Knowing our limitations

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Once we learn to deal with what our new “normal” is and we have grieved for our old self this can be such an important tool we use daily in managing our MS.  I think it’s important for us to grieve the person we used to be because lets face it no matter if we have changed physically (inside or outside) we aren’t the same anymore.  How could I go from enjoying running one week and then to the next where my fatigue was so bad it took every once of my being to get out of bed? We learn to adapt and over come and get used to the “new normal” for us no matter what that may be now.

I think one of the hardest things about dealing with this MonSter is to know your limitations.  When I was first diagnosed as a young adult I pushed my limitations to the maximum all the time.  This was probably because I was still in denial about even having multiple sclerosis. I would go out with friends my age to do what young college kids do in enjoy the nightlife and then pay for it ten fold for days after because my body couldn’t bounce back the same as everybody else’s.  It took me many years of what you call “pushing the envelope” before I truly realized that I needed to know what my limitations were so I could manage my MS better.

This became a very apparent life skill after I became a mother for the first time.  I like to think of my energy levels as a battery.  Some days I wake up with a full powered battery of energy and feel ok.  But then I have to remember every thing I have to do in this day will take away from my battery charge.  When I wake up some mornings and I already feel like I am only dealing with half a battery of energy then I prioritize what I really need to do this day and what can wait for another day.  Being a type A personality was a challenge with this as this was a tough one for me at first because I wanted to get it all done.  I felt guilty if I couldn’t keep up to what other mom’s do but then I learnt that I needed to stop trying to compare myself to others and the world wouldn’t end if my laundry waited another day.

Learning to say the word “no” is also very empowering and liberating when you need to say it.  You know what I mean when there are other moms who ask you to help with some school function in the evening that your children attend and you know darn well that it’s too much for you to handle a task like that.  Part of you really wants to help because you feel as a school mom it’s your token “duty” to help out as much as you can but the other side of you knows darn well the physical part of handling this task and especially in the evening will wipe you out for days. I have learned how to say no to tasks that I know are too much for me to handle now and not feel guilty after.

A smart person once told me this quote a long time ago that I want to share with my fellow MS Moms.

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken ~ Oscar Wilde

So be kind to yourselves and remember we all go through similar experiences so talking to other moms with MS can really help you feel like you are not alone. If you are on Facebook come join us https://www.facebook.com/groups/momswithms/

Until next month take care of yourselves,

Michelle

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About Michelle Walsh

Diagnosed in 1991 when she was 18 years old. She flew actively as a Flight Attendant for many years and moved into Inflight Management and worked full time for 14 years until her MS made it unable for her to work anymore. Michelle has also had venoplasty for her CCSVI and most recently had the TVAM and Stem Cell procedures in California. Michelle first became a mom in February 2007 and now has 3 children and is looking forward to sharing more of her stories on her MS journey with us at MomsWithMs.org. Michelle loves to public speak and is a big fan of dark chocolate.

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