flight attendant

Welcome to a life of Multiple Sclerosis

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the non-stop flight to a life with Multiple Sclerosis. On behalf of the Captain and the entire crew, welcome aboard.

In preparation for takeoff, please ensure all negative attitudes are properly stowed in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt.

At this time, we request that all stress, fear and worry be turned off for the duration of the flight, as these items might interfere with the central nervous system and communication processes of this aircraft. We request that all canes, braces, walkers and wheelchairs be secured until we have reached a stable altitude free from turbulence, wobbles and unsteady movements. We will notify you when it is safe to use such devices.

We remind you that this is a non-sleeping flight. Sleeping is prohibited, but we do have endless TV shows, movies and documentaries available for your viewing pleasure.

There are several emergency bathrooms on this aircraft. Please take a few moments now to locate your nearest bathroom. In some cases, your nearest bathroom might not be close enough. If you need to go immediately, I suggest you move quickly to ensure no accidents happen.

Blood tests and lesions are always being monitored. In the event of a relapse, an MRI machine will automatically appear in front of you. To start the scans, your head will be secured to a table and you will be inserted into a tight, claustrophobic tube. Although the machine is loud, you will be allowed music of your choosing to help drown out the sounds. Keep perfectly still without sneezing, scratching your nose or coughing until a uniformed attendant advises you it is all over.

In the event of an emergency, IV steroids are available and will be administered as needed.

We will hit turbulence along the way, but rest assured it won’t last. We will eventually pull above the storms and enter sunny skies. I expect good attitudes for our trip.

If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our specialists. Thank 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.

42 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    This is cool When I had my MRI I was given earplugs to quietening the thumping noise. But it worked, now I have proof of the damage MS has cuse. Alos proof if any one tells me I’m brainless, I can show them I,m not
    The note about the the lavatories isa goo thing for any bod, especially if you go out drinking.
    I am going to get my cataracts remove on Friday 12th (our time) and I,m looking forward to it.
    It has been a pleasure to come with you on your trip Penelope
    I hope the trip trip was uneventful for you and you crew.

  2. Pixie Boris says:

    Okay… I’m smiling at this because it’s true and it’s the only “plane” talk that was of interest to me before this is Prince with international lover a little different direction tho … Just a detour to take our mind of the current situation of the MonSter

  3. Barbara P
    Barbara P says:

    Thank you for allowing me to read your blog. I enjoy finding out what others are going through, I know that I am not alone. Right now I am waiting for my doctor to find a new medication for me. So, far I have been on six different ones and for some reason they don’t agree with me. My doctor says we are running out of meds to try. While anyways, thank you.

  4. Tania Padilla says:

    Love reading this…..describes exactly how I feel…..in a way that put a smile on my face. Well partners….fasten our seat belts for the endless journey

  5. shari
    shari says:

    You are amazing to me, I know how hard things are for you,( actually I really don’t know just how hard they are ) however you continue to surprise me with your humour, how do you do it day in and day out. I had a big smile on my face when I read this, this morning. Thank you for being you.

    Re the comment about Botox, my sister had it for headaches and it worked very well, good luck Maureen.

    • Kar-Li
      Kar-Li says:

      Dear Andrea, I was sort of scared when the doc told me about my bladder problems and the need for a catheter. Now, a few years later, it’s just a ‘thing’ you do without thinking. It doesn’t hurt, it helps but you must never forget to bring your travel cath’s(?) with you if you’re going away from home 😉
      Just think of it that you prove the MS wrong and you can still be the boss of your body and not the MonSter. (sorry, my brain isn’t working right and my English is bad, but I hope I’m making sense 😉 )

    • Sandra
      Sandra says:

      Andrea,
      try not to worry too much (easier said than done I know) self catheterisation is really no big deal, in fact I find it puts me in control; I will know that I can ensure before I leave the house I will be OK until I reach my destination, no more worrying about if there will be a toilet along the way should I suddenly need one.
      Sure the idea is a scary thing, but your specialist/continence nurse will show you what to do and ensure you are fully able and comfortable with it.
      Take care
      Sandra

    • Susan Grantham says:

      It is well worth doing,having cathterized for 10yrs, at first I was apprehensive. It helps prevent UTI’s and stops you toilet mapping.Many catheters now are small and discreet ,the size of a mascara.The continence nurses are great. Good luck.

    • Sue James says:

      I tried self catheterisation many years ago, it was known but I had the chance to have botox injections 8yrs ago and I haven’t looked back since 👍👍

      • Priscilla
        Priscilla says:

        You don’t have to self cath with Botox injections? I was told I would have to once in a while. Just curious, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your experience.

    • Monique Coles says:

      I have an overactive bladder,my gp prescribed Vesicare,not on PBS,so can get a little expensive,but less side effects,than other tabs that are.Has def given my life back to me!!

    • Elizabeth Karroll says:

      It’s been quite a few years now, but I use catheters now. I don’t know what’s worse, incontenance or loss of bladder leading to self catheterization. Good to know Sue James. I’m going to ask about the Botox when I see Urologist. Thanks for sharing. It means a lot.

  6. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    This is good. Though it is true, I had to smile and day welcome to my world 😊. Thank you Penelope . God Bless you😇

  7. Maureen Fairhurst
    Maureen Fairhurst says:

    You are too funny Penelope 🙂 I wish I could leave my stress, fear and worry for a good while; however, my head & heart won’t allow it unfortunately :'( My bathroom at home is literally only 15 steps away from my bed but I have yet to reach it on time 🙁 The bathroom on this flight will literally have to be directly next to me in order for me not to have an accident! Yet even then I couldn’t guarantee it would work!

    When I’m enclosed in those claustrophobic MRI machines, I usually count the beeps I hear in order not to have a panic attack 😀 I usually get past a thousand or two but it does pass the time and I don’t think about where I am 😉

    I’m still awake after sleeping until almost 4:30 in the afternoon (I went to sleep around 10 am), after being awake for 48+ hours! I really don’t like this insomnia, it’s driving me crazier than I already am!!! Plus I took all my meds, which include several different sleeping agents plus my pain meds, yet here I am, still awake at 8:15 am and I have a Dr. appointment at 1:30 pm today for botox treatment (my 1st time), so I don’t have to take up to 600 mg of Imitrex everyday for my horrific migraines! I was told it’s 36 injections in my neck, my head and my face, and I’m so worried about the side effects, as I’m already allergic to so many medications as it is. I really want this treatment to work as I’m so tired of having migraines every single day 24/7/365 for the past OMG so many years, I’ve lost count!

    Thank you for letting me vent again 🙂 This article did bring a smile to my face for the 1st time in days!

    With much love and respect to you my sweet, amazing and beautiful friend <3 <3 <3

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn says:

      Hi Maureen,

      Your post struck a nerve with me. I have insomnia too but also have the restless legs to go with it. Luckily I take enough pills at night to finally get to sleep. I haven’t had any migraines yet, they’re the worse. Wishing you peace and much sleep.

  8. Leslie Beaver says:

    Negative thoughts are not good for anyone. But moreso, I would argue, for those of us with MS. Which is arguably an objective reason to have negative thoughts. But to what end? Who exactly is well served by our complaining? No one, of course.

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