should I be made to do what THEY do (which is quite often for them to alter work hours, unfortunately). Yeah, I suppose I could play that card whenever...but I'm still holding out.
It can be such a precarious balance, making a place for MS in our lives. It is such an annoying and unforgiving part of an MSers existence to ALWAYS be planning ahead for disaster or even basic energy resources to get us through our daily lives. We make an adjustment here, cut something out there, rest when we can, do less when we can, drag a leg with us to this, silently experience pain with that...it becomes such a part of our lives, this thing called Multiple Sclerosis, that I sometimes FORGET just how much it can (and does) impact and affect my daily routine. THIS routine has become my *norm* and I have forgotten my routine when I did NOT have to take into account the effects of MS on my body, mind, and soul.
I'm also very aware that sometimes I want to USE the MS as an excuse for NOT doing something I just don't want to do...it becomes a battle of ego versus super ego as I try to sort out what the motivation is behind my wanting to *cop* out. Is it REALLY because I can't/shouldn't do something or is it because I don't WANT to? Will the activity truly deplete me/set up an MS relapse/make me ill or am I using that possibility as an excuse not to move forward for other reasons? I become both psychological patient and therapist sometimes as I try to objectively sort out my often hidden motivations...and, most of the time, neither decision is completely off base...to *do* or not to *do*.
My work tends to be an area of my life that I DO push myself...sometimes well beyond the point of exhaustion. But I have my reasons. First of all, I truly do ENJOY my work and it brings satisfaction in my life...a primary motivator. Second, my work pays for my extravagant lifestyle (**cough, choke**) and my GOLD CARD insurance premiums as well as other nifty benefits...things that are a MUST have these days. This second motivator also adds to my *life satisfaction* greatly and feeds my intense need to remain independent...without this, I fear shriveling up in a ball and dying a painful, physical and emotional death (yes...sigh...it's dramatic). And third, my work provides a wonderful social network of colleagues who I also call FRIENDS...a support system, a net, and a basket...that keeps me always laughing, always thinking, and never lonely...they are as much family to me as my own distant bloodline...and I kind of LIKE them better than family, too. LOL
So, I'm going in just a few hours to begin the night death march (no offense to those who really DID do death marches in the camps during WWII...I'm just being my dramatic self!)...four 9 1/2 hour shifts that won't be over until Saturday morning around 9:00AM. More than likely, I won't be resurfacing out of this mine until sometime early next week...so, if you don't hear from me, it is because I am in the dark with my comrades for the next 4 nights. I sure do hope that MS canary can still sing when this is over.
Wish me luck...I'm going in...