As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.
Staying organized in life is very important. It is beneficial to keep all of your doodads and doohickeys diligently divided so that you can reach them in an instant. The smart choice is to keep your selection of widgets neatly stacked for your convenience. It is essential to keep your entire calendar of events prominently posted for your perfunctory perusal.
I love being organized. I love containers and labels. I love having my finances organized and being able to find paperwork when needed. It brings me a sense of peace to plan things, be prepared and know what to expect. When everything has a place and is put away, it brings me joy. Living with a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis can be the exact opposite of that. It’s unpredictable, it disrupts plans, it can be invisible, and often it doesn’t have a logical reason behind the symptoms it brings. It can be manageable, but it’s not curable. Unlike my belongings, it can’t be fixed and controlled.
Okay, I hear you saying “you got this”… “no problem”… or the hackneyed, overused phrase “I have MS but it doesn’t have me.”
Yeah, I hear you tough guy/tough gal.
I hear you because I used to say the same. When I was diagnosed back in 1996, I thought MS didn’t know what it was messing with. I didn’t need any help. Didn’t need advice. Didn’t need to talk about it and burden someone else with my belly-aching. Continue reading →
Some of us have been in the situation where a loved one has experienced a health problem, a sickness, addiction, or recent medical diagnosis and they are too stubborn or proud to admit this, let alone ask for help. As care partners we feel that it is our responsibility to push them to get help – to remind them about setting up an appointment, or to even try and convince them to go see someone about their situation.
As I age, I’m getting more intentional about who I spend time with and how I shape interactions. We can’t always completely avoid people who drain us, but we can shift how we approach our interactions. We can’t always spend enough time with the people we love, but we can shape our relationships to maximize our joy and connection. A lot of our daily lives involve acquaintances who with a small amount of attention can become friends. Our friends and family won’t always have the skills or perspective to meet our needs, but we can find circles of friends who will fill the gaps.
It is tough when dealing with MS. You don’t want to be the burden and the boil on someone’s bum. But, you also don’t want to seem stubborn in not asking for help. The winds of MS are blowing at each other. I get it.
Sadly we have to buffer the winds. Bad hair days from those winds are common. Keeping calm in the wind storm is hard. MS is a strong contender. Being calm can help avoid a flare.