"Pleas" And Thank You's
Since my Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis in 2007, I‘ve become increasingly cognizant of the necessity for asking, appealing or requesting help with this or for that and how it has grown. I'm always appreciative of any assistance, kind acts, and helpful gestures, and I am sure to render a heartfelt "thank you."
Since my MS has progressed
However, since my maddening MS has progressed over the years, I can't help but feel that my needs in some areas have changed, prompting my requests for help to become pleas. The value of all of my regards are insurmountable, but the weight of my thank you’s - when applicable- that allow me to experience areas negatively impacted by MS are both incredibly invigorating and wondrously welcomed.
Starting with fatigue
It all began rather subtly with fatigue...the please and thank you’s. At work, I'd find myself tired from going to retrieve, copy or fax documents from the copier. Hence, prior to getting my own desktop equipment, the start of my ‘please and thank you’ routine began: “Could you please grab the fax/copy for me? Thank you!” Or the days on which everyone wanted to leave the office for a group lunch, and I couldn't muster the energy to accompany them, so I'd stay behind asking my co-workers, “Could you just bring me back something please? Thank you!”
Trying to reduce evening chores
Coming home after a long day of work was a whole new ‘job’ with the children... homework, quality time, dinner, bath time. It was all so much that many times, it was easier to stop on the way home to speak those familiar words from my car to the intercom box of a fast food eatery, “Yes, can I get 3 … please? Thank you! Or, once at home, “Hello. I'd like to place a delivery order please… Thank you!” Though more expensive and not nearly as good or healthy as a well balanced home-cooked meal could be, the take out at least reduced two chores for the evening - preparing a meal and the cleanup.
The effect on my independence
Fast forward to years later when the advancement of my MS symptoms descended my independence to an all-new ebb. With this decline, my ‘please and thank you's’ have ascended in many areas of my life to ‘pleas and thank you's.
Surrendering my license
Prior to a bout of several months of seizures and having to surrender my license, I was able to drive my car which was enabled with hand controls. Admittedly, I wasn't comfortable with driving too far. A nice ride on a ‘feel good’ day to go get a snack, to Sunday morning church service, or to take my daughter to the local Petco for our puppy's grooming session is quite pleasurable for me. My plea is for our little outings not to cause alarm or disdain, but happiness that I can drive and trust that I won't drive if I feel I can't.
And I get it. Being left alone could potentially present a problem if not appropriately planned for one with minimal independence. However, more often than not, that won't happen. My plea is for time alone without causing undue stress to others. I will be fine. In fact, I read an article authored by Jenn Granneman in Psychology Today which states:
You’ll improve your health.You can also use your alone time to do something healthy (mentally or physically) like jogging, yoga, meditation, or prayer. Regular exercise is basically a wonder drug for your mind and body, and meditation has been shown to increase your immune function, decrease pain, boost your happiness, make you less lonely, and So. Much. More. Similarly, time spent in prayer has been found to offset the negative effects of stress, have a calming effect, and increase feelings of wellbeing and joy.
Though jogging and yoga are out for me, meditation and prayer are right up my alley!
I am still me
Lastly, in spite of MS and its challenges, I am still me. The way that I look, think, feel, talk, and the manner in which I behave is all me because I refuse to let MS claim my personality and zeal for life. Now, should a suitor happen upon my trajectory and finds an interest in me... and it pleases us mutually to spend time with one another... *Clears throat*, my plea is to allow me to do just that with the understanding that I am cognitively sound enough to handle myself/the friendship with care.
Heartfelt thank you's
Accepting my pleas...Invigorating? Incredibly. Welcomed? Wondrously. Heartfelt Thank you’s for allowing me opportunities of enjoying what I can while I can and relishing who I am forever.
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?