Yes Please...I'd Love That!
MS has certainly taken its toll on me over the years. Though it may not be quite finished, I primarily deal with the damage it left during its reign when I was in relapse remitting and transitioning into the secondary progressive stages.
In need of assistance
At this juncture, I am unable to go out without a max effort. I love to read, write, watch a good movie or show, and listen to a broad genre of music. Those are my main hobbies. However, I also love seeing my home neat, organized, uncluttered, and closets intact. I just want to know everything looks great even though I can't do it. I loved doing these things myself in the past, lest I omit cooking and baking which I loved also.
At any rate, I do have the assistance of a home health aide. She supports me with activities such as light housekeeping and laundry services, running errands, preparing and serving meals and snacks, and personal care services. It's a great help, although some activities are outside of their scope.
Others want to help
Folks have seen or know of my plight and genuinely want to help in some way. Lots of times they have asked, "Is there anything you need? Anything I can help you with? Anything you want?" Sometimes I've said things like, "Ummm...I'll let you know." Knowing I probably won't. Or, "I can't think of anything right now." Perhaps I could, but I feel on-the-spot so it's difficult to say. Or, "Oh, I'm okay." Thinking, "There is something you could do, but..."
Ideas for how to support people living with MS
At the end of the day, I want to be happy, content, or have a reason to smile. I thought I'd jot down and share some ideas that would make me, and possibly someone else, happy, content, or have a reason to smile, along this challenging journey. And it's the holidays, so this is super timely!
As for me, I collect Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), so my dollars are limited. Anything extra is always helpful. This can be in the form of a gift card (for a takeout meal or treat, Amazon, or other online shopping), a donation towards a bill, or a surprise bag of groceries.
Time and services
It definitely doesn't have to be monetary. Offering your time and service for a "spring cleaning" or shampooing a carpet, cooking a great meal and/or dessert, taking the pet for a walk, closet organizing, changing smoke detector batteries, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or putting up the Christmas tree and decorations (and/or taking them down), could be a big help.
Expertise and skills
And let's not forget that sharing your gifts, talents, or skills is awesome! If you're a handyman, perhaps some home maintenance or desired projects around the house without having to hire someone could help. A barber or hairdresser providing a cut or style, could be just what the doctor ordered.
The power of taking action
Living with a debilitating disease is challenging. At times, I find I struggle to manage my emotions, so it's important for me to identify ways to keep me going. The key is to keep my spirits lifted. For those who wish to help, although I welcome gestures of love and support, I admit I am not always comfortable in voicing it. Maybe don't ask, but suggest..."I'd like to do ____ for you" and I could simply respond, "Yes, please.. I'd love that!"
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?