Putting MS in its place
It’s taken me years to put MS into a manageable place in my head.
For a long time I was all too aware of things I could no longer do with family and friends, and I became somewhat obsessed with how my body kept reducing what it could do.
I was fearful of the future and angry that it wasn’t going to be as I’d pictured. I worried that I would need a stick or a wheelchair.
It takes time
It’s funny what time’s done for me. I still look backwards sometimes; not at what I can no longer do, but to see that my MS hasn’t rushed in full pelt and taken away everything.
I’m still able to work, I have my independence, live in the same place, have the same friends, enjoy some similar pastimes. My friends treat me just the same: I’m still me.
I’m also able to see the pattern of MS on me specifically, rather than hearing about statistics and possible scenarios.
As to my fears for the future, well, I do use a stick these days, but it’s just there, and it serves as a visual shorthand that, for example, a seat might be appreciated. I sometimes use a wheelchair, but it enables me to do things, especially with my family, that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
I did have a scary moment when I had to accept I could no longer use the foot pedals of my car safely, but I’m now using a car with hand controls and love scooting around in it!
I’ve made many other adjustments to my life. They range from the significant, such as changing jobs and reducing my hours, to the minor, like moving the most used crockery to cupboards that I don’t have to bend down to reach - and the all encompassing pacing, pacing, pacing!
Improving life through change
I’ve discovered that, once I stop railing against having to make a change and get on and do it, I don’t necessarily notice the change any more. And, generally, I experience some improvement in my life.
Then I realised that, having assimilated the changes, I was getting on with my life; and it was ok actually.
Also, I live firmly in the present these days and hardly think about the future at all – it’s a waste of my precious energy! I enjoy the things I can, which includes meeting friends for a coffee (when otherwise I would have been working!), tandem rides and reading a good book.
Time has enabled me to see that, although there are some things I can no longer do, frequently there’s another way of doing something. The more I’ve made changes, the less fearful I am of having to make changes in the future.
By acknowledging its effects on me, MS no longer feels as if it dominates my life.
I’ve had MS since 2004 and write a blog about getting out into the fresh air by tandem ... and any other way I can: www.breathoffreshairblogdotcom.wordpress.com