Coming To Grips: Changes In Movement... Or The Lack Thereof

My ‘babies’ are no longer babies (sometimes, I miss them in their younger years). I can no longer ‘burn the midnight oil’ with no day-after effects (staying up late reading a good book, watching TV, or hanging out with friends and then up and at’em the next morning was nothing for me). Spontaneity is a foreign idea for me now (“pack a bag, kids, we’re headed out in an hour to drive down to Virginia for the weekend!” No way that’s happening anymore).

These are just a few examples of life, my life changes particularly, that I have had to come to grips with.

How MS affected my body's movement

Life evolves in ways that are good, bad, or natural. Change is inevitable. Sometimes, however, the changes are just so very monumental. And can even snowball. My life changed in a major way when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. And the change indeed snowballed - until it affected, amongst a myriad of areas in my life, my body’s movement.

It started with issues with my balance and then came foot drop, spasticity, weakened muscles, fatigue, flare-ups, and interrupted brain signals along the way. Not in that order necessarily, but all contributed to my gait being altered and then my walking becoming increasingly difficult over the years. The ‘snowballing’ of my change has me in a presently sedentary, wheelchair-bound condition.

With assistance, I can still stand from a sitting position, although I can no longer pivot. Even moving my arms and hands is tiresome and can leave me fatigued. Activities such as reaching for the remote control, brushing my teeth, or eating, for example, can leave me totally spent. Talk about such catastrophic life changes such as no longer walking and working hard to keep moving at all - and trying to come to grips with it? *Sigh*

Remembering how I used to move

I remember the days when I could walk and when I still had adequate range of motion. When I could still move about without too many troubles. Oh how I miss those pre and early MS days. Although I knew that there could come a day when ‘this’ day could come, it was not necessarily promised, as the course MS can take is unpredictable and can vary for those living with it.

At each stage leading to ‘this’ place in my life, I wondered how I could possibly manage the next. How I would deal with it emotionally. And I even wonder if there might be stages beyond here.

What I have decided is that it’s healthy to live with the fond memories of my ‘movable’ days of old. However, to truly come to grips with the changes to my mobility - or lack thereof - I must commit to finding ways to adhere to my self-proclaimed adage. That is to do what it takes to support my life with assistive devices and emotional assistance, to avoid defeat and to overcome as opposed to succumb.

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

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