A life of change

When the road gets tough

This morning I woke up and for a moment I actually forgot that I had MS. That is, until I flipped back the covers to get out of bed. My body just doesn’t move when I want it to move and it sure doesn’t do the things I need it to do. As I was pulling my legs over the side of the bed I thought how silly it was to forget that my body doesn’t cooperate with my brain any more.

I haven’t felt my feet, lower portions of my legs, the right side of my body or parts of my face for a long time. And to top that all off, pain, dizziness and vision difficulties have been a constant for just as long. I’m not sure how all that got overlooked this morning. I am convinced my brain was playing a practical joke on me. It was the ultimate in morning brain fog for me.

We do that though, don’t we? MS just doesn’t quite fit into our daily routine…even after years of living with it. We learn to adapt, but it still has the ability to sneak up on us and overwhelm us. Some days it can be relentless.

You know what I have discovered? I have found that those of us living with MS are some of the most creative and clever individuals around. In order to keep going, we learn to adapt our lives to the limitations MS has caused. We come up with some really crazy looking techniques and contraptions too.

I have developed my own unique way of styling my hair in the mornings since my right hand doesn’t work so well. Chopping vegetables is an experience but something I have been able to do even though I am limited in strength. Clipping my toe nails, now that one is a doozy, but I am able to get it done by using both hands and a sturdy surface for stability.

If I want to get something done, I will keep working at it until I come up with a way to do it. It may look strange to others as they watch from a distance, and it may take me ten times as long to accomplish, but it gets done. That’s all that matters to me anyway.

There are still times when I get discouraged though. Times when the job in front of me is too much. I have been known to shed a few tears over the laundry simply because I couldn’t pull the wet clothes out of the washing machine. But if you give me a moment when things like that happen, allow me time to process my thoughts and catch my breath, I will come back and find a way to get it done. I won’t let the word “can’t” come out of my mouth.

If you are facing a mountain today, something that has you overwhelmed, take a moment to catch your breath. Step back. Pause. Give yourself a moment. Then calmly pick yourself up and tackle it head on. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish. You have the strength within you to get it done.

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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.

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

    So true Penelope, I have found new ways to accomplish all my daily activities and only a few are as they were done. I on’t have a lot of numbness but my right leg goes on holiday without me sometimes and leaves me stumbling along even with a walking frame.

    But I still get things done in my time. I am not going to give up!

  2. Julie Haines Hoddes says:

    I sometimes stand at the bottom of the stairs and think ‘mind over matter’, I’m going to walk up these stairs like I used to before MS. And I’m really determined but when I end up on my face, I remember mind over matter doesn’t count with MS

  3. Jason Rogowski
    Jason Rogowski says:

    I took my diagnosis of MS hard, so I took a medical ei leave, it’s been about 20 weeks that I’ve been off.
    Today is my first interview for a new job.

  4. Kelli Andrews Cripe-Nelson says:

    Me too…until I fell in the back yard trying to look closer at a beautiful butterfly…IM OK…and at least my grass is way softer than my stained concrete floor….I already walk with a slight limp….I just have more of a zombie limp now…so I limped my poor self back to my bed! It’s still a beautiful day!

    • Tina Goodyear says:

      lol I fell over bending down to pick my dogs toy up, headfirst like a pillock you gotta laugh though although I wasn’t laughing 6 weeks ago when my leg gave way which cockled my ankle over and I broke my 5th metatarsal been in plaster and on crutches since!

    • Kelli Andrews Cripe-Nelson says:

      Tina Goodyear omg! It’s only by the grace of God I’ve not broken a bone…..and I’ve been known to fall tripping on the air I breath! I hope your healing well….and I probably better take back my never having a broken bone! It’s going to be a Netflix weekend for this wild woman! Laughter thru tears! The only way to be!👍🏼💁🏻🙌🏻😭😂😭😂👻🙆🏻

    • Tina Goodyear says:

      Lol Kelli yes my ankles gone over so many times before I’m surprised it’s not been broken before! A slight tilted path or a tiny pebble or stone sends me over. I usually just do a special trick – I trap my foot in the car door when I get in I close it… my stupid leg does it’s own thing and I don’t realise it’s not actually in the car with me lol. I have a slight limp most times anyway just more so in this plaster cast hahaha. High ankled walking boots for me now it’s winter it might stop my weak ankle going over again xx

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