The "Can I Just...?" Phenomenon
Last updated: February 2023
There are times when MS is ‘easier’ to deal with. Times when it's not so blatantly ‘there’. Those particular moments are the times when I can just ‘be’. That's when I feel most like my pre-MS days - if only for a short while. The days that I didn't have the daily "can I just...?" exasperations in so many areas of my life. From getting fatigued after taking a mere shower to finding the right Home Health Agency/Aide... and not excluding a myriad of examples in between. It's not a surprise to experience the "can I just...?" phenomenon.
Can I just get in and out of the shower without feeling like I've worked eight hours plus overtime?
Can I just go to the mailbox to grab my mail real quick?
Can I just go to an appointment or event without a host of planning: how will I get there? What's the accessibility like? Is there a bathroom nearby? What will the weather be like?
Can I just pick my puppy up without having to have someone place her on my lap?
Can I just go to sleep without feeling bugs crawling over my skin and head or spasms while trying to get comfortable?
Can I just go into my own closet to rummage through and find an outfit without the worry of falling from standing too long or loss of balance?
Can I just bypass the frustration of the search of a Home Health Agency and aide and just have the best fit for me assigned?
My escape from MS
From my can I just? moments, there are those wondrous instances when I have a reprieve, albeit brief, from thinking about MS. Riding out on a pretty day or watching a good movie or relaxing in my chair lost in good conversation with my children, family or friends or in the midst of reading a good book or when I'm writing creatively are examples of times when I can just ‘be’. I try to incorporate as much of these during my day and week as possible. I have to. MS is overbearing and these instances are my 'escape’. The times when I am just Dianne again and not Dianne with Multiple Sclerosis.
It could apply to anyone
I suppose the can I just? phenomenon could apply to just about anyone. Problems, illnesses or situations may arise and invade your thoughts, your life. Find your ‘escape’. Get a reprieve. I think when (or if) you ‘get back’, you’ll be refreshed and perhaps able to tuck those can I just? exasperations away for a while. Perhaps the situation won't be so bleak once you are cognizant that you can take a ‘break’.
What does advocacy mean to you as someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please select all that apply: