We live in a world full of “I want it now” kind of people and “it can’t wait” situations. How do you keep from creating a multiple sclerosis exacerbation in that kind of world.
Maybe your day starts something like this…
You wake up in the morning to a busy day planned. You didn’t hear the alarm clock earlier so you are already being rushed to get your day started. It’s early, you’re exhausted and your body isn’t cooperating. You take a shower, and even though you did every cool down technique you know, your body is simply too weak to keep going at the fast pace you set for yourself. The shower you just took requires you to rest…and your day hasn’t even started yet.
You then push on to get dressed so you can get out the door to make up for missed time. All the while, playing through your head is a rundown of everything you must do today. You have lists created, app alarms set on your phone to remind you of your time constraints and post-it notes scattered everywhere.
You do your best to hold back your frustrations but before you have even left the house to begin the day, you are feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Somehow MS just doesn’t fit into a busy day and somehow I always seem to forget that tiny little fact.
The unexpected happens much more often now that MS is a part of my world. I get tired faster, weak muscles limit my functionality, my vision messes with my ability to complete even the simplest of tasks, dizziness and vertigo trip me up, and my thinking gets all muddled in the process. It’s hard planning for the MS unexpected. I always say a life with multiple sclerosis is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get. (Thanks Forest Gump for the inspiration.)
So how do you fit a life with MS and all the unexpected things that come with it into your world? Well, for me that’s an impossibility. It seems MS doesn’t like plans, schedules or limits. It kind of has a mind of its own and doesn’t seem to want me to know ahead of time what it has in store for my day.
When life become overwhelming, and many times even before it gets to that point, I find that I need to take a moment to step back from all my commitments, work, and obligations. I need to take a moment to pause and re-examine everything in my life. Literally.
Is there anything I could change or remove from my day that would help ease the load? Do I really need to vacuum the house today, tomorrow or even next week? If I wait and take a shower before I go to bed rather than when I get up in the morning, will it help? Can I recruit someone to pick up a few things from the store for me so I don’t have to go? Will my world fall apart if the laundry isn’t finished? Can today’s dinner be a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter sandwich?
You are more important than the chaos that surrounds you and way more important than MS and all the chaos it can cause. Do what you can today and leave the rest for another day. It really is okay. You have my permission to hit the pause button and take a break.