Overcoming the challenges of MS requires strength, and often more than a little creativity. Whether it’s inventing a way to pull up your socks, keeping your energy up or some other challenge you’ve overcome, share your solution and discover how others overcome the challenges of MS.
The biggest challenge for me to overcome was to allow others to assist me. i had always done things for myself and others so it was alien, uncomfortable and unwelcome to be forced to need others to assist me in my living. Then, at some point I realized how good it made me feel to assist others and I slowly began to accept and appreciate others doing for me. Still, it is a bizzare event to have someone be generous to me, I am still struggling, learning how to be gracious in other's generosity.
Yes i agree..but i am learning!
I'm not afraid to ask for help but when people want to do everything for me they're telling me you look helpless and hopeless. Asking for help is easy people butting in it's a struggle for me.
Using the tools in the discussion: Take Charge of My MS has given me new ways to rethink things about ms.
Also, I give my computer part of my brain task to work on. I say brain, see if you can find a solution to the nausea, etc. I give my subconscious brain a problem to work on after I have exhausted all the ideas I can consciously come up with. This way I dont have to spend any more time about it, I know the brain is working on it, looking for solutions. It is like closing a book, and I can go on to other things. I know the brain does what I tell it to do, and if it does not solve the problem I know there is not yet a solution, i have done all I can do.
When we first moved to Missouri we would plan what we wanted to do outside tomorrow, but when tomorrow came the weather would always interfere and the job would not get done. it took a while but we learned to do whatever we could when we could, not when we wanted to, mother nature was dictating and there was nothing we could do about it. We would get up in the morning, look out the window and decide, CAN we go out today, too hot too wet too windy etc.
So, now I get up and appraise myself, what can I do today. No longer do I plan that I will do this tomorrow. I always look at myself to see what am I able to do today.
Since I have ms I know my brain somethimes likes to play tricks on me and short out the wiring to some part of my body. I have learned a good way to avoid a lot of the walking into walls, tripping, dropping things, and speach problems by resting before I get tired, Little breaks while doing tasks prevent me from harming myself. Like in the old days i could vacuum the whole house in one action. Now a room at a time, sitting and pushing the machine when I can, then stopping the task and resting, maybe looking at a magazine, or going on line to do some reading or looking at pictures. Some breaks are five minutes some an hour. With practice at resting I can notice when the body is slowing, when the head begins to fog and the limbs getting tired. Also, not doing the same tasks for hours, changing the physical activity to move different parts of the body. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
My best tool is the standing order my computer brain has:FIND THE FASTEST EASIEST WAY TO GET THE JOB DONE, Some jobs dont get started until the computer part of the brain has solved the problem and delivers the message. Like, I know I gotta clean the bathroom, but sometimes I just sit and wait, then the message arrives, do it this way, instead of that way. Use the squeegy with a rag attached to clean the tub so I dont have to bend , or use a a lot of rags at the end of the mop to wash the kitchen floor so i can keep changing rags, wont have to keep rinsing the mop and I can put all the rags in the washer when I am done.
Dear Friends, The computer part of my brain loves this months discussion, it is able to interpret the question with ease and is throwing out thoughts like a popcorn machine.
There are two things I have learned in my sixty-nine years that are the most valuable tools which have influenced my life with ms.
1. Learning that I can talk to the computer part of my brain and give it problems to solve. Twenty years ago when we moved to Missouri we, my partner and I, knew for sure that I had very little time left on this planet. I was a shell that was deteriorating rapidly. All the questions I asked my brain to solve has given me twenty years along with whatever is left of me. Dont give up on your computer brain working to solve some of your problems.
2. This months question has brought me back to when I was twenty-three and learning economics. Learning how the world works has liberated me to a place of peace. So, for those of you who are unaware of economics I am sharing a simplified synopsis to give you the best information I have ever learned in my lifetime. It will free your mind to do other things.
Economics is the efficient use of the scarce resources:
land - there is a finite quantity of land for living, nourishment, and commerce(those who use the land wisely reap the greatest rewards)
Labor - skilled labor is scarce, in all businesses. Wages are paid for the most productive worker. (You have heard: It is a poor workman who blames his tools, that can be - a worker who has poor tools to be used to do a job, or a worker who is not prepared with the skill needed to use the tools.)
Capital - This is the buildings and equipment used to produce a product or service. Think about Airline efficency or the Auto industry's production lines[recalls mean they must redo what has already been done poorly. costing more time and money to do the same thing over again] This also includes minerals like gold silver copper etc
Entreprenunrial Ability - These are the guys like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mayor Bloomberg - businessmen who create jobs to employ people. There is not a lot of the creative people who think up new ideas. First Gutenberg invented the printing press so people besides rulers could learn, we no longer are surfs. Then there was the invention of the typewriter to further the written word, and now we have the computer. Somebody had to think this stuff up.
Scientist are some of the leaders, like our space program. People other than austronauts will soon be traveling to outerspace for amusement, like going to Florida for vacation.
If you look at everything you own with those four scarce resources in mind you will find a new way of looking at everything.
Have you ever bought a lemon - a car from the day you got it home, is more trouble than what it is worth, always breaking down, always needing repair? That company ought to be out of business, or you should get your money back, remember the yugo?
In the old days, things were made to last. In our basement we have the 1973 refrigerator, and hot water heater that was first bought for the house and both work, except we cant get gaskets for the frig so we only use it for emergency or lots of company so we tie it closes to hold the seal. We have already in ten years bought two dishwashers and two wall ovens because they broke and were obsolete so we could not get parts to repair them.
I hope this simple example of ecomomics helps you understand how the world works, making your life a little less difficult. maria
[still poppin corn]
Do your best all the time, pay attention to what you are doing when you brush your teeth, you hate your job, so what, that doesnt matter, do your best, so you can feel good about yourself, even though sometimes your best just isnt good enough. Do what ever you must to be able to live with yourself, So you have satisfaction with what you are doing with your life. Being able to live with yourself is all important, and if you are doing your best, you have good cause to like yourself and feel good about yourself. Even the limits of ms dont matter when you know what you need to do to take really good care of yourself. Every thing after that is gravy, the bonus, the brass ring, the reward. No one can like you if you do not like you, and only you know what you need to do to like you and feel good about you. Even being tired wont matter if you can smile at your self for doing your very best, your excellence.
Walking is my biggest challenge and todat I don't think I found the best way to fix it. I about a year go got myself a walker and it helps when I can tak it with me but there times it is just not convenient to do so. So that puts me back with my cane that I seem to trip over a lot but it is all I have. No easy solution for this and still looking, I would get a cart to ride on if I could find the money to pay for one.
I've been using a walker for over a year after some scary but not damaging falls using a four legged cane. I encourage you to be creative in avoiding situations where it is impossible to use your walker. Safety first! I am not safe with a cane and I realize that one serious fall could forever change my life for the worse. For reasons of convenience, I use a "standard" walker with wheels of the front legs and skids on the rear. I can easily fold up this walker and take it wherever I go. Rollators, while great due to the seat, don't fold flat ant I find them difficult to transport. With my standard walker, I rarely find myself in a situation where I can't use it.
Finally, I do use an electric scooter for a distance of more than 50 yards or so. I think it is a shame that Medicare will only pay for a scooter if you can demonstrate that you require it for in home use. You may have already contacted your local NMSS Chapter; but, if not, it might be worthwhile to do so. There may be charitable organizations that will help you obtain refurbished, used scooters at a very low cost.
Good luck and please stay safe.
This is the first time that I have responded to one of your topics. This topic is close to my every day considerations. Having lived and worked with MS approximately 35 years, fatigue has always been a major challenge. However, now as I age: even more consideration is needed to remain active and engaged. To continue with my hobbies of wood carving and scrollsaw work and gardening. Firstly, my workshop is arranged so all equipment is mounted on wheels, and hand tools are stored at power-chair height. As for the garden; compacted paths have been installed, so that a power scooter can be used to reach as many areas of the garden as possible. I am always on the lookout for tools that are suitable. Then by mid-day, after a number of rests, it time for lunch, retire to my recliner, have a power nap; then spend the rest of the day on the laptop, which takes the remaining strength. Walking is now no longer possible. Brain fog would dominate, if it wasn't for my power nap.
There's 2 things I do know for sure help me out a lot. I have trouble sleeping due to pain. I have covered my bed in cushions and pillows. When I sleep on my stomach I will arrange them so my knees have a natural bend without havinganything touch my knees. My legs hurt ot go fuly straight and my knees are really sensitive. This helps nothing touch my knees and give my that bend. Due to MS it may change from day to day. I constantly change how they are placed so I can get some sleep. Another thing I know I do that really helps me is wrist and ankle weights. I have trouble with my hands, some days are much worse than others. I 've taking these weights and strapped them to my wrist, so I don't lose too much strength in my upper body. I use my teeth to strap them onto my wrist on the days it's really bad.
As stregths go, I would say to look into your life and find the things that keep you motivated. Something that helps me a lot is remembering what my grandfather use to say to me all the time when I thought things were too hard. "If I can do it, you can do it." To better put this in contexts. He was drafted during WWII and lost an arm and a leg at 19. He made the best of it every day. I was 5 when he died. As kids we tend to think things are too hard when we just need to try harder to do something. It's been 21yrs since I heard him say those words to me. I use them to this day to have the strength to keep on pushing through the hard times of MS. Whether it's your kids or a spouce or something else you hold close, use it to motivate you and give you strength on them dark days. Even when you want to give in, something that close to you will keep you fighting through whatever issues you're going through.