Community Views: A Magical MS Bag

Life with multiple sclerosis (MS) requires lots of preparation and thought. There is much you need to successfully navigate each day.

We wondered what items, real or imaginary, help get you through a day. We asked community members on our Facebook page to tell us: “If you could create an everyday MS bag (think Mary Poppins pulling a lamp out of her purse kind of bag) that held everything you would need to be prepared for your day, what would be in it?”

You had some “practically perfect” responses!

Plenty of meds to help with flares and pain

Managing MS means keeping prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs with you. Flares and pain can arise at any time. You feel like a portable pharmacy.

  • “Pain killers.”
  • “Advil. Lots of Advil.”
  • “Medical marijuana.”

Tools to help you regulate your temperature

Temperature regulation can be challenging with MS. Many of you frequently overheat and sweat profusely. You would pull items to help you stay cool out of your magic carpetbag. While more of you need cooling items, some of you need items to keep you warm!

  • “Cooling pads.”
  • “My new cooling vest.”
  • “A portable cold shower and ice machine.”
  • “Air conditioning year-round. 2nd-floor condo facing southwest; year-round AC.”
  • “My neck fan.”
  • “Ice packs and cold drinking water!”
  • “A heater.”

Materials that explain MS to others

Often people in your life do not understand the nature of MS. It is wearying having to explain the disease over and over. Several of you wished for the ability never to explain this disease again.

  • “A huge stack of books explaining what MS is to hand people and tell them not ever to talk to me again unless they read the entire book.”
  • “Flyers of what MS is, so I don’t have to explain it anymore.”

Plenty of feel-good items

Comfort items were high on your list of things to pull out of your bag. These items help you feel supported navigating life with MS. Flares with MS are miserable. These items soothe both mind and body.

  • “Sweatpants, sweatshirt, my fuzzy socks, pillow, my softest blanket, Architectural Digest to look at pictures, a plant, my iPad, water, eye mask for sleeping, and my dogs.”
  • “Muscle relaxers, ice packs, pain meds, my teddy bear, phone and charger, and a good book if I can see. Oh, and some snacks!”
  • “Tennis shoes, Dr. Pepper, pain pills, room-temp water, sunglasses.”
  • “My iPad and a martini.”

A bit of magic

Many of you enjoyed using Mary Poppins’ magic in filling your MS bag! It is fun to dream big about what you could pull out of a bag when there are no rules. Your creativity and imagination are impressive!

  • “Fairy dust. For sprinkles of peace, joy, happiness, calm, and healing. And a couple million dollars.”
  • Energy.”
  • “The cool breeze of the NE ocean in summer and the dry weather of the SW in winter.”
  • “A toilet.”
  • “A never-ending paycheck, so I could stop working and tend to my health issues.”
  • “I would pull out a cure for all of us.”

We appreciate all the responses you provided to this prompt! From the serious to the silly, we enjoyed hearing what you would pull out of a magical MS bag. Thank you all for participating and being part of the community.

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