During my Weight Watchers meeting this past week, my leader had some good advice for 2008 that I thought was applicable to MS care:
1. Prepare yourself- For example, I like to have the prescription, Provigil, on hand to help with fatigue. I only take it when I really need it, but just feel more secure that I am prepared "just in case".
2. Learn from experience- Know when to say "no" to something that will exacerbate your symptoms. I love to play with my children in our backyard, but my past has shown me that swinging on our swing-set could bring on a nasty case of vertigo.
3. Monitor yourself- A few days ago, while shopping with my mother, I was very tired and stressed out. Slowly I realized that I was having to give my right leg instructions to walk. I was thinking... lift-step-lift-step. I knew the warning signs and that it was time to head back home.
4. Manage your environment- Think of what you can do to make things easier. Sometimes simple things like storing your coffee and filters by the coffee machine can help with memory and energy.
5. Take care of yourself- Try making time to do what makes you happy, healthy and feel fulfilled. Just by getting out of your home, exercising, trying something new or making a new friend can add value and fun to your day.
6. Manage your feelings- This is always a tough one. How can this one be so easy, yet be so difficult at the same time? If I am having trouble getting out of a funk, I will call a friend that also has MS. I know that she will understand and put things in perspective.
7. Manage your thoughts- I can be perfectly fine, keeping my MS on the "back burner" then other times I feel so worried about the future. The way that I get through it is by reminding myself that NO ONE knows how their future will play out. MS or not. Healthy or not. I try to live a life that I enjoy and not dwell on the "what if''s".
8. Ask for help- Sometimes I try to do it all, and don't want to be a bother, but I learned something yesterday. My neighbor had some last minute shopping to get done and asked me if I could watch her daughter for an hour or two. I was so happy to help her out. I've asked her many times to help me and was thrilled to reciprocate. I learned that if you need it, people want to help, it is a wonderful component of friendship.
Published On: December 23, 2007