Best Practices: Coping with Multiple Sclerosis updated 10/29/14
Doggone it, you have multiple sclerosis. I’m with you there. Whether you were just diagnosed, are a veteran with years under your belt, or floating in frustrating limbo waiting for answers, coping with this disease can seem as challenging as bathing 100 dogs. Specifically, mistreated pit bulls. All at once. So to keep you from chasing your own tail searching for answers or from barking up the wrong tree seeking advice, I’ve dog-eared for you my favorite tips for managing your MS.
Got MS? Yeah, I hear it can be ruff.
Start by taking a SEAT—stretch, exercise, adjust, and treat. Stretch every day, exercise your body and brain regularly, adjust your attitude, and for those with a relapse remitting course, take a disease modifying therapy (at least try).
Isn't taking a SEAT something cats do? Ick, cats.
Back away from the internet. Researching this disease is smart; over researching this disease is counterproductive. Stop trying to predict your future or find that miracle cure. You are wasting valuable life time.
Gosh darn it, I've forgotten my password again. Oh wait: Squirre1
Keep pursuing your passions as best you can. Yes, it might be hard. Yes, you might have to adapt. Yes, you might have to develop new interests. Life with MS isn’t always fair. Focus on what you can do today.
My fave active passion? Barking at 3 a.m. Neighbors dig it.
Get your brain wrapped around this disease. Without finding that right mental space to move forward, living with MS will be infinitely more difficult. You might not realize it, but you are far stronger than this disease—don’t forget that.
I'll get around to accepting I have MS. But nap comes first.
Stay connected to friends and family. Having a robust social network is crucial, and keeping attached to world around you is important. Don’t isolate yourself.
I'm not alone. I'm standing on a bunch of poodles.
Feed off optimism and hope. Sure you’ll have days when your MS seems insurmountable. When those questions of “why me?” and “what if” invade your consciousness. And that’s okay—throw the occasional pity-party. Then push past it.
Your pity party pales in comparison to me wearing this stupid hat.
Check your ego at the door. Handicap parking placards, walking aids, protective undergarments—I’ve used them all. They’ve helped take me down the street, onto the hiking trail, and around the globe. Take advantage of the helpful tools available to you.
If you have to pass on one aid, I'd suggest a mirror. Your hair looks fab.
Seize the day. No matter what MS throws your way, you’ll always be able to capture life’s sweet moments—those special times that overwhelm even this disease. Hold on to those—and never let them go.
Seize the day, or seizure of the day? I think I just snorted a bee.
As always at ActiveMSers.org, I have one simple motto for my friends with MS: Be active, stay fit, and keep exploring! Because MS is BS—multiple sclerosis is beatable someday... someday soon!
As a member of ActiveMSers, you are never in this alone. Onward!