5 Traits That Help Me Live with MS

I saw a sign that read "5 Things Money Can't Buy," and listed were:

  1. Manners
  2. Respect
  3. Dignity
  4. Grace
  5. Common sense

In the context of my life with MS

How accurate and how true because not one of them can be purchased. They must be innate, learned, or developed, and they are paramount for one to possess in all walks of life. I looked at these characteristics in terms of my life with the perils of a chronic disease. For me, multiple sclerosis has impacted my life in so many ways, that it has made me keen - or keener - in these areas. Let me explain…

Manners

When you think of manners, you think of "please," "thank you," "excuse me," and the like - whether uttered in a perfunctory way or voiced with sincerity and gratefulness. To be clear, I've always been well-mannered, but when MS 'happened' and heavily impacted my fine and gross motor skills (amongst a host of other abilities that disable me in many ways), there was a difference. It's like my "Please, take me here or there...", "Please, get me this and that..." and my "Thank yous" are spoken with the sincerest sincerity, the most genuine genuineness and, after receiving the help and kindness rendered to me, the most grateful gratefulness.

Respect

I have always possessed due regard for the feelings, wishes, and rights of others. That is deemed as having respect. Being respectful has always been a part of me, but then, MS came into my life. I became more attuned to have an appreciative regard for those who assist me in ways that run the gamut. Furthermore, once stricken with MS, my deference for others suffering from life-altering illnesses definitely deepened.

Dignity

As an adult, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and the progression over the years has affected, amongst several other physical factors, my walking and gait. Yet, I am STILL worthy. I may have to depend heavily on others, but I STILL keep my head held high. That is due to my dignity which is innately made and comes from knowing your own worth. MS reminds me daily that despite the harsh woes of its effects, my amour propre remains proudly intact.

Grace

I can't do this, but I used to do it. I can't go there, but I used to go. I prefer to do it like this, but I have to do it this way now. Life has changed so much living with the aftermath of my body attacking itself - and not in a good way. I've had to find a way to exist and live without turmoil. grace that I had to find thanks to MS. Otherwise, I may not have discovered how very important - and necessary - it is.

Common sense

Having good sense and sound judgment in practical matters is termed as common sense. Everyone can benefit from having a bit of it. MS reminds me that I'm lucky to have some. For example, I want my walker closed and against the wall because I don't need it right now... but I'm home alone. I finish my drink before taking my medicine… but everyone has gone to bed. I would avoid these examples because my common sense would tell me to keep my walker within reach, especially when no one is available to get it for me. Additionally, my common sense would tell me to take my medicine before finishing my drink or, at the least, when someone is up to refresh my glass.

Appreciating these traits in myself

Yes, my MS journey has indeed not only made me keen(er) to these very important traits, but also, even as I write this, afforded me the opportunity to be even more cognizant of their importance and appreciative of possessing each of them.

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