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The “Can I Just…?” Phenomenon

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.

The 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’.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Legsonstrike
    3 months ago

    Totally understand!! Great article!!

  • Amarilis
    1 year ago

    Good Morning Dianne, Can I just say, I totally relate to you. Sometimes I feel is it just me? We will get through this!

  • LuvMyDog
    1 year ago

    Aahhh yes, I know the feeling, all of those feelings.
    I’ve existed with MS for about 37 years now and I’ve found that the older I get the more miserable this lousy disease is.
    The fatigue is the worst.

    I get up with a plan in my head to do something useful, something productive in my old house, something that was second nature up until about two years ago.
    Like dusting, or a little vacuuming or maybe doing a wash or a little gardening, something, anything.

    Sometimes I’m able to do up a few dishes from the night before, sometimes, I’m exhausted from just getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom and back and end up having to go back to bed for awhile.
    Sometimes, I end up having to stay in bed and rest for a day, two days, three days….

    My way of taking my mind off of this aggravation is usually allowing my mind to escape via a movie or playing online Checkers with people who may possibly feel the same way, or going outside on a nice day and taking pictures of my dog or my flowers or the beautiful birds and the silly squirrels who wait close by because they know I feed them just about every day.

    The “bugs” are maddening. Sometimes, many times, I will look at my arm or my legs, thinking ….”is there a bug biting me..?”
    but no…it’s here, it’s there, it’s my head, my neck, my back, my legs, just the MS buggy itching.
    After awhile, you get use to it, scratch and forget it for a little while.
    One of the best little presents someone gave me, a long handled wooden back scratcher, I don’t know what I’d do with that!
    Especially when I suddenly feel as though there are a million fluffy little feathers tickling my back all at once, non stop.

    So many things, unpleasant things, MS has brought to our lives. Certainly can’t say anything good about it.

    Nothing is easy or quick anymore, everything is a monumental chore and those precious moments when MS is sleeping for maybe two or even 3 hours and I can put a pan of pasta sauce together and get it on the stove or get last night’s dishes caught up or play hide and seek with my little dog and maybe smile for 30 seconds or so, those are some of the little reprieves that I’m thankful for.
    They don’t happen every day, it seems nothing good happens every day anymore.

    I don’t say “can I just….” , I don’t bother anymore. I do what I can, when I can, I hope for the best and expect the worst.

  • asapcynthia
    3 months ago

    I have a dental appointment that I’ve rescheduled twice because I can’t find a ride. I’ve ubered before but I can’t get into an SUV without help, and I read the mS/Lyft deal requires the person to get into and out of the vehicle unaided, so that won’t work. I once posted about the indignancy of having stranger have his face in my behind while he helped me by grabbing my ankle and placing my foot over that ridge into the SUV, so I won’t relive that again. So I bought a foldable stool to see if I can use that in stead of some random guy having his face….. anyway, I feel all the work arounds have become my life, it’s not just having ms, it’s having to deal with ms even if I just want to get a cup of coffee. I’m very lucky in spite of it all. My cup is half full, even if it’s just coffee and not a martini.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi, LuvMyDog..
    I hear your frustration and I certainly understand. MS is a,difficult disease to deal with. I am happy, though, that you have some reprieve at some times no matter how small or how often.
    I encourage you to hang in there and keep fighting. Thanks so much for reading and sharing.
    Hugs, my friend.
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Lamm
    1 year ago

    Hi, just want to say thanks to everyone that writes or leaves messages here. It truly helps me to remember I’m not alone with these crazy symptoms that seem to pop up out of nowhere. I’m having a new one now, it started a couple of weeks ago & i hope it’s not one that stays !! Thanks again for your stories Diane & others that write & post here. I look forward to reading them almost daily. 🙂

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    No, Lamm, you are definitely not alone. Thank YOU for reading this and other stories, taking the time to comment and being a part of the community!
    Best wishes,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • larains
    1 year ago

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU, reading your words..it was ME exactly. My last “flare” really made me sit up and take notice, I didn’t come out of it like I normally do. little things are BIG things now…and it seems it made all of the other things that were already big..bigger. Also like you, Im not going to just let MS step over me and keep me down. I am here. I will stay here, and also my suitcase is full of chocolate. Thanks Diane.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi larains,
    First of all, you’re welcome! Secondly, love your spirit and lastly, thank YOU for reading and commenting! Stay encouraged, my fellow warrior!
    Best wishes,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • freedom
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your article

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    You’re more than welcome, freedom.. Thank you for reading and your comment!
    Best,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • freedom
    1 year ago

    Thanks for your article. Those can I days are for real!!! It’s always wonderful t o know your are not alone. Thank you.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    No, freedom.. We are all here for one another and so you are definitely not alone! ☺
    Hang in there,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • Karenhorses
    1 year ago

    Wow, reading this made me tear up, but it also made me smile! When I lay down at night it feels like i have ants crawling all over me and my scalp. I hate this! Then I read this happens to you too, and I thought it was just me… Something in my head, not real but yep it’s real. The same with taking a shower. I don’t know anyone with MS that I can talk to, so now I feel like I’m validated in some way by your story!! It’s like you were talking about me, not to take away from you but thank you so much for sharing, “Can I just…?”. I totally get it.
    Karen

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi Karenhorses,
    I, too, used to think “only me..” and then found multiplesclerosis.net and disxovered I’m SO not! The stories brought/bring me a comfort that I truly appreciate. I’m happy you have also. Stay encouraged, my friend.
    Best,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • faithholdsme
    1 year ago

    Ive had a run of the “can i just” phenomenon from march til now and evidently my body said “you gotta just”. Life is life and you roll with the punches or so it seems. You think you are and that “can i just” thought pops up and there comes a time when your body just says NO… at that point you realize youve lost this battle THIS time, knowing you’ll be better and…. life goes on til the next time you get stopped in your tracks.
    Do you ever go into an exasperation after several of the can i just? It seems recently ive been saying that more and more. You cant control the world…or people around you, and now you cant even be in control of yourself.
    They say stress plays a big big part of it all..but no one has ever shared the secret of getting rid of, or blocking it out for a while. Have you ever thrown yourself into a flare from stress? Anyone ever give you ideas on relieving some stress so you arent so keyed up? If so please share

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi ggsmslife,
    ‘Can I just ‘ … ‘You gotta just’
    I love it and it’s so true.. I wrote an article entitled The Best Thing To Do Is Live and it speaks about the concept of rolling with the punches. Additionally, I wrote another, What’s In Your Toolbox? that talks about what ‘tools’ I use to stay positive, grounded. Check them out when you get a chance!
    Thanks for your comment.. Hang in there!
    Warmly,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • Karenhorses
    1 year ago

    Stress is a killer!! It makes out symptoms worse and it can be suffocating. I was practically fixed into disability retirement after 23 years if Federal work. I was resentful, felt like a failure and so mad at my body for betraying me. It has taken a whole year for the stress of it to lessen and one day I woke up and didn’t have to “do anything” and I realized wow, I feel lighter. I still out stress soon myself from anxiety of wondering how my day will be, how my MS will be, but I’m feeling so much better overall. Sometimes the stress is actually anxiety/worry and if we/you can figure out what the actual trigger/circumstance is that causes you to feel so stressed then maybe you can eliminate/change/alter/prepare/engage assistance to lessen the feeling of stress. Sorry if I just rambled but I do hope you “get” what I’m trying to say.
    Wishing you all the best, Karen

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hi Karen,
    I absolutely get what you’re trying to say and your advice is soot on! Thanks so very much for taking the the time to share!
    Best wishes,
    Dianne ♡

  • seeker
    1 year ago

    I agree, it is so time-consuming and energy-taxing to have to think and plan through everything, It causes me to feel slow and dull, but if one doesn’t, there is often an unpleasant effect of some kind. It leads to feeling very separate from those close and peripheral to you. Often trying to do it so it is not noticeable to anyone one else, but it so often is something they are aware of.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    Yessss, seeker! Simply… yes.
    Thanks so much for reading and even more, for your comment.
    Take care,
    Dianne Scott ♡

  • Harleydog1
    1 year ago

    You are not alone

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 year ago

    …And tho I hate that I’m not, I’m thankful for my community of fellow warriors.. Thank you, Harleydog1! ☺

  • Karenhorses
    1 year ago

    Amen!

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