Change Nothing and Nothing Changes

By Doug Ankerman

You take the meds, see your doctor and hope your annual MRI doesn’t show disease progression.

Seriously? That’s all you got?

Multiple sclerosis is laughing at you, man. Snickering at your lackluster effort. You cannot afford to sit back and wait. You must put up your dukes and fight back every single day.

MS doesn’t take a day off. Neither should you in your efforts against it.

"Change Nothing and Nothing Changes" - MS Symptom TipsThink about the above. Change nothing and nothing changes. If you are being passive with your MS, how do you expect to improve?

You are smart by taking meds and seeing a doctor. But there is so much more you can do. A million things you to make changes and fight back.

Having cognitive issues? Read. Play word games. Do crossword puzzles. Play memory games with a deck of cards. I use “Math Brain Booster” (a free phone download) to bust up cob-webs in my head. Write. Journal your MS thoughts. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. Change it up to make your brain work.

Change Nothing and Nothing Changes

Have problems with your hands? Work ’em! Use your other hand to move, pull, stretch, tug and separate the fingers. Try picking up small objects like coins, paperclips or M&M’s. Squeeze a ball or rolled up sock to strengthen your grip. Try this hand exercise…

MS Symptom Tips - Hand ExercisesLoop a rubber band over your fingertips and open your hand. Do it again, again and again. Not so easy is it? Keep at it. Now give the other hand a try.

How about your feet?  If your tootsies are like mine—they’re just kind of there. Let’s wake ’em up. Do with your toes as you did with your fingers. Move ’em. Pull ’em. Separate ’em. Tickle your feet. Make them jump. Tickle them until the lazy nerve endings come alive again.

Change Nothing and Nothing Changes

How ‘s your balance? Do this simple exercise to improve your steadiness…

MS Symptom Tips - BalanceGive yourself something to hold onto, like a chair or countertop. Now wad up a towel to put at your feet. Stand on the uneven surface. Remove your hands and try to keep your balance. Keep trying to stand as long as you can without touching. Feel the small muscles and tendons of your feet and ankles working—doing their job!

Change Nothing and Nothing Changes

My point is, you can do so much to improve your MS situation. Small changes produce BIG benefits. I promise. Move what you can as much as you can. Reach. Stretch. Walk. Wiggle. Roll around on the floor. Then get up. Do it again. Make changes and you will SEE changes. FEEL changes. Be active, not passive, with your MS. Fight back. You CAN make a change.

*Doug writes about MS and other goofy stuff on his humor blog at

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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 or call (800) 532-7667.

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