What Are We Afraid Of?
How many of us avoid situations due to the fear of overdoing it and being enveloped by fatigue? I am in constant fear of this and miss out on so much because of it.
Dealing With the Fear
What can we do to combat all this fear? How do we get up and keep going with all this negative energy floating around?
The more I learned about MS by reading trusted websites and connecting with people on social media, the more I began to fear the future less. MS is not a death sentence, we just have to learn to live with it and manage as best we can.
No two people with MS are the same, so you’ll never know what your prognosis is. There is no point worrying about the future — the best thing you can do is give yourself the best chance by eating well and keeping as active as possible rather than shutting yourself away in terror.
Stay engaged with your healthcare team and take an active role in your medication and care. It’s important to stay proactive and learn to face up to MS instead of living in denial.
Planning and Preparation
This is essential if you want to avoid canceling engagements and missing out. If you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, make sure you call in advance and find out about the venue.
Ask about parking, washrooms and stairs so you know what you’re dealing with. There are some places I can’t go because the washrooms are downstairs or there isn’t any parking, but that’s OK because there are plenty of places I can go. I always tell people I use a mobility scooter and usually the reaction is positive and they can’t do enough to help.
Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith (not literally, or we’d be falling all over the place). I did a lecture at a university recently and refused to let the fear stop me. I found it difficult, but I didn’t wet myself in public and I didn’t fall over.
I was fairly tired afterwards but I managed it and got some great feedback. The best thing was the sense of achievement I felt and the feeling of having triumphed over MS fear!
I still feel fear most days, but I won’t let it stop me moving forward with my life — and you shouldn’t either.