Happy New Year!
Well…I seem to be in a remission at the moment which is great. Well, it will be greater when my cold has passed by. I managed to avoid two colds over the new year celebrations however after going to the doctor’s surgery I must have picked up some germs from the very empty waiting room. I went to see the doctor for a medical assessment for an assistant dog…so that all went well. However I found out a new diagnosis, via a letter from when I went to see a Rheumatologist in the autumn. So some of what I write may be about my Osteoarthritis (OA). As this is an holistic blog about MS, I shall mainly focus on the MS side of my health of course. So…I’m doing lots of resting during this cold, which is challenging considering that my MS is treating me well. My OA has been so challenging this winter so I am learning to tune into my body as much as I can.
After getting the OA diagnosis last week it took a while to register in my mind that my future is going to be even more challenging…especially as heat helps my joints and irritates my nerves.
So…here I am resting and thinking that once this cold has shifted then I really need and want to make the most of my remission. Of course! So I’m thinking of doing a trip or two by coach to go and visit friends and family. That will be great if I can keep feeling this confident about going on public transport for hours…on my own. Last week I officially started my voluntary job…which was almost surreal. As it’s with the people I use to volunteer with, four years previous, I felt quite comfy with starting back there. There have been people that have left and others whom have begun. I use to do design work and was also an advisor. I have had to shelve those two tasks…the latter due to needing flexibility for my health. So I offered to start with an easy task and was given envelope stuffing. This had a few levels to it and involved folding the letter so that the address fitted in the envelope window – somehow the printer had them appear at different heights on the letter so this was a tad slow. Then adding some other bits and bobs into the envelopes and glueing them closed. So I managed my two hours. Incidentally it took me just over two hours to get there by bus so that was quite a challenge in itself. After my shift we discussed how it went and decided that a mix of tasks will be preferred by myself. On one hand it was very mundane and on the other I had to keep remembering an efficient system. Overall it felt good and was enjoyable being out and amongst others. On the flip side I realised that my level of work is at a very different level to my previous remission…however acceptance seems to be the key.
In order to earn a living I will need a very flexible job. Self employed and solo work seems to be the easiest regarding flexibility. However perhaps I can mix it up a bit during my remissions and meet people a bit more. I’m thinking about doing or being a 2D artist. I’ve been creating 3D things on and off for years however I believe that 2D will be easier on my hands and brain processing. We shall see if this goes anywhere. I will like to be able to earn enough to pay for my food supplements, of which there are many. That seems a relatively healthy expectation upon myself…so I shall see what I can do!
The other realisation that I’ve had in the last week is that although many people with MS are able bodied and that many people with OA are able bodied – combine them and add Sensory Processing Disorder (which fortunately is still improving daily) – and you’ve got quite a challenging future with health. My life has suddenly become very real and my future even more unknown. What fathoms me and tests me about having MS is that I feel that I need to be prepared at all times. I found being a girl guide dull! Being prepared for all eventualities uses energy and makes me concerned for things in the future. I find that I’m restless for wanting to do things as soon as I am up to it. A remission, to me, is an opportunity to feel a bit better and to be able to blend in with society a bit. However the grey cloud can shade the sun at any time…so I really want to make the most of the time I have. This is a very weird thing for loved ones whom have a far more consistent lifestyle.
Yes, this varied disease makes you try to live within each day…I trust that one day I shall adjust to this concept. Perhaps over time I shall be able to adjust with more ease. I can think of many ways to advise people on this subject…however the bottom line is how you accept your life. I often find my life challenging however my one key desire is to allow myself the lifestyle which I need – one that can work with my health – and to accept that it is okay to be at home or out having fun. It’s called letting go of guilt and welcoming what we are each able to do, feel and be.
Life is a journey…jump on the next train and enjoy your surroundings.