Saying No to an Activity: Choosing Wisely or Giving in to MS?

  • Dan and I were coordinating our calenders just the other day. You know, preparing for another typical week of activities beyond his working full time and my taking care of things around the house.  Here's how things look...


    • Saturday—MS Support group meeting
    • Sunday—Church, church picnic, then the graduation open house for the daughter of one my caregivers
    • Monday—My morning study session, work meeting for Dan, then Dan helps me at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting/weigh-in
    • Tuesday—Physical therapy for me and an afternoon church meeting, Dan has an evening MS research project with some PT students at CMU
    • Wednesday—5K race for Dan in the evening
    • Thursday—Another session of physical therapy for me
    • Friday—T.G.I.F but, oh crap! Where did the week go?


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    That’s when I realized, we don’t say "No." It’s not that we can’t (at least I don’t think it is), it’s just that we never do.

    It seems like saying no feels like giving up. Or should I say it's like we're giving in to multiple sclerosis, the frustrating disease we both have. Ever since we were both diagnosed, Dan and I have had made many changes – concessions, if you will – because of MS. Hate that fact as we do, we never want to give in if we don’t have to. So we stay busy. Pack our days so we never miss out, all the time wondering if we’re doing too much but never slowing down.


    Yes, we should listen to our bodies. They will tell us when we are doing too much. But when we finally hear our body’s plea to slow down, will we have done damage? Should we worry about that? Do you? Everyone is busy, I’m sure you can make a list much like this. Do any of you feel these pressures? How do you handle them?


Published On: June 10, 2012