Permalink 12:34:03 pm, by eleanor Email , 741 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: my life, Thoughts, Adapting Activities, Gardening


Last Tuesday I was down at my Neurologist's office having my monthly IV Sol-u-med treatment.  There were four other patients there also. We were all of a similar age and had had MS for years. We had adjusted to our losing function by adapting to continue to have a good life.

I was feeling good coming out of my last relapse and a bit chatty. The room has low light a very easygoing nurse and comfortable chairs which produces a restful environment.  We started talking about things that were of mutual interest and found that the ways we have been accommodating multiple sclerosis in our lives was quite similar.

For example: we started talking about how much we like using the computer. And we found that we were all dependent to quite a degree on the information given to us by our children and grandchildren. Then laughing we shared that they all were giving us too much information too fast!  They didn't do it on purpose. Their brain's just worked faster than ours now did.

We also were finding similar ways to compensate for this too. We unanimously agreed that having them write it down so that we could do it at our own speed was the best.  And it was a unanimous very strong no- no to giving us two or three Windows Shortcuts at the same time.  One at a time is our speed.

Then we moved on to talk about gardening which was a love of us all.  I had just recently received three Rose Plants from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas.  I shared how I want to use them as a bower over part of my bridge that goes across my yard to get from my house to the deck.  One of the group there had a husband who loved planting roses so we shared information on roses.  And when we talked about our vegetable gardens I had to share my raised salad bed too. One person was going to try the upside down tomato plants as her dog was into everything. As we all had dogs at some point,we understood.

And of course the conversation came around to the heat problem. In the summer for all of us it was early to bed and Early to rise so that we could get out before it got hot. When we went out we all brought our cell phone's with us so if we stayed out too long and couldn't move we could call to get help back into the shade.

I've been thinking about this conversation throughout the past week. I've been trying to figure out why it seemed to be so satisfying and meaningful to me.

Could it be that over the years we had had to face and learn to live with most of the same problems with MS. And over these years we had all learned to adjust to our losing function by adapting to continue to have a good life. None of us were giving up on finding ways to continue in some fashion doing things that we love to do. I think it was because of this there was a real emotional connection of similar problems we faced . 

For example most times when I mention heat being a major problem limiting how much I can do outside in the summer to non-MS people I feel a sense of disconnect. There's no gut emotional connection that you feel they understand. But this is what I was getting with the other women from our talk .

But then when someone talks to me about their divorce or the loss of a spouse or child I can't that say I have a gut emotional understanding of their situation either.

You can understand other people's issues on a much deeper level if you have had a similar experience. You can try even if you haven't had the experience but it will not be a gut emotional connection with that person.  I'm sure that this is the reason why support groups are so popular.

I know of people whose only friends are those in their support group.  I haven't done much with support groups and when I tried it didn't meet my needs.  However this casual conversation with like people was very important to me.

It was also a reminder to me not to expect the impossible from people who haven't walked in my shoes.   ellie

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Ellie’s Rules for Coping Well with MS and Disability
Get Knowledge
Admit What's Happening
Set a Functional Goal
Adapt Lifestyle
Attitude is Everything
Be an Advocate
Live Life to the Fullest
Laugh Often
Then All You Need is Love
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