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MS Me Days

17 October 2016

Firstly, I can hardly believe it’s been a year since my last blog. At the risk of making excuses for my lack of posts, it has been a busy year with full-time studies and work, along with selling and moving house, and the rest that life throws at us all! It’s been a good year though, with no new activity on my MRI’s, and my continued focus on exercise, diet, meditation, and generally trying to live life with less stress.

As with many of my previous posts, I wanted my ‘comeback post’ to be a positive one, although when I write these positive posts, please do not think that I am dismissing the seriousness and potential negative experiences that we face with MS. That is certainly not my intention. Instead, I find talking about MS through a positive lens, gives me (and hopefully others) hope that life can go on for people living with MS.

A few weeks ago I had my latest MRI and appointment with the neurologist. Take in to account time spent in the waiting room, this takes up about a third of the day. There was a time, when I was initially diagnosed, that I would rush around to make these appointments, and then drive straight to work afterwards, to then make up the time spent away from my job, and complete a full day of work. This was, until one day, when I was stuck in traffic, that I realised I needed to be kinder to myself. I’m not sure why I was putting myself under the pressure to juggle work on my day off for, sometimes stressful, yet essential, medical appointments. Perhaps it was to show MS, and myself, that I wouldn’t allow it to creep in to my life to a point where it impacted my daily routine. I’m not sure. What I gradually learnt though, was that the world doesn’t pause when you get diagnosed with MS, and the world certainly doesn’t stop when you can’t make it in to work one day.

With this in mind, and with a good friend in tow, I turned my appointments with the neurologist in to, what we’ve called an ‘MS Me Day’. Sure, I had to squeeze in the appointments first thing in the morning, but that still gave me ample time to enjoy the rest of my day. These ‘MS Me Days’ have ranged from movie and lunch afternoons, to High Tea and afternoon road trips, and my most current day (also showcased in the photo) looked like this:

  • Prior to my 8am MRI, I drove in to the city early (to miss the peak hour traffic and get a good park!), and had a yummy cooked breakfast at a nearby café
  • In the hour between my MRI and neurologist appointment, I took a 45 minute leisurely walk through the Carlton Gardens, and then enjoyed the gallery-quality artwork displayed around the hospital
  • Following my appointments with the neurologist and the MS nurse, I indulged in a 90 minute massage, which began with a herbal tea and a self-reflective meditation
  • Following my massage, I enjoyed coffee and cake at a café I’d always wanted to try out
  • I ended the day by, not going to gym as I would usually, but by enjoying a 30-minute bath accompanied by a 20-minute meditation – bliss!

When I reflected on the day in bed that night, I realised that my medical appointments made up the smallest part of my day, when I could have chosen to make them the focus. I’m almost looking forward to my next set of appointments, and I’m already thinking of what I’ll do on this next ‘MS Me Day’.

So I guess what I’m trying to get at is, next time you’re running between appointments, laying down in the MRI machine, or getting a blood test to check your medication is doing what it’s suppose to be doing, take some time out for yourself, and turn that potentially dreary day, in to an ‘MS Me Day’. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

Comments (3)

What a great idea! I have never, ever been offered an MRI scan the same day as my neurologist appointment (another idea I'd love to see catch on), but can certainly relate to the stupidity of rushing off to try to squeeze in a full day after necessary medical stuff. It never quite works out, no matter how hard you try, and it is enormously stressful. I've also stopped trying to make that one work. But I hadn't thought of deliberately turning such a day into a "me centered" time to enjoy. You've planted a lovely seed that just might be in full flower by the time of my MRI next month, or my neuro visit a few weeks later. Thank you!

Thanks for the comment TUO :) Yeah I think I struck it lucky with getting my MRI's and appointments on the same day. It began when I did a year-long study with the hospital, and it has just continued. I'm certainly not complaining! I look forward to hearing how you spend your 'Me Time' after your next appointments.