I’m not an I CAN’T person

I think I lost my cape last night. I woke up this morning almost sure I had left it in the kitchen, but when I went there for my morning coffee…no cape! What am I going to do now? Attempting to go through any day without my superpowers always ends in disaster.

Maybe I left it in invisibility mode and it is really next to me on the floor somewhere. Or I guess in that case, I could actually have it on. Nope…that’s not true because I just ran into the wall as I stumbled over absolutely NOTHING.

I barely even made it to the bathroom without greeting the floor with a hug. I’m so glad I didn’t end up down there. That floor is hard, not to mention dirty. Trust me when I say it doesn’t need a hug right now. If only my cape had a “clapper”, at least then I could locate it on days like today…”clap on, clap off, the clapper.”

Multiple Sclerosis definitely has its own way of messing with plans, schedules, appointments and even preparations. Today was going to be the day I ran a few errands, cleaned the house and made a casserole. So far, it’s my “take a break, rest, take a break, rest” kind of day.

Why do I have such a hard time explaining that kind of thing to others. Things like how I need to rest after taking a shower or that I require a nap after only a few hours of waking up. Many times those discussions are met with disbelief or some type of awkward pep talk that never really gives me any pep.

I don’t know how else to explain to someone that my body doesn’t work like theirs. For whatever reason, people tend to look at me as if I have nothing wrong. Like I’m the same healthy person I was before MS came along. I must really do a good job at making MS look good because I’m constantly being told how good I look.

I wish there was some way to share the painful side of my life with them. Not to have them hurt like I hurt or to be mean in any way, but just so they would stop with the uncalled-for, uncaring, hurtful responses I get when I tell them “I can’t right now.”

I’m not an “I can’t” person, but I do know my body’s limits, and right now my body has told me to sit down and take it slow. I may not have on my cape today to give me the superpowers I need to make it through the day without a break or two or three, but I do know the power of “no” and “not today”. I’ve learned to use those words more frequently. They help on days like today when my cape is nowhere to be found.

I sure hope my cape turns up tomorrow. Maybe it just needed a break and decided to take a vacation. Boy, do I need a vacation. A good, long, kick your feet up, cool breeze blowing, restful, no agenda vacation. My couch vacations just aren’t quite the same.

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.

30 replies
  1. indulge
    indulge says:

    Love your explanations. Keep calm. You do a wonderful job. Even my mum (92) sends to her friend (also 92 ) in a Christmas card ‘ Hang in there!!” That’s true, but really – be happy. That’s the only thing that will keep us all going. Lots of hugs to you.

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

    I used to own a cape. It was black outside with blood red satin lining and high collar and full length to my feet. It didn’t give me superpowers though just kept me warm and looked good.
    But the last week has been muer for me as I have a real batch of a nasty flu problem. On Sunday night I had a 2.5 hour coughing spell that ripped though me like a scythe and left me a bit knackered. I am getting to the end of it now but I hope it doesn’t come to any of you. I’m seeing our doctor tomorrow (Wednesday 14yh) hoping she has a fix for it that takes it away.
    One of the ‘good’ side of this is it has cleared up some bowel problem I have been experienced lately.
    So even the bad times have a good side.

  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    I sure could use a cape……if it were only that simple. I would probably use it to warm me up from this cold weather, nothing else seems to work. How long til Spring.

  4. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    Instead of a cape, a warm blanket and a cup of tea or coffee helps. Not always, but I am in the “I hope it will frame of mind”. Be well my MS Warriors. Celebrate the Season and everyday the way it works for You.

  5. Rachel Cytanovic
    Rachel Cytanovic says:

    Perhaps your cape is in invisibility mode on the floor right by your feet and that’s what you stumbled over. :/

  6. Christina King
    Christina King says:

    So relieved when I read these posts………makes me feel like I am not a failure , I am spot on with this disease…… me dry.

  7. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Same here! Decided today needs to be a stay down and recuperate. Wish I could say I did so much physically am exhausted but not so. Always seems worse for all of this during the holidays. Miss myself so much more during these times.

  8. Leah
    Leah says:

    I too, am suffering with a lousy cold now. My head feels heavy, my nose constantly drips, my cough is tight, and I feel weak as a kitten. Last night, I found myself on the bathroom floor after attempting to get myself up from the toilet seat. Thankfully, my husband heard me fall and quickly came to my rescue. I fear that I won’t be able to join in the Xmas festivities this year at my in-laws. They’re having more people over this year than usual for their Xmas eve dinner buffet. My brother-in-law’s wife and her family will be present for this occasion, and has many siblings who will have their own kids present. Having this amount of people around me does my head in, so I think I’ll be spending my Xmas Eve this year, on my couch…fa, la…la…la…la, la, la, la, la!

  9. Marilyn Coté Miller says:

    I’m struggling with this new diagnosis, grieving for my lost self, the go getter, go to person who was involved in everything. I’ve had to drop out of nearly all my activities because I’m unreliable. I’m not feeling at all positive. My neuro won’t prescribe antidepressants, even though I asked. Things are very bleak.

    • Daniela Maksimović says:

      🙁 ?? Why not? But usually psychiatrists prescribe them not neuro, Me on the other hand got them prescribed but don`t want to use them don`t want to get addicted. Plus also not doing well for brain cells, have pros but also cons. Was in denial for quite some time until it hits me hard then harder with relapse or enormous fatigue or pain. It is what it is can`t get out of this skin.

    • Ang Bean says:

      It’s a tough disease to handle at first. I thought my life was over after my diagnosis. I soon learned new ways to do things. Some things I’ll never be able to do again, but I’ve found a new purpose in life.
      💚 hugs coming your way!

    • Cassie Willis McChesney says:

      Go to a regular doctor and not a specialist. Explain that the new diagnosis and learning to manage has you feeling slightly depressed. Also explain to them that this goes along with ms that you just need some help getting out from under the cloud. You don’t have to let this control your life! Don’t quit everything just learn new self management skills. If you know you have something coming up tomorrow try your best not to do very much the day before. You have to set limits for yourself. (This is hard for me) If you are going to clean the house all day, work for 30 minutes then take at least a 10 minutes break then go back to it for 30 minutes. You have to look at it in a more positive light or you let it win and it will eat away at who you are. My tuesdays at work are standing on my feet all day long so when we have early deadlines (work for a paper) I have to say no the next day or seriously limit what I do, do. This way I’m ready to function Thursday where I’m out and walking all day. You just have to relearn your body and what you can handle. Seriously it’s not life ending! MS saved my life because had I not had the lesions I would have died from Meningitis. There has also been great success in stem cell research as far as MS goes, maybe look at that a little deeper. Research research research! You can send me a friend request if you would like to have someone to talk to ever now and then, sometimes that’s the biggest help. Being able to just talk to someone who also deals with it. Chin up!!

    • Marilyn Coté Miller says:

      Cassie Willis McChesney I am in public office in my town and formerly chaired many committees and attended many meetings, sometimes 3 in one day so resting up the day before was not possible, which is why I had to drop back. I was letting people down and then was too exhausted to actually have a life of my own. I will try to get help from my primary. Good advice. I do feel not life ending but life altering and I’m angry and hate it. The other day, I couldn’t write a thank you note! My arm just would not move. For a go-getter, this has been traumatic to me.

  10. Mary Flowers Arbogast says:

    I think this is going to be the kind a day i’ll have today. I managed to get sick… again. I had a cold in October that took my body 48 days to battle. A simple cold. 48 days. Went to bed early last night because I thought I felt something coming on and was hoping extra rest would help. Woke up this morning not being that lucky 🙁

    • Cal LaViscount says:

      I feel for you as I just got over a month-long cold after managing to avoid them for 2 yrs. Now I tense w/dread over every little cold weather sniffle. Hang in there; hope you beat this one sooner!

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