Unravelling the Jitters

“I wish to unravel the mysteries of this universe and so I am going to explore myself.” – Anieike Raj

Jittery.  Every morning,  I finish writing in my journal with the words “Where I’m at…” I then add a word to summarize how I am feeling that morning.   Today, for example was “…at ease.”  I looked back over the past couple of months or so, and the word that came up most often was “jittery.”

As someone who lives with MS, jittery can be felt by me often.  Also words like “electric” or “kinetic.”  I often feel like I have electricity running through my body and my brain.   Most healthy people I believe get this feeling sometimes.  What would be a good course of action when one feels this way would be to exercise.  Go for a walk.  Ride a bike.  Something to get that nervous energy out of you body and brain or rather, revert it into something beneficial.  Where I often struggle is what to do with all of this anxiety when my body will not allow me to exercise.  This brings me to my blog entry for today.  I have found a new hobby that seems to allow me to release that excess energy and hopefully “jittery” will stop being the most used adjective in my journal.  That new hobby is knitting.

Last week, I had my infusion of Ocrevus, a bi yearly medication I take for my MS.  It takes about 5 hours of sitting hooked up to an IV line.  I was very much looking forward to this infusion as I always feel so drained for several weeks before I am due.  I was a bit nervous to go in because the clinic has loosened rules around COVID-19 and is now allowing 2 patients in the room at the same time.  Patients still have to wear a mask the whole time as well as the nurse.  What made me feel a lot more at ease was seeing my nurse Leah when I arrived.  I have been on Ocrevus for the past three years and Leah has given me my infusion and been in the room with me for all 6 doses.  We have talked often about how much I love to learn new things.  She always asks about my painting and sewing.  She told me a few times ago that I had inspired her to take up something new and she has been learning how to play the bagpipes.  Six months ago when I went in, I told her I was wanting to learn how to knit.  She told me she knows how and would teach me next time I was in if I wanted.

Over the past 6 months, there has been a lot going on in the world, and the last thing on my mind was knitting.  But it was on Leah’s,  As soon as I came in, she told me she had brought me some yarn, needles and a book on how to learn to knit.  Almost made me tear up that she had remembered and brought stuff in.  She would not let me pay her anything for it and set about teaching me the basics of knitting.  She told me to make a dishcloth so that even if it didn’t turn out great, it would still have a purpose and could be used for something.  She was so patient when my hands got confused and helped sort me out several times.  I knitted away for quite some time until my pre-meds made me fall asleep.  Upon waking, I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt.  I had knitted about half of a dishcloth.  I told Leah that when I came back in six months, I would have a knitted gift for her.

Over the weekend, I finished my dishcloth.  I will use it holes and all and remember the kindness Leah showed me and how it allowed me to relax.  Although I would not describe knitting as exercise, it has allowed me to calm the gremlins in my brain.  It seems to be almost meditative for me to just sit and knit.  It also allows me to feel connected to my grandmother who always had her knitting on her lap.  The picture above is the second dishcloth I have been knitting which is going much better than the first.  I have not written the word “jittery” once since finding my new hobby.  Maybe I will move on to slippers sometime over the summer and fall.  Such a small thing to shift my perspective and allow me to find some ease in my world while I am healing and restoring after my treatment.

Hoping you can unravel whatever is going on in your mind and body and that you can find ease in any way possible.

Much love,

Christine

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