Saturday, April 9, 2011

Excuse me please, I need a seat

Thursday morning I traveled into Washington DC by riding the metro. It was a surprisingly easy trip really. However there was one minor bump right at the beginning of the trip.

I began the metro trip with my Mom, who uses the metro to get to work every day. Even at 6:20am and being only the 4th station from the end of the orange line, the train was full. Lots of people rushed from the platform to get on board. I was not quite as fast (or aggressive) as many of the business people were.

One thing I know is that it would be very difficult for me to stand on the metro train while it is in motion. Although I've been doing pretty well lately without too much difficulty with my legs, my balance is impaired. I'm not able to respond too quick changes in movements.

The folks in front of me raced for the open seats, leaving none available for several of us who were a bit slower getting on.  My mother boldly asked one gentleman, "excuse me, do you mind if my daughter sits there; she has MS."  He begrudgedly got up and she pointed me to the seat.

So sweet, my mother clearing the way for me - the person who looks completely normal - to sit down while she stands and holds onto the bars.  Nobody turned around and offered her a seat.

After getting off at Metro Center, I had to walk about three blocks to the Willard InterContinental Hotel for the conference I was attending.  It wasn't too difficult, but I was definitely ready to sit when I got there.

At the end of the day, I reversed the process but this time got lucky to find a seat on the metro and didn't have to ask anybody to get up for me.  After arriving back home, I rested a bit and fell asleep on the couch for 2-3 hours.  When I tried to get up, my legs were both weak and tight with spasticity.  It was difficult to move around the house.

On Friday I ended up sleeping most of the day away.  My body was just completely beat.  I had no strength in me and was fortunately able to close my eyes as necessary throughout the day.  I can't imagine going through the same process every day.  I couldn't do it.

This was just a good reminder that although I'm doing really well, I'm not completely well.  But no matter what, I'm so glad to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.  I'm fortunate indeed.


  1. Hi, Lisa, I do the same thing -- just not on a train! If I walk too far or stand too long, I can guarantee I'll be zonked the next day! Just no escape. BTW -- I love the Metro system. When my sister lived in DC and I'd visit, I always took the Metro into the city to sightsee.

  2. I'm glad it worked out well for you, Lisa. Good for Mom for speaking up. Who knows what shape you'd be in if she hadn't!

    BTW, I've been meaning to tell you - your new picture looks marvelous. Your hard work has paid off, and you look better than ever!

  3. Muff,
    The metro system is very nice, just a bit crowded at times. They're extending the metro from Falls Church to Dulles Airport. I imagine that it will just make the travel from Falls Church to DC just that much more crowded. But it's great to see that access will be extended so greatly.

    My mom really does rock. She's a special lady who continues to take care of me in many different ways. I can't imagine that I could have walked a couple of blocks after having stood on the moving metro for any length of time. Guaranteed recipe for jelly legs that feel like concrete.

    Thanks so much about the photo. It was a lucky screen shot from a video. I was looking back at a test video I made in the summer of 2009. Oh my face and neck were so very round. Sure I had been on loads of steroids that summer, but still, it is shocking to see.

    I'm feeling good about the progress I've made since last year. :)