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.

Like my car I also have had multiple sclerosis a long time (23 years). I too have logged many miles since my diagnosis. Plenty of cuts and bruises to go with it. Falls, tumbles. Weakened limbs too. Slow gait and a loose bladder among others.

My point is, my car isn’t the fastest on the road. It isn’t the flashiest thing to look at. Plus, the ride isn’t as smooth as a new one. But I don’t expect it to be. I recognize its limits. And I am fine with them. My old car meets my expectations.

The same holds true for my MS. I know I can’t walk as fast as before. Don’t have the energy I once did. My balance sucks. While my mind doesn’t work like it used to. I have had to learn to work with the new me. Lower my expectations a tad. And not be so hard on myself.

You may find yourself in the same situation. Be assured it is okay to ease up on yourself and realize you are not what you used to be. Acceptance, they call it. Accepting one’s diagnosis and taking positive steps forward to make the most of what you have. Managing the expectations of the new you.

So, it may take you longer to complete a task. So, you may need extra rest. So, you may need to sit down. It’s okay. It’s the new you. And there is nothing wrong with that.

*Doug writes goofy stuff about MS and other subjects 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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