By Doug Ankerman
It can be difficult to accept when multiple sclerosis steals your ability to work. A lifetime of training and talent gone. Poof. I know it was for me after giving over twenty years of sweat and soul in radio and advertising.
But because you have MS doesn’t mean it’s over, man. You simply need to change your perspective.
Having MS has given me (and probably you) a whole new skill-set from which to draw upon.
Let me explain with a tongue-in-cheek look at an MSer’s new level of expertise…..
Meticulous Note Taker: You write down everything to recall dates, times, appointments, names, to-do, shopping lists and more. Sticky notes are your blessing. And because your handwriting is so sloppy – only YOU can decipher your scribbles.
Medical Equipment Operator: You are quick to determine which piece of equipment you will need to accomplish a task. “I have the energy to walk today with canes.” Or, “I feel weak so I’ll use a scooter.” Also, you are the only one who knows how to properly collapse a rollator/wheelchair.
Personal Charging Station: You can doze off anytime, anywhere, in any situation or body position. Only you can snooze in a straight-back chair. Ten minutes to recharge and refuel and you are good to go.
Pro MRI Taker: You have done this so many times there is no fear of the tube. You thumb your nose at a Contrast. By knowing the difference of the machine’s bings and boings, you know when you can wriggle, shift and scratch.
Restroom Consultant: Because of MS, you have tried them all. Therefore you know the best and the worst. The clean and the filthy. The accessible & the not so. Because of your expertise, some call you the “Triple A” of public bathrooms.
Floor Surface Evaluator: You have the ability to determine the walk-ability of the environment. You are alert to surfaces that are rough, slippery, thick, plush, wet or uneven. Uphill and downhill are no match to an MSer’s precise judgment.
Stain Lifter: As one with MS you know how to get out food stains. You know when to blot and when to dab. When to rinse in cold water or when to pre-soak. While some carry an EpiPen, those of us with MS are never far from a Tide-To-Go. Being sloppy has a down-side, but an MSer is always prepared.
See, you DO have skills and talents that set you apart from the rest. Most importantly, you have the confidence to look MS in the eye and prevail. Multiple sclerosis can’t take your determination, intelligence, or guts unless you allow it. Hold your head up. Be proud. And keep fighting.
*Doug pokes fun at MS and other nonsense on his humor website at myoddsock.com. He also disappoints his family on Twitter @myoddsock.