Has it been an entire week?
I challenged you last week to commit random acts of kindness in order to earn your badge for the week. We do not need to verbalize our many acts of undeniable kindness because we are not competing for bragging rights. We are reaffirming our positive existence on the world and ourselves. Without purpose, we are empty. At least that is my philosophy and one that motivates me to move.
So, congratulations for completing this challenge an earning your RAK badge. Hopefully you have also been the recipient of such acts so you know exactly the warm and fuzzy sensation of being on that end or the act.
I like a good challenge and that is biggest reason I have taken on this badge activity. MS presents many challenges for us as Warriors and for out care givers.
According to my handy dandy MS go-to book (Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies ww.amazon.com/Multiple-Sclerosis-Dummies-Rosalind-Kalb/dp/1118175875?ie=UTF8&qid=1464088843&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=1-1) we need to take control of the uncontrollable as soon as possible.
1. Educate yourself.
2. Create your support network.
3. Start treatment early.
4. Get to know your body.
5. Plan activities for the "best" part of your day.
6. Always gave a back-up plan.
7. Put your emotional energy to the best possible use.
This is just commonsense, is it not? Look at #1. Educate yourself. In any life activity we need to do this. The more we know, the better prepared we become. It becomes overwhelming when initially diagnosed with MS. Lots of stuff is shoved in our face making it difficult to rasp the big picture. The big picture is taking your diagnosis in do-able portions. Read a book. Make a friend. Concentrate on a single issue of your disease.
Your support network is important in handling MS and it may take a while to establish the best participants. It has taken me fifteen years to really put a firm hand on my true support group. I find comfort in my family and my on-line acquaintances. I hate to say it, but my friend base has lessened over the years.
I began medical treatment immediately upon diagnosis and continued with an assortment of pharmaceuticals over the years. This is absolutely a personal decision, because of point #4.
You need to know your body. It may (probably will) take a while. I tolerated Beta Seron for nearly ten years before removing my self from the growing ill-effects of the drug. We had a good run, but it was time to move on. After a brief visit with Tecfidera, I tried Copaxone, and finally settled on Ampyra, the walking drug. When my insurance issues settle in the next month or so, Ampyra will be my drug of choice. I like my body's reaction(s) to Ampyra.
The best part of my day is definitely morning and that is when I do my best work. I usually put in a full day by noon. I do light cleaning in AM. I write. I check important e-mail. By 10AM I am ready for a much deserved shower and snack.
MS has made me cautious of making firm plans, so I almost always have a back-up plan. Mainly I do not take life too seriously. What cannot be accomplished at the moment, can be done later. I know that sounds rather glib and I do not mean to indicated a lack of commitment to the complexities of life. I just try to find wiggle room where it presents itself. Life is far too short to be unhappy.
Put your emotional energy to the best possible use. This is what it comes down to. As my go-to book advises, "No, it isn't fair that you have MS. Yes, you resent that you can't do all the things you want to do the way you used to do them. And, yes, you're angry about dealing with challenges and uncertainties that other don't have to face. But, remember, anger that isn't put to good use is just a wasteful drain of precious energy." (p.48) Bang! There it is. In a nutshell. Take the bull by horns and make your own music.
Hopefully with my challenge of earning MS badges, we can do exactly that. Let's concentrate on the positive and work through these steps together.
In fact, let's hear our next badge event.
Let's read a book.
Those are not groans. I know they are not. I am not asking for a book report and grades will not be assigned, but we need to educate ourselves. Let's read a book about MS. It can be fiction or fact-based. I will leave this totally up to you.
Here are some suggestions, but, actually, just Goggle or look on Amazon for a more complete look at reading selections. And then visit your local library. Yesterday I picked up a copy of Ann Romney's In This Together, which I am anxious to use to earn my book badge. So, that the challenge, and you have an entire month in which to complete it.
Interested? Let's earn our MS book badge!
Abby, by Lisa A. McCombs
The Nest by Cynthis D'Aprix Sweeney
Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies by Rosalind Kalb, Ph.D.
MS Living Symptom Free by Daryl H. Bryant
Have a great day!