Having MS Is Just Like the Boy Scout Motto "Be Prepared"
I know, how does MS equate to the motto “be prepared”? Well, the meaning is “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.” Wow, you’re thinking, readiness in mind and body. MS disconnects my body from my mind. So, how can I be prepared?
Good question, and I’m thinking we need an MS motto, “MS warriors are always prepared for bathroom stops, tripping, running into walls, falls, and to rock and roll!” Hey, a little funny and a laugh makes the world a better place and a little relief for us MSers.
The benefit of being prepared with MS
I don’t know about you but, for me, being prepared allows me to work smarter not harder. Frankly, it sure makes the day a bit more manageable. Planning, prioritizing, and defining the tasks that are most important to complete, reduces my stress level. Let’s take a look at a few key areas to concentrate on.
Planning my day starts with setting realistic expectations. As I mentioned, I set my goals by most important to those I can complete later. It's important to be flexible, take time to rest, and allow yourself to leave tasks uncompleted. Remember, if you push too hard, recovering takes longer and pushes completion of tasks farther out.
Make a list
We have all heard this before, “make a list and check it twice”. Oh boy, is this great advice for those with MS. I check mine not twice, but three times, well maybe four or five times. Creating a to-do list helps keep me on track and provides a way to know what I have or haven’t completed. It helps me focus on my task and provides a sense of accomplishment as each is completed.
Listen to your body
Acknowledge when you become overwhelmed. I know it isn’t easy and I struggle with this as well. Before MS we all pushed ourselves to the limit and beyond. Pride to succeed and accomplish was my driving force. I have learned to be okay with accomplishing less. Hey, there is always tomorrow, the next day, and the day after. It’s okay to rest and relax from time to time and just enjoy life.
Ask for help
A key challenge for me is asking for help when I really need it. Yep, it’s that pride, independence, and self-worth mindset. I am getting better at asking for help when needed. Remember family, friends, and even those you don’t know are willing to help if you ask. If you think about it, this allows you to educate those who don’t know the physical impact MS has.
I have found planning your day, prioritizing, listing tasks, being flexible, and asking for help when needed reduces stress, not to mention, makes me feel better.
Those moments of “what?”
I'm not sure about you, but I have enjoyed this “what?” moment several times. Okay...every day! It’s that moment when you walk into the kitchen, scratch your head, stand there and wonder, what did I come in here for? Only to remember a half-hour later why you went in there! Hey, you have to laugh or you’ll go crazy.
Thanks again for your time and hope this might help make your day with MS a bit easier. Until the next time, pass forward a good deed. You never know what others are facing and you might just brighten their day. Be safe and enjoy every moment.
Have you experienced any of these vision symptoms? (select all that apply)