Celebrating Valentine's Day with Multiple Sclerosis

Vicki Health Guide
  • What does Valentine's Day mean to you, and how do you celebrate?

    Is a Valentine just for sweethearts, and maybe children and grandchildren?
    How do you feel when you get a card or gift? Does it make you feel special? How do you feel when someone else gets a bouquet or serenade or personalized teddy bear?

    There are a lot of questions brought to mind by this upcoming Valentine's Day.

    For most people, Valentine's Day highlights whether or not you have a sweetheart, your Valentine. Maybe this day should not be so focused on sweethearts, but on people who are important to us. Maybe it should
    sometimes include orphanages, hospitals or shut-ins so they feel as if someone cares. That was the original purpose of Sweetest Day, the Great Lakes region's version of a fall day for recognizing sweetness. But even that day is evolving more and more into just an October Valentine's Day.

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    The hearts and cupid's arrows, flowers and candy, make it a sweetheart day.

    Some people do not have someone special to share this day. For some it doesn't matter, but for others it does. Having MS seems to bring a fear that someone special may never come along. Of course, that is not true. (But how could anyone love me when I am incontinent, dependent on a wheelchair, and in pain? But how could they not love the way you laugh and smile, and your spirit and determination?) If you do not have a Valentine there is still time and opportunity.

    Any online dating site is open to MSers, but there are also sites specifically for people with disabilities as well as all of the places you can meet for personal interaction. If you want to meet someone, the chances are you will, even with MS. Do the things you enjoy, and do them with spirit. 

    Everyone, with or without MS, wonders about meeting that special someone.  Meeting, greeting, and getting to know people are activities we all face. One big difference in your relationship is you have to decide when and what to tell your new friend about your condition.

    Remember the early schooldays when the rule was to bring cards for everyone in class so no one feels left out? Because you gave a card to everyone, the fun part was deciding which one to give to whom. I have a friend who
    remembers an elementary school teacher who told the class to share valentines with only a special few. Some thoughtful mothers demonstrated kindness by providing their children with cards for everyone. There were sure to be some who would get no cards. This is not a day to to be excluded. This is a day of love.

    As young children, we worked so hard to have the very best hand-made card for Mom and maybe a kind neighbor. I always liked the lace-like doilies, the metallic red and pink paper used to cut hearts, and the special, individual messages.

    This week's special question is:
    What does Valentine's Day mean to you, and how do you celebrate?

    I hope you observe the day with someone you care about. Share some candy or treats, take the kids to a park or tell them memories of your favorite or funniest Valentine. Maybe looking through these
    unfortunate antique cards will add enjoyment to your day. At any rate, enjoy your Valentine's Day this year.

Published On: February 10, 2010