MS – You’re Only As Old As You Feel …

shout… in my case, 82.

But it’s been a long week.

Anyway, I know I’m old as:

  • The Teenager has come home and told me – with great urgency – to listen to the uber-ancient song by Alanis Morisette; ‘Ironic’.
  • The Teenager has introduced me to Oasis. Again.
  • My knees are playing up and I grab on to things to hoist myself out of my seat.
  • Me and the cat listen to ‘Tweet of the Day’ on Radio 4 and discuss it afterwards.
  • I fill my trolley with tuna cans for one and a solitary bread roll.

This  has to stop.

In my mind, I am around 25-ish. (Note that I had The Teenager when I was 25-ish) Yet MS can do it’s darndest to make you feel, well, old. Ish. The creaking joints, the nodding off after the news, the brain fog, the unsteady walk.

How to counteract such MS deviousness?

I suggest a reclaiming of everything that makes us MSers feel old:

  • Tell everyone you meet you have MS. Works wonders. They will say, ‘by golly, I would never have known – you seem so, well … normal?’ (long argument)
  • Explain to the very handsome barista in your local coffee place that you may need some help carrying your tray of latte and chocolate brownie to your chosen seat, as you have MS. Shit happens?
  • Practise your ‘I know, I know, I don’t look old enough to have a debilitating, degenerative neurological illness. Blame my genes, lol.’

Most of us are diagnosed at an unseemly age. It’s plain wrong. We don’t feel ‘disabled’, merely ignored by society. I went from being valued, respected and well-regarded in my job until a diagnosis of MS made me into ‘a problem’. This has to stop.

If we can harness this outrage, we will go a long way.

We don’t ask for much – a little understanding, a little compassion. We are a talented bunch, who just so happen to have an illness which actually makes most of us more determined than ever to overcome the ‘disabled’ label.

What do you think?

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10 thoughts on “MS – You’re Only As Old As You Feel …

  1. Kerry ormesher says:

    Your so right at 28 I’ve been diagnosed for a year , work have been really good about it but to be honest even when I feel like crap I try not to let on as I don’t wanna be treated different, have to go for second treatment of lamtrada next month feeling more guilty than anything for being off again when I’ve only been back from maternity 3 months but know so many more people who go off for much less and not bat an eyelid ,
    Apparently God only gives you what your strong enough to deal with , looks like we’re superheroes !! Hey ? Xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      We are most definitely superheroes!!
      Isn’t it weird we feel so guilty for taking time off for pretty major stuff like Lemtrada? Yet as you say, people take time off for far less. Like man-flu, lol. Then we try to work twice as hard to make up for it 🙁
      Hope your second course goes really well and your recovery is smooth. Don’t push yourself too hard!!

  2. I was 15 when Ironic came out, great song

    “Tell everyone you meet you have MS. Works wonders. They will say, ‘by golly, I would never have known – you seem so, well … normal?’”

    I’ve had people say this and all I can say back is, “thanks, I guess….” lol what do they want me to say back?

    “If we can harness this outrage, we will go a long way”
    very true, and at the very least we could trip people with our canes :p

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I know what you mean! It feels weird saying thanks, lol.
      As for the outrage, it keeps me going through the hard times! And more determined than ever to tackle through everything MS decides to throw at me 🙂

  3. Johan says:

    Good morning Stumbling;

    I think it’s early. 5am in Michigan. When I was in law school I noticed these shoes. They looked like sneakers, but they were thin, very thin soles. They even had the Nike swoosh or Adidas stripes. Turns out they were called driving shoes. I bought a pair of white Pumas with a black logo, very cool. I gave them away a while back. Terrible shoes when you have MS.
    I think I relate to your writing. One of the best things I find to deal with my SPMS is common sense. I also think people with MS are smart. All the people I’ve met with MS seem smart, including bloggers. Maybe it’s just me, and I was mistaken once, but later found out I was wrong. Thanks for blogging Stumbling.


    • stumbling in flats says:

      Good evening and thank you!
      I have learnt from bitter experience that most shoes are pretty awful when you have MS 🙁
      And you are absolutely right – MS seems to have an unusually high percentage of smart people, lol. Sadly I don’t seem to be one of them most of the time!

  4. Eerie Cris says:

    Reading this, I was thinking about how so often I find myself identifying with elderly people, because I have to sit on a public bench to give my legs a rest and enjoy some fresh air, because I do walk like an old person, because I don’t go hunting for heels but flats (to stumble on them, you know how it goes), because I enjoy a simple time out like going for a coffee, because I don’t care much about bad-hair days but bad-legs days. I have to remind myself “Stop it! You are not one-of-them, there is a generation gap here!”, but yes, I do tend to associate myself with them. It’s a drag.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Ah, I’m so with you!! Like today – I was with my mum and guess which one of us was more tired, more achy, more fumbly?? Moi.
      Or last night. It was The Teenagers ‘treat’ day, when he stuffs himself with pizza then hits the gym the other six days. I dozed off right after eating mine, which he found hysterical. I was mortified 🙁

  5. Kerri says:

    For years I have said I’m about 85, but the truth is that most 85-year-olds are doing much better than I am. My 81-year-old mother has driven six hours to come here and help me. I’m grateful, but still find it ridiculous when I should be helping her. Our outsides can hide well the war we fight on the inside. I’m past that stage. In a wheelchair now, I appear to be the granny I feel like and yet people still tell me I look good – I’m guessing they don’t know what else to say.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I’m with you on that one – still get compliments but like you say, maybe they don’t know what else to say, lol.
      Having a minor problem with my hands at the moment, knocking stuff over. Getting a bit embarrassing now. Plus more footdrop. When they happen together, it’s pretty spectacular!

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