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Time Your Battles Well

Let me start off by saying that sometimes I have what I call a quirky MS misadventure. A recent pre-nocturnal, unanticipated, escape artist of sort’s incident, which threw me for a bit of a loop, is a case in point.

You see, the time was 11:42 p.m., and I had just called it quits with the keyboard and spell check for the night. After all, how else was I ever going to get my Dr.Oz (gotta love him) recommended ration of sleep for the night?

So anyway, after typing my last sentence of the evening and powering down, with much concerted effort brought on by my too long from sitting stiff legs, scooted the chair back away from my desk. Admittedly, that itself was a bit more of a chore than just a simple scoot, so after putting some oomph in it, the scoot was done. And with both mobility plus my current stiffness issues, I darn well knew that moving around in the chair 90 degrees to a good position from which to stand up would likely be the same if not more. As I anxiously made mental preparation for next step in order to get to my pillow, I placed my feet for standing. Okay, good, I’m ready I thought—alright; but low and behold one of my ankles became entwined in my laptop carrier strap-yep, lying there peeking out from under the desk buddying up with the chair. “Dang it”…. I knew I should have removed that blasted strap; the stupid thing had already almost tripped me twice in as many days! “That figures”, I muttered.

Well, once again it became obvious that my procrastination had caused me an inconvenience and duh… almost a fall. So, I extricated my right foot from the annoying entanglement, grabbed the twisted case loop band, pulled up the case onto my lap using my left hand, and without further delay decided this strap must be removed now! Yes, at 11:47 p.m. No big deal right? Should be a simple thing, but with dexterity issues perhaps not so simple. Actually from my MS vantage point, many simple tasks are not as easy as they may seem. Rather, I say in all due sarcasm, they can easily became an evil plot (muahahaha). Such machinations contrived to destroy your much developed acceptance and grace under fire. Just kidding of course…ah well, we do the best we can.

The thing is, it had been a really good day, a productive day. My mobility was fair and not poor that day. My energy level remained pretty steady throughout. I felt embarking on this final task of the day could be an experience confirming I still had some “juice”. Enough stamina left at the end of this long and good day, right? Right.

So with my left hand right hand, I squeezed the clasp from the hook on the case once unsuccessfully, then bingo–done on the second try. Yea, I did it! That didn’t take long at all; I was on track for task completion, success and accomplishment all before midnight at that. I was feeling pretty fine.
I felt both relief and pride that part one of this impromptu project had occurred with welcomed and surprising timeliness.

Almost gleeful, with confident determination I set my sights on that second and final clasp release and decided the “best” position I would do the clasp release maneuver would be with my right and, my weak hand. Seriously? Yes, I seriously was out to prove I could do this thing. Do it with my weaker hand, even though after a day’s activities my muscles were no doubt fatigued. I was treading in dangerous denial waters. Unfortunately, not for the first time. And ridiculous as it seemed later, was I was about to become embroiled in a battle of both will and dexterity with this damn clasp.

“Hand don’t fail me now” was my internal voice chant as I maneuvered, turning and twisting my wrist, as my thumb repeatedly disobeyed my firm command to push down on the clasp from sheer weariness. Frustration was building up as my suspicions of failure loomed, when suddenly I paused, took in a deep breath through my nose which swept in a welcomed return to a composure doused with humor about my zealous unclasping attempts. A sudden reflex of laughter uncontrollably came out from within. Then ironically, what I made to be out as a sacred task of unclasping a strap from a hook happened. Ha! I did it! Whoop, whoop and cheers followed.

Yes, I performed this seemingly small task to an audience of one—myself. Though this clasp task my not be important in the grand scheme of things it was for me that night a significant milestone in my quest to do my personal best and feel accomplished. All by 12:00 midnight, without having a complete meltdown.

And for me, that was truly something to cheer about.

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.


  • Deslu
    6 years ago

    May I start off by saying I am new to this site, and reading your story made me cry with complete understanding and giggle with your sweet, funny, story telling ways… Thank you for sharing, makes me feel half normal…
    Kudos to you!!!

  • Lexine Darden author
    6 years ago

    Your welcome Deslu, it feels good for me to know that someone else gets it.
    We may not do things like others, but what we do, we do with courage. 🙂

  • north-star
    6 years ago

    I’m often in the same place you are, Lexine, accomplishing something that’s hard enough to make me feel triumphant joy when I finish. Sharing can’t possibly bring the kudos we deserve for our monumental efforts and clever adaptations! When I tell someone what I did, it sounds kind of pitiful, which is the opposite of what I was trying to communicate. I like your whoop and cheers; I plan to do this myself in the future!

    Bravo, too for sticking to it!

  • Penny
    6 years ago

    Small accomplishments for those of us with MS seem very minor to those without, but it feels so good sometimes just to solve an issue by yourself! Everyday presents a new challenge and overcoming them is a win! What is great is having a forum like this~we all understand!

  • Lexine Darden author
    6 years ago

    We share a unique understanding of “accomplishment”, so I thank you for sharing your like experience and the congrats. Yes,climbing a small hill for one is like climbing Mount Everest to another. When it’s done, giving self kudos seems fitting after all the effort. I believe we have a perspective that is very valuable.

    Here’s to us for continued cheers!

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