Our Relationship? It’s Complicated

By Doug Ankerman

Relationships come in all forms. Personal. Family. Professional. Casual. The list runs as long as your arm.

Each relationship, different in its own way. And each, as unique as the next.

We try our darndest to be careful with words and actions not to lead, disrupt or inflame. Care must be exercised to keep a relationship in its particular form — as crossovers can mean trouble.

Add multiple sclerosis into the fray and judgements can be blurred. Thoughts jumbled. Feelings fuzzed.

That is why I am thankful for two very special relationships in my life. 

One, with a local auto parts store. And the other, the neighborhood plumber’s supply.

There, we experience connections on a higher plain. A shared silence of understanding.

Not being handy, nor mechanical, I am mummified to explain what I need or am attempting to do.

Relationships - Doug looking confused

Mostly, I shuffle into their establishment with a pathetic look on my face.

A blank stare of incompetence.

From my pocket, I produce a worn-out part, some gadget-gizmo. I don’t know its name or purpose. I simply put it on their dirty counter and let them go to work.

Not a word is exchanged as they see the desperation in my eyes. They will gather up everything I need. Then carefully explain how to complete my back-handed attempt at the project.

Of course, having MS, their words fly over my head like Blue Angels at an air show.

(They are seeing my dumb face pictured above, remember?)

So, they simplify their explanation. Even drawing me a crude diagram on the back of the receipt.

Satisfied, I shuffle back to my car and home again with new-found confidence.

Balsa-wood bravado. Paper-thin capability. But it’s all good. 

What we have is special indeed. A relationship that’s…yeah, it’s complicated.

*Doug writes about multiple sclerosis and other stuff on his humor blog at myoddsock.com

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You Are Not Alone – Anxiety and Depression in MS

By Doug Ankerman

It is not easy.

Of all symptoms one can experience with multiple sclerosis, I find anxiety and depression to be the most challenging.

For foot drop — I wear an AFO. Heat tolerance — I put on a cooling vest. Balance issues — I use a rollator. But for anxiety and depression, there is no aid. No clunky piece of equipment to help you through. Continue reading

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Reluctant to Change

By Doug Ankerman

Multiple sclerosis has been, and continues to be, the best disease I could ever have!

(More on this later.)

When it comes to change, I have been reluctant, even rebellious, my whole life.

Strange places, new faces, different situations make me Continue reading

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War is Heck

By Doug Ankerman

You, with multiple sclerosis, fall-in, and listen up! You’ve got a battle to win. It’s time to step up and fight!

As you know stress is your enemy in this war. Your silent, invisible, debilitating nemesis.

Now, stress is Continue reading

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Abracadabra

By Doug Ankerman

Nothing up my sleeve! It is magic I tell ya!

Magic how a disease like multiple sclerosis works from the inside-out. Hiding your symptoms from those around you.

MS uses deceptive tricks to mask your illness, prompting some to ask the dreaded, cringe-worthy question… Continue reading

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10 DOs and DON’Ts of Keeping Busy

By Doug Ankerman

If you are a homebody like me, the current stay at home directives are no big deal. Keep busy on the other hand can at times be as challenging as finding a pen that works when needing to take a message. That’s why I offer you these “10 DOs and DON’Ts of Keeping Busy.” Continue reading

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Being an M&M

By Doug Ankerman

They call THESE challenging times, huh?

Well they don’t know squat about those of us with multiple sclerosis!

They don’t know challenging until they button a shirt with MS “fumble fingers.”

They don’t know challenging until they enter a place with a door that opens out—while sitting in a wheelchair. Continue reading

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The New You

By Doug Ankerman

Here is my car. My loyal steed. Thirteen years old with 145,000 hard-earned miles on the odometer. Showing more than its share of bumps and scrapes. Door dings. And a couple of rust spots. Inside the carpet is worn in places while the driver’s seat has a stain of a long, forgotten fast-food burger.

Acceptance, they call it.“Wait a minute, what does this have to do with MS?” you ask.

Well hear me out. Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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It’s in the Contract

By Doug Ankerman

Mental wellness? Wait. When given my MS diagnosis years ago, all talk centered around the physical side. No one mentioned anything about the mental challenges of MS.

For this reason, I renege my contract with multiple sclerosis! (Wish it was that easy, right?)

Mental wellness with MSFact is, in my experience, mental wellness is WAY harder to manage. I have AFO’s to help with foot drop. A rollator to Continue reading

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