Getting the best from my life
Enjoying life, it is the reason to get out of bed each morning. Okay I do have a few problems but hey who doesn’t? I’ve had multiple sclerosis for over two thirds of my life and now I’m medically retired. I’m still learning the art of getting the best from my life.
The biggest game changer
Medical retirement was a snap decision. Suddenly it was obvious to me I couldn’t carry on working. Work had been my life for so long. Now every part of my life was turned upside down and inside out. It was an almighty game changer.
So it took me two years to even start to think what this meant to me, being at home 24 X 7. I had worked abroad as a contractor. Consequently virtually no work friends and friends at home were The Wife’s friends. I now threw all my energies into my website aid4disabled but I didn’t really know what I was doing.
I suppose it’s a bit like a deaf person saying to someone who is blind ‘Show me the way home’. Or perhaps its me trying not to stumble and fall.
Back to the here and now
Sometimes I struggled to find a purpose in my life. It’s the wretched MS, it steals things from me without my noticing. Almost like a pickpocket. Skills just go into the thin air. Recently I have lost the ability to write more than a few words at once. My typing was never very good so I have invested in Dragon dictation software. A good result and I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
Use it or lose it
That seems to be the mantra that everyone is preaching. When I get a chance I do go out and play bridge but I have not yet found a regular partner. There is a small club in town and I must be the youngest wrinkly there. I do find it very satisfying to bid and make a game contract. There is a genuine feeling of achievement.
Going out for a walk
No that is an overstatement I manage a 400 to 600 m shuffle with my Rollator. It’s got to be on a flat pavement or road with no camber or uneven bits that could trip me up. I would hesitate to call it exercise but I do find it very rewarding.
I have been taking photos with my mobile phone. It really is ever so easy to use. Whip it out of your pocket, point, tap and snap. I have been making threats to The Wife that I want something bigger and better. Well I have just bought myself a second-hand Sony 3000 digital SLR. At the moment it’s still in the box and I’ve got to read the instructions.
For me the solution seems to be getting out and doing things for myself. There are quite a few reasons why this isn’t always easy for me. I won’t bore you with them suffice to say this is all because of MS. None the less I am definitely getting there and I’m enjoying myself once again.
Yes Patrick your website is a real “ find” and I certainly hope you continue with it
Many thanks for the comment. Whilst I can continue to use a keyboard I will continue the website.
Great to see that you are finding something inspiring to do – we need to keep challenging ourselves. I was an equestrian journalist and photographer before I was diagnosed with MSin 2000 and stopped working five years later. My wife took over the photography as I wasn’t able to hold it steady enough. However, I am now a fiction writer as I can still type. (I just did a 60,000 word draft novel in a month somehow.)
Life must go on, it is a matter of finding a way of life that is possible whilst also being a challenge. I used to be a computer geek now I occupy myself with the website. I will check out your books and see if they are on Audible.
You are a true inspiration in the way you overcome adversity and remain upbeat and enthusiastically have a go at new possible solutions to problems. You have great strength of character and an example to so many, your website is so worthwhile reading…well done.????????????
Many thanks for the kind words. At the end of the day you have just got to get up and get on with things. Funnily enough it is the website that keeps me going but I do get frustrated that more people don’t know about it
Keep going! I saw you as a guest speaker at our uni and thought you were really quite inspiring with your positive attitude to life despite your MS! Keep on going, there are probably many people quietly looking at your website and getting inspiration from you on a daily basis, thank you
Wow, not too sure what to say but that is really kind of you.
I do hope this website inspires others, I could not exist without it.
Much the same except “two thirds of my life” – how old were you at diagnosis? I was 42 – now 66.
I, very specifically, stopped my work as a Uni Lecturer when I could, no longer, pooh safely at work. I had been intermittently catheterising for five years at that stage.
What, exactly, stopped you typing? I Dragon Dictated my Doctorate so I very firmly rate that approach But now, writing this comment, I am single finger typing. That I am interspersing with Mac voice typing which I find somewhat lacking.
Will you do a post about voice recognition?
I was diagnosed when 40 in 94 but sporadic symptoms started in 72 when 18 and now 62.
Fatigue, mobility and concentration stopped me working, I used to be a free lance technical computer consultant writing and developing software, it was a very intense demanding job. Just recently MS has made writing very difficult. in fact it has affect any precise action with my hands such as throwing or catching a ball especially in my left hand.
An article about the Dragon software will be written, it is a complete godsend for me. I think Dragon will run on a Mac, look into it
I agree with F White. The web site is very encouraging and along with the various things I do such as attending the Halton MS therapy centre I consider it part of my “support network”. I look forward to each new edition.
Thanks for the very kind comments. Support networks are very important. Have we met at Halton, I am an infrequent visitor.
I enjoyed this piece as I identify with much of what of what you’ve shared. I’m into my 2nd year of medical retirement (after 30 years in the corporate jungle) and I too am still “learning the art of getting the best from my life.” It isn’t easy, but we’re getting there. Losing the ability to write – even signing my name – was tough. I had transitioned most other functions to my left hand fairly easily, but writing left handed was challenging (and ugly). So I started the Lefty Project which is merely writing random notes to family and friends with my left hand. My favorite pen pal is my 7-year-old great niece. We both get to practice our penmanship and have developed a wonderfully fun relationship we probably would have missed if not for this particular challenge of MS. I’m thrilled about this and it definitely has helped me start enjoying my life again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspectives and giving me a chance to share mine.
Bravo. PLEASE don’t give up on aid4disabled
It is a wonderful website
Thanks, I’m pleased you enjoy reading it, its my salvation