Put Change in Your Pocket

By Doug Ankerman

Change is inevitable. It’s a part of life. Change is how we learn, cope and grow. Change excites, directs and motivates.

Me? Hmm, not so much. And for that I blame multiple sclerosis.

You see, pre-MS, I was casual. Nothing shook me up. Change was brushed off like crumbs on a table. But now after a couple of decades with MS, change makes me uncomfortable. Nervous. Anxious. Change quickly dishevels me from calm to a complete mess.

Coping with ChangeYou too? I believe it’s because of MS. We have so much more to think about.

Going someplace new I worry about parking, distance, which mobility aid to use, are we inside or outside, sun/temperature, surface, steps, crowds, noise, restrooms… gosh, did I forget anything?

It’s no wonder change makes me anxious. Makes me stress enough to cloud thinking, weaken my body, drain energy and tighten my muscles even more.

So how does one avoid change and the stress that comes with it?

You don’t. You can’t. As I said before change is inevitable. It’s gonna happen. Therefore, it is best you be ready. Remain as calm as you can. Breathe deep into your belly. And be prepared. In my car I have enough mobility aids to cover any situation/surface (and make Inspector Gadget envious). Ask questions about the event/destination. Know the forecast. Think as clearly as possible. Best of all, picture in your mind a positive, successful outing.

Multiple sclerosis has taken enough from you — don’t let it stop you from enjoying the variety of life that change presents.

Accept it. Welcome change. And thrive by it.

Put change in your pocket where it belongs — you’ve got some living to do.

*Doug writes about MS and other silly stuff on his humor blog at myoddsock.com.

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About MSAA

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.

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