Managing MS: Keeping a Positive Outlook

Mandy Crest Health Guide
  • When life hands you lemons...make lemonade.

    Old cliches may sound trite, but they generally have a good point.

    Just five years ago, prior to my first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, I spent little leisure time on the computer, aside from email and shopping. I was physically energetic except when a migraine decided to intrude. I was busy and, aside from books and movies, didn't have much in the way of hobbies.

    When MS began interfering with work and play, I found myself at a loss. When my body refused to cooperate in the old familiar way, I spent endless hours in bed or on the living room sofa waiting for improvement. Even the simple pleasure of focusing on reading a book became difficult. I'd been handed a lemon; I lost my spark.
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    Because I'm married to a lover of technology, I slowly became involved in more on-line activities to fill my time. Blogging at multiple sites and becoming part of the on-line community presented me with new avenues to explore. Not very demanding physically, even during a severe MS attack, I can manage to alternate my time between the computer and the sofa.

    While resting, my mind constantly wanders back to writing, new ideas and new dreams to pursue! The slight adrenaline rush pushes me off the sofa and into our home office. Feet propped up, a pillow behind my back, and angling the keyboard just right, I can last an hour or two before the next rest is needed. It has given me hope, a new direction and a challenge. The spark has returned. Time to take out that pitcher and make some lemonade.

    My latest exacerbation has been proof positive. Physically, my body is behaving the same way as previously. However, my mind and spirit are not. I am rejuvenated from within. In my mind's eye, I am stronger and am in a much better place spiritually and emotionally. Despite the crushing attack on my body, I FEEL GOOD. I'm in a GOOD MOOD! It's really quite amazing.

    This year, for the first time, I made a New Year's resolution. More specifically, a New Year's goal. I gave myself to the end of this calendar year to transition from working part-time outside the home to working full-time at home. I'm halfway there already. To have a goal, a challenging one at that, has helped me to focus on the positive. That's just the dash of sugar I needed.

    My personal passion is not for everyone. Those of us with MS experience many different manifestations of the disease, but we do share common ground. We've all been hit with a disappointing twist in the course of our lives, one which will be with us forever. The point is that staying involved, in whatever strikes your fancy, is the key to getting through the rough times. You've got to find your passion and follow it (Lifestyle Changes).

    My lemonade is all in the keyboard. If you haven't found yours yet, keep looking. The lemon may be sour, but the lemonade is so sweet!
Published On: February 25, 2008