Every day seems like moving day

Packing up your house and moving hundreds of miles away can be a daunting task for a healthy body. Add Multiple Sclerosis into the mix and it can become terrifying. That’s not an over exaggeration either.  Anyone who has moved can testify to that. The energy it takes to box up you entire life, load it into a moving truck and then unload it a few days later, wears a body out. It is my job now to make sense of the mess and boxes as I work to put my life back into order.

It’s kind of the same thing when diagnosed with MS. It’s as if one day life was going great and plans were set…then bam, it’s time to pack up and move from your normal, ordinary way of doing things into a new way of living filled with uncertainties almost on a daily basis. Sometimes those shifts are easy to make. Sometimes they are the hardest decisions you could ever imagine possible.

I still remember the day I started using a cane to help me walk. I was so stubborn at first. I knew I needed something to help me because I was stumbling and wobbling about, but I just couldn’t break down and get a cane. My doctor was the one who made it clear I needed to get one. She told me that a broken bone was not near as easy to fix as broken pride. Boy was she right.

I have had that same struggle with each major life changing moment along with way due to MS progressing and causing me challenges. Going to a walker was another huge move that I found hard, then a wheelchair. The wheelchair was a really tough decision.

I have also had tough changes to make around my house to make sure I’m living as safely and as comfortably as possible. Things like shifting to using lighter silverware to eat from since my old set of forks and spoons were heavy. Or placing my dishes on lower shelves for me to easily reach on my own. Or having grab bars installed in the shower. Or adding a ramp to the entrance to my house.

There are so many changes we make as this disease progresses. One thing I have learned over the years, MS will shed you of your pride one way or another. It gets chiseled away little by little. You would think by now I would be pride-free, but I still have a hard time asking people for help. Not in everything. But sometimes I still find myself just wanting to do things on my own…even if I have to struggle in the process. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

It’s okay to have a stubbornness in you that refuses to give up. It’s okay to ask a friend to allow you to do something even if you struggle in the process. It’s okay to try, try, and try again all on your own. But it’s also important to know when to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong in asking someone to help you do something. The asking part gets easier, trust me. And besides, from my experience, people really do want to help. Many times they just don’t know what they can do so they pull back and do nothing. When you open up and become honest with others about your true, genuine needs, most are ready to jump in and be a support. We just have to ask.

And to the ones that aren’t a help…you learn who they are fairly quick and that’s when you start to lighten your load. I’ve throw a few boxes off the truck in my lifetime. Make sure the people around you are a support and not a hindrance. It’s okay to lighten the load. I’ve had to shed a few people from my life because they caused me more trouble than helped.

Moving is tough…but it’s also rewarding. You learn who your true friends are in the process. Not may people are going to carry a heavy couch up three flights of stairs for you. Hold onto those people and be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them. Sometimes we forget to tell them.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

16 replies
  1. Trish Slaney says:

    Penelope, I didn’t move thousands of miles away like you, but I just moved (about 100km – IDK I am guessing) in the last two weeks to be near family and it is really hard. I can’t help like I want to, and people having to do things for me – that is not me! I am (was) such an independent person . It hurts to ask for help. BUT I am so grateful for all the help that I have received. It is a wonderful change / move for me to be next to family who are always there for me. Now they are just closer. 🙂

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Well I’m pleased it has happened to others. We had to endure over 10,000 earthquakes and after shocks, then had to move out while our place was worked on, then move back in and found there were several things that were not fixed and we still had to live here. I know what it means as when I was fitter we moved a few times and it was hard but not killing us but fit us ok. Now it’s hard and next to impossible to do.

  3. Leah
    Leah says:

    How ironic that I should read your blog today about this topic. There is a good chance that we may be moving abroad in a couple of months time due to the type of work my husband does. Besides having to pack up our stuff, I will need to adapt to a whole new culture that has a different belief system and that speaks a different language. I’m excited to live out this new experience yet I find myself dreading it too at times. Nothing has been made official of as yet…things are still in the workings. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  4. Priscilla
    Priscilla says:

    That is dead on Penelope! It’s ok to want to do things on our own, that’s what makes us stronger people :)! You, like me know when help is needed. But if we can do the job ourselves, it becomes a small moment of pride :).

  5. Rachel Cytanovic says:

    We packed up everything we owned and moved to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Life is very different. tried to Even though my husband and the movers did the lion’s share of the work, there was still a lot for me to do. (Oh joy) Getting things here and getting us here was quite a challenge. There was so much that I needed to do and couldn’t. At the time I used a scooter to get around outside which offers limited help in a place that has steps everywhere We live on the second floor so we installed a Stairlift which offered considerable help. Before we moved I had studied and gotten pretty good at the Croatian language. After we moved my ability to understand and speak Croatian got worse instead of better. When my “friends” in the MS Society chastised me for not speaking Croatian I point out to them that 1; I have MS, 2. I am old, and 3. I’m blonde. I tried to point out to them that the reason I am having so much trouble speaking Croatian is that I have MS and they sort of get it, but mostly they don’t. [rant over]

    • Mya Hall says:

      As a fellow MSer I say Kudos to you. Good on you for not only moving but such a massive move, that is Herculean 🙂 You got this MS girl’s support 😉

  6. Aileen Brown says:

    I have learnt when to ask and when to give in – think I cope better than some of my friends as they don’t understand when I say I want to do something myself they feel rejected and I have explained let me do what I can today because tomorrow could be a bad day and I need all the help I can get on those days

  7. Paulette Brown
    Paulette Brown says:

    Thank you for sharing this, and yes being stubborn- try try try and try again is a good thing for us to do as much as we can on our own but as you said asking for help is a good thing too.
    I too have also “thrown a few boxes off the truck” too, good way of putting getting rid of baggage, MS has taught me that if someone is not for me,(i.e. supportive) then they are against and why would I subject myself to this?
    It took me 6 years to ask for and get a handicap parking placard for the car, I don’t always use it but I have come to really really like that thing and sometimes miss it when it is not in the vehicle I am in! Yes pride sometimes gets in the way, but it is leaving…
    Thanks again for sharing.

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