With MS I now move like a tortoise slow but steady

With MS I now move like a tortoise slow but steady

With MS I move like a tortoise, slow but steady

As I move forward through time, ticking off the years, multiple sclerosis has an ever growing impact upon my life. Nowadays I must always have one hand holding onto something firm and stable. The happy days of nipping upstairs or popping next door are history. Now everything must be carefully considered. I now move like a tortoise slow but steady.

The diagnosis changed

I think it happened in about 2000. With a casual flick of his pen my MS consultant changed the diagnosis to SPMS. Was this significant? Life started to change permanently for the worse. A face plant when window gazing into shops. An unexpected urgency to go to the loo and have a pee after a coffee. An urgency that occasionally ended in disaster.

Much worse

In 2003 I tried to run across a carpark but I couldn’t. Oh, it must be lunch I thought to myself. I tried again the following morning. The situation was no better, I still couldn’t run. I tried really hard but it still would not happen. Yes, I could walk fast but to trot, run or even hop was totally out of the question.

I told the wife but she didn’t hear me.

Again I told her, “Bloody hell, I can’t run. It just won’t happen”.

“I’ve not been able to run for years” she told me. “Live with it”. She can be so sympathetic 🙁

Only then did I realise that MS really was changing my life. Remember the internet was primitive. No Dr Google and nobody knew what was going on, I had no point of reference.

Move forward 17 years

Dr Google has arrived, and some people can tell me what MS is doing to my body but nobody knows how it starts. Even worse there is nothing available for me to make MS stop shredding the nerves in my brain and spinal cord.

Meanwhile back at the ranch

How do now I exist when my body doesn’t function properly? An hour to get to get washed and dressed every morning. Then lurch downstairs and grab the rollator. Scan the paper, eat breakfast and drink my morning cup of tea. Two hours have now slipped by since I woke up.

Move like a tortoise slow but steady

The daily fight to live a normal life goes on but mine is in slow motion. Every morning I must remember to stick a smiley face over the stressed one and put the frustrations into a trouser pocket. Time to get the left leg going because now I must be active but I must be careful. No multi-tasking and I must always do things slow and steady otherwise I’m a crumpled heap on the floor.

I stand up, grab the rollator and try to put one foot in front of the other. Cold damp weather is no help but I must keep going.

My life is not just MS

I’ve now got my finger in a multitude of pies that I never knew existed before medical retirement. I do something different most days, this Long Term Condition has given me a new purpose in life even during lockdown.

So I move like a tortoise slow but steady however I keep my mind active and busy, Funnily enough MS presented me with those opportunities but I had to have the wits to grab them.

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December 2020

4 responses to “With MS I now move like a tortoise slow but steady”

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Patrick,
    I enjoy your posts. Thank you.
    Living with MS in whatever form – is hard…..
    Agree – moving like a tortoise is so true! But the tortoise eventually gets there…. so we need to hold on to that.
    take lots of care x

    • Hello Katie,

      Thanks for the kind words. I think the crucial thing is that an MS tortoise finds a different way to get there and there is slightly different.
      I try not to do anything stupid. The Wife keeps a careful eye on me

  2. Steve says:

    Hey Patrick,

    Your MS course and mine are very similar. I also have struggled with accepting my SPMS transition, every new mobility aide is only a reminder of my limitations. But now I’m ready to purchase a wheelchair for those longer jaunts. A rollator just won’t cut it anymore.

    Life moves on so I after to adjust, like it or not.

    Good luck and best wishes to all

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