A Hobby Lobby

By Doug Ankerman

Work may define us but it is our hobbies that makes us unique.

Hobbies give you zest. Give you fire. They put a sparkle in your eye.

A hobby is what makes you – YOU.

So don’t let anything, like the dreaded ick we call multiple sclerosis, take your hobbies away from you.

MS is no reason to give up an activity you love. Accommodations can be made so you may continue doing what you want to do.

Like to paint but can’t hold a brush? Don’t let that stop you. There are dozens of computer programs that allow you to create (and no messy clean-up!).

Like to dance but can’t stand? Take a chair onto the dance floor, plop down & shake your bootie, dammit. Believe me, you’ll have more dance partners than you can handle as others will gravitate to your spunk.

Like to garden? Get down & get dirty. I can’t walk in grass & mulch either, so I crawl through the flowerbeds slow as an earthworm. A garden gnome with filthy knees.

My point is, you can do whatever you want…by planning. Come to terms with your MS by saying “We’re gonna do it within reason, and this is how.” Then do it.

Here are a few of my favorite daily activities…


I try to move something every day. You don’t need a gym membership. Fine if you have one, but there are lots you can do at home. Walk your driveway. Walk inside, through your home.  Seated? Reach for the ceiling. Touch those toes. Add some weight for added resistance by holding soup cans. Or a jar of peanut butter. 

When I’m not using my Shake Weight or Thigh Master (pictured), I simply just roll around on the floor, pushing myself up, raising my legs, flailing my arms – moving anything & everything full body. Try it!


I write to ease my anxiety. Putting your feeling on paper is a tremendous release. And it’s way cheaper than therapy! I started a blog (myoddsock.com) where I make fun of MS. Thumbing my big nose at what MS has done to my life and how I’ve changed. Some are inspired by my musings, others disgusted. Either way, I’m just getting stuff off my chest. It helps with MS acceptance.

I write everything longhand. In journals (pictured). Just wish I could read my scratchy writing!


Being home due to MS I have rediscovered my love for reading. A good book takes you elsewhere. Introducing you to new people, places, & events without ever leaving your easy chair.  I read often – but not for long periods of time as Baclofen & MS fatigue take over and soon my chin is resting on my chest!

Here’s hoping you continue to thrive with your hobbies as I do mine. Never let MS take you away from your passions as they are what makes you, uniquely you.

Doug writes goofy stuff about MS & other topics on his humor blog at myoddsock.com

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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