Methods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis

Methods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis

Is multiple sclerosis all about problem solving?

Multiple sclerosis is a very unpredictable disease and tough to live with. I think we all know that; I certainly do. MS has now been a part of my life since 1972 but I was not diagnosed until 1995. Here some methods I use to manage my advanced multiple sclerosis. Everyone has their own way of giving themselves as good a quality of life as possible.

Is MS a series of challenges?

It is not easy for me these days. I’m medically retired, I cannot walk unaided, have difficulty walking upstairs and I just run out of steam. Yes I have a whole host of problems, it’s like two or three elephants in the room and over half a dozen parrots on my shoulder. Each one is different bit of my MS and each one is a challenge.

“You can’t do up the buttons of the shirt” shouts one.

“If you think you can drive a car forget it because I gave you double vision” squawks another.

“So you thought you could dig a hole in the garden and plant that shrub” whispers a parrot on my left shoulder

Unimaginable problems

My life is now full of lots of different complex problems. Over time I have developed ways to overcome each challenge, call it symptom management. It started off with the occasional face plant or a quick pit stop at the nearest loo. Gradually they have taken over my entire life. Never improving just becoming more numerous. So I have to find a work-around for each of them. The whole thing rather reminds me of an old schoolboy joke.

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

Answer: One bite at a time.

Methods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis

I don’t do ‘Monty Don’ gardening instead I have a number of raised beds and pots that I can look after when sitting down.

In the kitchen I have stumbled across an enormous array of gadgets that make my life easier. I can’t ‘wing it’ when cooking a meal, instead I have to plan things out in advance.

Technology

The greatest help to me is technology. The timer on the cooker is essential. Life without a mobile phone would be very different. I can buy so many different items online even though I do not really approve of it.

Moving target

Multiple sclerosis does not stand still for me. All the time there are little changes, adjustments that I make subconsciously. The disease is always moving forwards. Just as I reach a ‘status quo’ I realise that a little adjustment has now become an integral part of my life. I still remember when I realised that I could not slide elegantly into the passenger seat of a car feet first. In stead it had to be bottom first and then lift my left leg as an afterthought. That was over ten years ago and I am still learning new techniques to live with Multiple Sclerosis. It is different for everyone but I’m sure we can all learn from each other. Do you have any really useful tips that you would like to share?

Associated posts

Look forward and not look backMethods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis

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Mobility challengesMethods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis

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June 2019

2 responses to “Methods I use to manage my multiple sclerosis”

  1. KAY says:

    Re: coping with laundry – a rectangular plastic frame with 30 dangling clothes pegs and a hook suspended on a chain is a
    brilliant alternative to pegging out individual small items on your clothes line. You do all the pegging indoors while seated, then it’s just the one hook that you have to loop over the clothes line. Also very handy for getting washing inside quickly when it starts raining. Mine came from Lakeland. They also do smaller metal frames which are great for socks etc. For large items I put clothes pegs in the pockets of a waist apron, which stays on securely and leaves both hands free to deal with the washing line. Without these aids, hanging out laundry is too great a test of balance for me.

    • Hello Kay,

      This sounds like a very practical way to overcome balance issues with the washing line. Personally I find it a battle too far so I leave it to The Wife to peg washing out on the line and take it in.

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