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#WeAreStrongerThanMS W is for Water and Women: MS Awareness Month

W is for water. It is not just for drinking. Water aerobics and water therapy are  popular activities in the treatment of MS. I have tried it and have been amply impressed. I just cannot afford to join a facility that provides the opportunity to exercise in this manner. 

Which is a downright shame. 

As a former professional lifeguard (I say that because I did it for so long, I began to think it was my permanent life task.), I am devastated at my current relationship with swimming. I am SO uncomfortable in the atmosphere with which I grew  up loving. The pool was my special place. During my work day I loved the smell of chlorine, the raucous sounds of children splashing around, and the mother-gossip to which I was privy. Every hour on the hour, a whistle announced a ten minute break for children to vacate the water, Moms to reapply sunscreen or serve a snack, lifeguard to visit the rest room and perform the necessary tests for chlorine and Ph levels or switch watch locations. Sometimes we (lifeguards) would swim a few laps, rough house with one another, or just float to cool off if the day was particularly warm. 

Because I had the unique experience of actually living right beside the swimming pool of my employ, I spent many after-hours there, either by myself or with friends. I loved night swimming because the underwater pool lights created a magical fairy land just for me.

In thinking back on my teen years, I have to say that I have two very important memories. When I wasn't involved in some sort of high music event (high school band, piano lessons, church choir), my head was under water.

So, the first time I entered a swimming pool after my diagnosis, I was petrified to discover that water was n longer my friend. I just froze as soon as my body made contact. My leg muscles immediately developed what I later learned was spasticity. My toes curled and refused to straighten enough for me to walk across the pool floor. The lightness my body once experienced when surrounded with water no longer existed. I felt betrayed more than I already was. I am a Pisces. I am a water girl. This should not be happening.

I didn't give up. I tried several times in different settings other than public pools. I attended a few water aerobic classes and water yoga classes but found myself growing more and more afraid. My respect and love for the water became one of my biggest fears, to the point of having vivid nightmares about it. 

And I became angry. SO angry with the MonSter. It had robbed me of so much and now had taken away my safe place: the water.

But that's just me. I know the actual benefits of water activities and exercises are great for condition such as MS, but I will have to pass. 😟

I'm not saying that I will never ever never enter the water again, but it is on my "if I have to" list.



W is for the Women of MS

Studies show that MS is far more common in women than in men, who are usually diagnosed with primary-progressive MS  later in life than women. And, girls, we know how stressful our lives are without the existence of multiple sclerosis. Not making fun of that other sex, it is quite normal for our male counterparts to be to be weak-kneed and needy when faced with illness. I am not saying that our fellas are spineless, jelly fish quivering with the enormity of the perils of some thing a bit moire serious than a head cold, but...

Oops. Gonna get myself in trouble here, so I will depart from to this subject to direct you to a lovely place to visit where the participants are girls only.

If you have a tendency to get lost on Face Book, here is an opportunity to be surrounded with women of all ages, ethnicity, and disease progression who are on stand by 24-7 to talk about  the MonSter. This is not the only group on FB that is targeted to the female population, so get on line and do some lurking. There are several MS communities waiting to meet you.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1657053681182586/


Okay, enough about this silly letter W. Today I am suffering empty-nest syndrome as my son is going home with a friend for the night at a friend's house and my husband is joining his camper pals for a boys' weekend of fishing and what ever other things they do. I am already at a loss, but I do know that shopping is on my agenda before settling down with Lifetime movies and knitting.

Have a wonderful Friday and a joyous weekend.

Keep moving,
Lisa


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