Tag Archives: stress and MS

Whether the Weather …

Most people have a preference for one season over another, or one kind of weather conditions over others. ‘Good weather’ can mean different things to different people, depending on what they like …

Most people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have more problems with handling the heat than they have with cold weather. Higher temperatures usually mean MSers stay indoors with the air conditioner going, and if they have to go out, they have air con on in the car and head for air conditioners or at least shade wherever they have to go. I’m certainly one of those people.

aleppo pine

If the temperature where I am gets up over thirty, I usually start to feel weaker and a bit ‘muddle-headed’. My memory is affected and I feel unable to think properly. Having a cool drink, and cooling myself down in some way is needed before I begin to feel more ‘normal’ again. I know all of this and I do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen to me, so I keep an eye on weather forecasts and generally I stay at home where it”s cool or only go out on hot days when I know the place I’m going to will be cool enough, or that at least cool drinks will be available.

One thing I’ve found is that barometric pressure changes seem to have some kind of effect on me. It’s difficult to describe, but I feel unsettled and weak then too. Stress is probably my biggest thing that really makes my MS symptoms kick in. If something is stressing me out, I feel like I’m going into melt-down, and I have to get out of the situation as soon as possible.

Fortunately I am good at avoiding stress. I have a laid back, ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to life, which, put together to my mostly mindful attitude to things,┬ákeeps the stress level low most of the time. Bad things can happen, but good things happen too, and the bad things are rarely as bad as they might have been, so I remember that and stay calm, almost always.

I think this kind of attitude is good for everybody, not just those of us with MS. I’d be interested in knowing how others feel about this … Please leave a comment below:

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Excitement Need Not be Stress!

I currently have an exciting event happening, that is taking up a lot of my attention. I’m excited about it, it’s exactly down my alley of creative writing, and it seems to be going extremely well. I’ve felt like this about an event before, but that actually turned out to be a not quite so good thing.

That event was the launch of my first collection of poetry – “damaged children, Precious Gems”. The launch went well, lots of people there, including the artist who did the painting I used for the front cover of the book. It was all lovely, many books were sold, and everyone was wonderful. The only sad thing was that my MS symptoms kicked in, and I has leaning heavily on my walking stick, by the end of the event.

This current event is possibly even more exciting, and it goes for several days, over lots of hours. I’ll have to be active, have a bit of walking involved in the happenings of the weekend, and I certainly don’t want to have to get out my stick or cane.

I feel differently this time though – for the previous event, I was the main person organising things, and it was mostly all up to me. This time, I have a great team working with me. I really home this will be the difference that will help me to keep going on my two feet, and no stick!

There is a kind of stress called “eustress”. This is the kind of excited feeling you get when you are feeling stressed, but in a positive and happy way. I hope this is the kind of stress I’m having. It’s keeping me awake at night a little, but I’m still getting enough sleep in between bouts of restlessness.

This time, I’m working with a group of other people who are involved in the event too, and we are all taking on different tasks, or working together on certain aspects. There haven’t been many things go wrong so far, and the worst thing gone wrong was easily dealt with, and will turn out fine, as far as I can tell. I accepted the thing that had happened, agreed with the proposal put to me to deal with the issue, and moved on. All good.

This has been my attitude all the way along – positive, and “All Good”! The event is the Gawler Festival of Words – it begins tomorrow, and continues all weekend. Details are on the website. So this event will be happening from tomorrow afternoon, all over the two days of the weekend, and on Monday, life will go back to normal. Or will it? If this Festival is a success we are certainly doing it all again next year, and every year after that. It’s all good, Words are the winners and so are all of the people who love words who can be there with us!

MS and Stress, the Terrible Combo!

If you stress about having MS, you can make your MS worse – isn’t that a cruel thing? But if you have MS, you quite likely have many issues and problems that go with trying to live with the symptoms of this chronic illness. So, if you check the internet, and other references, you will see there is a very strong link between this combo.

When something like MS enters your life, you can see it as something that is going to wreck your life, and fight angrily against it. Or you can give in and bow to the inevitable problems you see will affect you. Either way, you will still have MS, and you will make choices in life – medication, treatments and so on that you certainly hope will have a good impact on the illness.

Stress is a multi-faceted thing, and even good experiences can be seen as stressful by the body. The build up to an important but good thing is still stressful for your body. This, in terms of MS, can lead to your symptoms from MS getting worse. This was shown to me back in the first year of my diagnosis. It was the day for the launch of my first poetry collection. There were many people there, family, friends and interested others. Things were going well, the book was launched and books were being bought and I was signing them for their new owners.

A great day, and surely not a reason for my body to pack up with things all going well, you might have thought. My body thought differently. By the end of the day, I was leaning heavily on my walking stick, my husband and anything else there to be leaned on. My walking was as bad as when I’d have my initial collapse, but I was smiling and proudly happy. In my head I was happy, but my body read that level of happiness and excitement as stress, and it was behaving that way. To the body, stress is stress, whether happy stress or sad/bad stress.

I’ve been working at removing stress from my life. Things happen, and I accept them happening, or change them for better things if I can. I aim to continue breathing calm and slow, and I take time out to do nothing much at all, as often as I can. I’m not a religious person, but I have a strong reverence for the works of Nature. I have Nature meditations, where I just go outside and be at peace with Nature. The clouds and the birds, the trees and other plants and all of the creatures, we are all there, just there and doing what we are doing. No further thought needed. We are all being there, in the present moment, doing what we are doing …

I am slowly learning to live in the moment, and I feel so much better for doing that. Things happen, and I can accept them happening … Good things, bad things, while there is life, things will happen. If I feel I want them to happen in a different way, and I have the power to change them, then I do what I need to do for that to happen. If they are beyond me and I can’t change them, I try to just accept them. It’s still a work in progress, life is not perfect, but for me, life is pretty darned good!

I think it would be a good thing if people with MS were prescribed stress-reduction sessions, instead of or in conjunction with medications. That is my idea of proper help …above the fish pond