About Me

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Redbanks, South Australia, Australia
Contact me if you'd like to know more about this writing group. My email address is jeebers@aussiebb.com.au

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds
Ananka knows how to enjoy life - catch and eat birdies!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts about Mindfulness and Multiple Sclerosis

Thinking about the things that ail you can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. Or, of course, it can be a ho hum neutral thing.

If a person thinks about things that go wrong with their health, and don't ever come to a resting point where they can think, OK, that's sorted out, on to the next thing, that can be very bad. If that occurs, a person may go over and over the same thing, never leaving it alone, and constantly adding terrible new things to the burden that weighs them down.

I have met and read of people who have Multiple Sclerosis like this. They almost wear their disease as a badge of some morbid kind of honour that says - 'I have MS, my life is worse than anyone else's life, woe is me!'

I could have taken this path when I became ill and was diagnosed with MS a year ago. I could have, but I chose not to. I wrote about my illness, shared it with others, wrote poems about it, studied it and thought about it.

My thinking about it wasn't round and round in circles thinking. My thinking was more 'OK, this is what I have, what comes next?' I left myself open to new ideas, and new ways of dealing with what I have. The old 'Use it or Lose it' adage was said to me often enough and by people I respected, that I had to pay attention to it.

Late last year, this adage led me to an exercise program that suited me and my circumstances. I began doing exercises with my Wii Fit Plus machine. This had lots of things that help with balance and one of the things that affects most people with MS is their lack of good balance.

I posted details about my Wii Fit program on my Facebook page and have received lots of positive feedback from my Facebook Friends. I have also inspired other people to get out their own Wii Fit disks and balance board and have another go at it.

I love hearing these kinds of stories, and it has helped me stay focused. Thinking about all of this and being at peace with my body as I help to keep it moving have helped me to. I pay attention to what my body says, resting if I have to, extending what I do if I can.

Listening to my own body, watching Nature as I sit outside and making connections and listening and responding to other people are all parts of my journey in this stage of my life. I hope my life will continue to get better and better as my journey continues. Please join with me as I travel!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling OK with MS

Well, in my part of South Australia we've finally shaken summer off, at least for a week or so by the look of it. A couple of days ago with had over 47mm of rain in our gauge and a mini lake where our front driveway goes. That water has dried up now, but it's still cool and lovely outside not too hot!

I used to complain about cool and cold weather, but since MS hit me bad a year ago, I've learned to love it being colder. Summer is really bad for me, and for most people who have multiple sclerosis.

Now that the weather is cooler, I feel a little more able to walk around more. If I get too warm though, that's it, time to sit and rest again. Today I did a load of washing and happily started hanging it all out on the line when it was finished. I got most of the washing hung up, then the sunshine started and my fumbles got worse.

I dropped one peg for every five that I took from the peg basket and I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to complete my task. I gave myself a kind but still stern talking to and eventually the job was done. Now the washing is flapping around, waving at me to let me know it's nearly dry. I'm not sure whether I'm going to bring it in, or whether I'll ask Jake to do it.

I think I'll just leave it another hour and decide then. One of the most important things I've learned since I got MS is to listen to what my body says, and to take care of myself. So that's what I'm doing. My body knows best what I can and can't do at any time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I love Cool Weather

In my former life (everything before this time last year), I liked warm weather and even hot weather didn't bother me that much. Then MS - Multiple Sclerosis - came along a year ago.

Now, if the weather gets too hot, or my core body temperature gets too high, my body protests - my muscles don't work at all well and my balance goes crazy. The combination is only funny if you're not me, and you're an unkind person.

I try to keep cool, especially after my last venture out on a warm day, a week ago. That day was supposed to end up with a fun meeting with my Thursday night writing group, who I love. Instead, it ended up with me staying home because I didn't feel up to driving anywhere, and forgetting to let relevant people know I wasn't going to go.

That's all OK now, I apologised and I hope I'm forgiven. Today is another Thursday, and the meeting tonight looks like it's going to be truly special. We have a guest coming to tell us about Japanese Poetry and I'm so keen to hear more, and also to have the guest come along - Nigel Ford is his name - he's a great guy and a fine poet.

Anyway, the reason why I'm sure I'll be fine to get to the meeting tonight is because the weather is being kinder to my body and me. The maximum temperature for the past few days, and today is mid twenties, and that is much easier on my body.
Because it's cooler, my Wii Fit exercise program is going better, and my mobility is improving.

MS is definitely one of those 'Use it or Lose it' things - the more I do, within reason, the more I can do. As long as I listen to my body, this works well. Last week, when it didn't go so well, I hadn't been listening to my body.

I know I should keep cool, so as long as I do that, have water to drink as much as I can, life is good. It isn't just having MS that can give a person issues with the weather. We will all get on better by paying attention to what our own bodies are actually telling us.

Waiting for night to come

Waiting for night to come
I love sunsets