Advice on Life with MS

As I was showering today and trying to reach my legs to shave, I thought of the advice of a good friend when I was diagnosed. Of all the advice this MS warrior with 30 some years of experience living with this disease could give me, “Get an electric shaver’ was one of the first things DJ told me. I laughed out loud then, and I still chuckle when I think of her words. I’m not sure why it came to me today, but it might have had something to do with finding the right way to balance, bend, and stretch while trying not to draw blood. I ignored her advice almost ten years ago, but today I was wishing I had heeded her words and found myself a nice Lady Norelco.

It got me thinking of some of those other ‘If I were you’ suggestions I heard years ago.

Downsize

One suggestion that came from many different people was to move from our home into something smaller that has only one floor. We currently have upstairs bedrooms and a downstairs laundry room with the middle level having our kitchen, family room, and other living spaces. Moving to a one-story home sounds lovely but it means someone has to clear out all the drawers, cupboards, and closets that are storing almost 25 years of collecting ‘stuff.’ I think I would rather continue to climb up and down the steps than face this task of downsizing.

Hire help

My own mother, who knows MS well because she watched and helped her sister live with this disease for almost 50 years, had my favorite suggestion. ‘Find someone to do your housework,’ was her idea. Even if I didn’t have MS, I would love to hire a regular cleaning service for my house. Maybe they could even tackle the clutter that has accumulated in the drawers and closets over the past two plus decades. It seems my mom now thinks of me as some frail creature, unable to push a vacuum or mop. The accumulating dog hair on the carpet may prove her right, but I believe it’s more a lack of motivation and time than the effects of MS. Or maybe it’s because of her five children, she remembers well that I was the one who always had to be reminded to pick my clothes up off the floor. I am personally holding out for the cleaning fairy who magically visits my home while I sleep.

Improving life

Most people when sharing they have received a diagnosis of a life altering disease hear other people react with the suggestion of ‘get a second opinion’ or other ideas that give permission to put off accepting the diagnosis a bit longer or some radical treatment they’re read about that will cure MS. My friends and family are much more realistic and concerned with daily living – a cleaning service, selling my house, or buying an electric shaver all tell me they just want my life with MS to be easier. In the ten years since my diagnosis, I’ve followed none of their suggestions, but I am considering them as options for the future.

Wishing you well,

Laura

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