REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (DESPITE HAVING MS)
I’m able to appreciate all the things I can still do all the more
MS has robbed me of much that I held dear, as well as making some bodily functions that I never previously gave any thought to considerably harder. I really miss being able to play sport and not having to think about how long I’ll be able to do something before I have to stop. I miss my urination reflex, being able to just whip it out and go. I miss having a good night’s sleep, without my leg twitching, keeping me awake. And I miss going for a walk without the company of a walking stick.
But does MS restrict my everyday life all that much? Not really. I’m fortunate in that I do a job that involves nothing more than sitting at a computer all day. TV doctor Michael Mosley says that the chair is the killer and the amount of time we all spend seated these days is making us very unhealthy, but in my case I beat the chair to it. I’m already unhealthy thanks to MS and the chair has been my saviour. When I finally get up at the end of the working day I’m still able to cook some dinner or maybe even take the dog for a brief walk, albeit with the aid of the aforementioned stick. Then I can spend the evening watching TV, listening to music or reading. And at the weekend I’ll be watching my football team like every other weekend.
The point I’m making is that I can still enjoy many of the activities that I hold dear. I’m not into inspirational messages, as there’s never a one size fits all experience, but you’ve got to think about what you still have, not what you’ve lost, right?
I’ve just realised that what I’ve essentially said is, ‘Count your blessings.’ How trite, clichéd and annoying. I used to hate it when older people said it to me in my youth. But then I had my whole life ahead of me with its endless possibilities. Life feels a little smaller now. Another by-product of MS, as well of hitting middle-age. Oh well, I’m given to counting them sometimes, even if it’s just to try to help me get to sleep when my bloody leg won’t stop twitching in the middle of the night.
Maybe you count them too at times. I hope so.