Ideas for Indoor Activities With MS

When you live with multiple sclerosis (MS), it is easy to feel overwhelmed by extreme weather, be it hot or cold. Cold weather, especially, can make it hard to move your limbs and can cause muscle spasms. On days when the weather is too much, you may head inside to feel better.

To find out how those living with MS stay mentally and physically active on the days that weather pushes them inside, we reached out on Facebook. We asked, “If you want to do an activity but cannot be outside due to extreme weather, what is your go-to indoor activity?”

Sixty community members shared their go-to activities! Here is what they had to say:

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When the MRI Stays the Same but Symptoms Get Worse

One of the hardest parts of living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is feeling like doctors do not fully understand or appreciate the extent of your symptoms. This is especially true if they consider only your MRI results. Sadly, this experience is common. Many people living with MS have worsening symptoms even when their MRI results stay the same.

To find out more, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked community members, “Have you ever had an MRI checkup that showed no noticeable changes, however you felt as if your MS was worsening?”

Nearly 400 community members responded! Here is what they shared.

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Signs of an MS Flare

Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) means dealing with flares. Flares occur when symptoms worsen for at least 24 hours. To be considered a flare, it also must occur 30 days or more after the last attack.

We wondered what cues your body gives you about flares. We asked our community on Facebook, “How can you tell that you are experiencing an MS flare?” We got more than 250 responses, so it is clear that there are many ways flares affect you.

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You Know You Have MS When . . .

The day you receive a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can feel surreal. It is common to be in denial and want to ignore it. But over time, you start to see that your symptoms match what the doctor explained would happen.

For most people, there is a moment when they cannot deny their symptoms or their diagnosis anymore. And life goes on.

To find out more about what that moment looks like, we turned to the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked the community to fill in the blank: “You know you have MS when _____________.”

More than 250 people in the community responded. Here is what they said.

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How Visual Patterns Affect People With Multiple Sclerosis

It may come as a surprise to many people that multiple sclerosis (MS) affects eyesight. But those living with MS know it can compromise parts of their vision, including depth perception.

MS affects the muscles in the body, sometimes including the muscles around the eyes. Having eye muscles that are weak or damaged can lead to complications like dizziness or vertigo. Like MS itself, these visual problems get worse with fatigue and stress.1

Illustration of woman with MS dizziness and vertigo covering face with hands and illustrative circles around her head

To find out more about the issues the MS community faces, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked, “Does patterned flooring or wallpaper ever make you feel unstable or put you into a feeling of vertigo?”

More than 200 people responded. Here is what they shared.

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Surprising Causes of My MS Flares

Learning how to live with MS takes time. Only through experience can someone learn which things in their environment trigger an MS flare. Many of these triggers can come as a total surprise.

To find out more about your experiences, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page and asked the community to fill in the blank: “I was surprised that ______ causes my multiple sclerosis to flare.”

More than 400 people responded. Here is what they shared.

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What Is It Like Growing Up With MS?

MultipleSclerosis.net illustration of a cartoon hand with a blue crayon coloring blue and black word balloons

Getting a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis early in life can present unique challenges. Many teachers and principals are still learning how to best help students with MS. Also, young adults may not know how to act with a classmate who faces problems they do not understand. For young people with MS, this can cause a strain on their social life.

To find out more about these challenges, we asked our MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook community members: “Did or do you have MS as a kid, teen, or young adult? What was or is school and social life like?”

More than 150 people responded. Here is some of what they shared.

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Community Views: Improving the Doctor’s Office

Visits to the doctor are part of living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Whether you go routinely or once in a while, it is an ordeal. When you get to the office, you encounter challenges. We wondered what would make the visits better. 

To learn more, we turned to community members on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. There, we asked you to answer this prompt: “Fill in the blank: If I could make the doctor’s office more MS-friendly, I would ____.” 

You had some inspired ideas for changes.

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Community Views: Aging Fears with MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease. This means symptoms worsen as time goes on. Thinking about the future can cause anxiety. You worry about what happens in the future. 

We recently provided space for sharing those concerns on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. There, we asked community members to tell us: “What’s your biggest fear about aging with MS?” 

More than 600 responses revealed several common threads.

This is an illustration of a female figure thinking about aging and progression and anxiety

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Community Views: What Only We Know

Multiple sclerosis (MS) impacts the body in many ways. Is difficult for those on the outside to understand. There are certain things only other MS warriors fully comprehend. Connecting with others living with MS feels affirming. 

To learn more about these unique issues, we turned to the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked community members to complete this prompt: “Fill in the blank: _____ is something that only someone with MS would understand.” 

One of you captured it well: “When we say, ‘I don’t feel good,’ this has an entirely different meaning.”

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