I do things differently now

I pulled my blue pants out of the closet the other day to wear to an appointment. After getting dressed I looked down and noticed that the hem of my right pant leg was almost completely pulled out.  My first thought was, “Oh no…but I wanted to wear these today.”

Once I noticed the hem, I could have taken the time to pick out something new to wear, but I had my heart set on wearing those slacks. So what did I do?  I went to my junk drawer and began rummaging through it to find a needle and thread.  My hands don’t coordinate well most of the time, but I was willing to take the time to see if I could make it work.

As I quickly looked through the drawer, wouldn’t you know it, t couldn’t find one single needle or even the thread. I found lots of other things: door keys, pens, thumb tacks, gum, and even a bolt…but no needle and thread. Tucked under some paper I spotted the double-sided tape and thought, “Hey, that might work.”

I know that was a dumb idea, but I was willing to give it a try. I tore off some tape and taped up the hem but found out fairly quick that it just wasn’t strong enough to work. I’m sure duct tape would have done the trick since we all know it fixes anything, but I didn’t have any.

I sat there for a minute like Winnie the Pooh tapping my head, “Think, think, think.” That was when the light bulb went off in my head and I decided to do what every woman has done at some point. I grabbed the stapler from that same drawer and stapled it up. It worked like a charm and was even doable with weak hands. By the time I was done, you couldn’t even tell I had stapled it either.

Many times people think their life is over once they are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, especially as the disease progresses limiting their mobility and ability to do certain things, but that is so far from the truth. The truth is that you can accomplish anything you put your heart and mind to…you just might do it differently than you thought. Like those staples I used to hold the hem of my pants up, you will find a different way to do things and maybe even invent something amazing in the process.

You can’t be afraid to try. I can guarantee you that in your trying you are going to feel like a failure at some point…maybe even more than once or twice. But choose to be like Thomas Edison at those times. During his work on the lightbulb, he said “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

You will find a way that works too! Whether you find a better way to improve your life or a new way to do something that others tell you (or even you tell yourself) can’t be done, keep trying. Don’t give up on living. Don’t give up trying. Don’t give up no matter how impossible or difficult things may get. Just don’t give up. You will find a way that works for you.

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.

12 replies
  1. Nikki
    Nikki says:

    I was diagnosed last year. Had no idea how much this disease can try to take from you. I was going to find everything to fight this. I changed my diet. Physically trying to workout everyday. Educating myself and staying positive. I am trying to attack this disease in every single way possible. I want to find anything and everything I can that will help me fight this horrible disease. Any direction or advice would greatly be appreciated.

    -Nikki

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

    That’s what I like about the challenges we have been given. You can do anything if you just work it out a do it. I have trouble putting on my underwear so I have a chair with a formed rail across the side. With this I can lift my dysfunctional leg onto the rail and put on one side (preferably the right) and then do the other on the floor.This sounds so simple but before I was struggle to ‘be normal’ and that didn’t work.just infuriate me and still not dress. Sometimes we have to think ‘outside the square’ and try. It’s a great feeling when it works no matter how long or hard it is. As you say Penelope we are all warriors of some type and any battle won is our victory.

  3. Allison Morgan
    Allison Morgan says:

    So much has changed in my life. If I can’t find a different way of doing something, I might just relegate it to the “been there, done that” file (skiing, skating, sailing, earning a good living), and be grateful to have had the good fortune to have done them well. If o can another way of doing things, great. If not, I just bite the bullet and ask for help. Don’t much like the last option but that’s my MS life!

    • Rodger Ashton-Smith
      Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

      Yes it an be hard especially when you have to ask the boss to fire you. (That was for an insurance)But losing the day by day contact is difficult. But the thing that got to me was no one contacted me to see how I am. So I put them in the ‘normal’ people box and got on with my new life.But is is hr after 15 years and suddenly go from a ‘healthy’ person to an MS person in three weeks.

  4. Daisy James says:

    This is great advice, I’m slowly evolving into a different person as time goes by. I do so many things differently, not necessarily better or worse, just not the same.

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