Archive for December, 2012

39

Adapting To MS

Me and MS  are forever intertwined. I hate u MS.

I come here weekly simply sharing what’s happening in my life. I wish every blog I write wasn’t about multiple sclerosis, but it is. It’s hard for me to discern where MS stops and I start. We are forever intertwined. I’ve got to accept that.

But not today!

My husband and I are still unpacking from our latest relocation. It’s been a learning process. I now know it’s okay for me to stay in the background. I remained out of the way while practicing patience. I sat on the side watching in silence. I didn’t unpack or pack a thing. I didn’t lift a finger. Doing nothing proved to be very difficult for me. I guess in hindsight I could have completely left the scene, stayed with family a few days and returned to the finished product. But, if I had, I wouldn’t have learned my newest lesson.

So far the best thing that has come out of this ‘grueling’ move is my new bedroom set. You see my last bedroom furniture was rather tall. I had problems reaching the top drawers on my dresser and my bed was so high it actually came with stairs. No joke. I think it’s a southern thing. Each night my husband, Tommy, had to physically put me in the bed. Under normal circumstances this would be deemed romantic.

Not in my case.

I needed stair to get into my old bed.

The new bed is a platform bed with a mattress and bunkie board instead of a box spring. It’s much lower to the ground than common beds and it definitely does not require steps of any sort to access. In essence, it’s like you are sleeping on the floor. It’s definitely not for everyone but just right for Tom and I.

I got in bed last night with no assistance, no need for anyone’s help. I felt capable and independent. I was so excited. It made the whole move worthwhile. Maybe adapting to MS instead of continually fighting is the way to go? I’m not sure if I will be able to continually do that but it definitively worked out for me this time. What a great way to start off the New Year. I couldn’t be happier.

Happy New Year!

39

Letting Go

Sometimes you have to let the people who love you take control.

It’s challenging when situations arise and the best thing you can do is…do nothing at all.

We are in the middle of moving from our apartment to the condo we just bought. Things actually, went fairly smooth. My husband did most of the packing and we hired a moving company to transport our furniture and possessions. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we had. Then my husband reminded me that we basically have the same amount of stuff now as we had three years ago when we moved in our apartment. We live humbly.

Slowly, I realized what the real problem was. The last time we moved I could physically help out and now, riddled with multiple sclerosis, I cannot. Three years ago, I could actually pack boxes and lift a few things and function independently in general.

I begin feeling like a useless shell of my former self. My husband saw my impending mental collapse and gently pushed me toward the things he knew I could handle. I changed our mailing address online. I took care of the electricity and cable needs with a few phone calls. I coordinated with a contractor to help us modify a bathroom. I met with the condo manager to ensure the condo association was on board. These things made me feel relatively useful and temporarily fulfilled.

We moved from an apartment to a condo.My feeling of accomplishment was temporary because by the time we were in the new place among piles of boxes and scattered furniture I became a prisoner in my own home. I couldn’t safely hobble about nor use the scooter. I was a walking, no pun intended, fall risk. This frustrated the hell out of me!

Again, I fell forward… right into my computer. Not literally, although that very well could have been the case. I mean I found something I could do. Talk to you guys! So I sat back chatted on Facebook and Twitter and let my husband take control of the moving process.

Later I began feeling silly for basically just feeling sorry for myself.

I realized that I have better things to do.

7

On The Move

Good news. I'm moving to a new home. Bad news. Small bathroom.

I’m in the process of moving into a great condo!

I am so busy I don’t have time to write anything. But boy do I have a lot to say.

So until next week check out this great article “EVERYDAY HEALTH” wrote about My New Normals.

My New Normals: An MS Blogger Shares Her Experiences

32

Happy Land

After I got off the cruise ship from my recent vacation and stepped back into my real world, a certain familiar mundane mood came over me. In the past when I would feel slightly depressed, I’d picked up a self-help book and attempt to “fix” myself. I guess this time I got a case of cruise lag because I started reading “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor.

I still openly lament the fact that I can’t safely walk alone, cook on a stove and I miss I the independence I use to take for granted. Okay, that’s enough of that; I think you get my point.

To be honest, I believe that if all these things were somehow given back to me, I would automatically be happy. It’s similar to the way one may believe that happiness will come when they lose weight or get that big job or promotion. But the thing is when we do get it we are happy for awhile then the bar gets raised and suddenly there’s something else a little farther off into the distance we need to be happy again. It’s like a never-ending journey to “Happy Land”.

This book has presented to me an entirely new concept. I’m only on page 80 of 210 but this is what I got so far. It basically shows us how to leverage the power of positive thinking in our lives. It says that we must be happy first where we are and then you can be more motivated and productive. In other words, happiness precedes important outcomes and indicators of thriving. The most interesting thing to me is that our external circumstances predict only 10 percent of our happiness. It’s teaching me to constantly scan my life looking for positive possibilities dormant in every situation.

The book’s author goes on to explain different exercises and principles that are very realistic. No, I’m not talking about a bunch of positive fluffy mumbo jumbo. That’s not really my thing. The lady who recommended the book to me is also in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis and she said it has helped her cope. I took her recommendation to heart because a few years ago I think I may have overestimated the negative effects that living in a wheelchair would leave on my life. And so far this book has opened my eyes to new possibilities. I have new ways of looking at the same things.

I’ve decided to adopt an optimistic explanatory style to interpret the world I live in. I’m seeking out the positive. Something I don’t usually revert to. My husband once said that if I won the lottery, I’d be worried about paying the taxes! The idea that things are never as bad as we originally think is not a new concept. I just usually blow things way out of proportion.

Achor says it’s about using that downhill momentum to push us in the opposite direction. Now that seems tricky to me but I’m willing to give it a try. The question remains, can a change in my mindset really change the objective world around me?

“The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work” by Shawn Achor.

39

Make It Work

My family takes a week long cruise every two years during Thanksgiving. I myself have gone three times in the past but never with my husband and certainly never in my present state. So it was the first time for both of us in many ways. He has never been on a cruise of any kind. I have never been since my diagnosis has tainted me physically. So, it was bitter sweet.

For my husband I could understand the 10 years it took him to finally agree to join us. First off, it is basically all my friends and family. That means most importantly his in-laws including his father-in-law (my father). Secondly, to make matters worse, my poor hubby was sea sick the majority of the cruise. Remember, it was a SEVEN-day voyage. I should have known it was going to be rough for him because he can barely stomach flying!

As for me, it was challenging viewing a world I use to be an active part of. Many of the activities offered on board that interested me really didn’t accommodate me. Also they only offered two wheelchair accessible excursions at the three ports of call we stopped at.

Still it was nice to be catered to. It was welcoming to be surrounded by family. It was great that for once hubby wasn’t totally responsible for the cooking and cleaning. Also we still participated in many activities despite the accommodation hurdles.

It was scary yet invigorating to step out of my comfort zone and to revisit an old pastime yet in a different way. Because of my fatigue it was exhausting trying to keep up with everyone else…but I did. We did!

I’m so proud we made it work and had a good time.