Let’s be honest – in many ways the holidays suck.
Tysabri is a dream come true for many individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. Personally, I have opted to take Gilenya (for now), but Tysabri was very tempting when I considered my options after it became apparent that Rebif would not work out for me any longer. However, along with Tysabri’s side effects comes one very sinister danger: PML. One patient on Gilenya has been diagnosed with PML, and it can happen to anyone whether or not they have MS. Knowing that medication (especially newer medications) may bring a risk of PML has frightened us all.
“They” say that you are considered newly diagnosed for the first 2 1/2 to 3 years after your Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. It seems like only yesterday that I posted my “Year One” article. It seems like only yesterday that I was diagnosed! Somehow, enough time has passed that I find myself at a point where I have been living with Multiple Sclerosis for four years.
For almost a week I have returned to the status of “college girl.” No, I have not been downing jello shots or going to keg parties. While I have known for most of my life that a college degree is necessary for most careers, until recently I did not have the opportunity to truly consider completing my degree. After my diagnosis I was certain that it would never happen – I could barely type, stay awake, or have coherent thoughts. Time has passed – I now find myself enrolled in college again. In hindsight I see signs that I already had Multiple Sclerosis in college, but certainly not as advanced as it now is. Pursuing education with MS is intimidating.
Cog Fog probably started sneaking up on you years before your MS diagnosis. Multiple Sclerosis alone is challenging, but Multiple Sclerosis with Brain Fog involves a totally different set of problems.
“Brain Fog” is a term generally used to describe the confusion, disorientation, general grogginess, and other issues resulting from cognitive dysfunction which commonly occurs with MS.
This is the last in a series of posts based on my personal experience on how to simplify your life. If you have followed this blog for long, you’ll know that I have had Multiple Sclerosis for about 4 years and have been trying to play catchup and pull my life together since the diagnosis. While my husband and I are not really minimalists or zen gurus, we have found our lives improving one step at a time by simplifying as much as possible.
You have worked diligently to simply your life – decluttering, taking things to garbage and making donations. Now you’re left with a pile of things you hope are worth a little money. Or maybe you’re still working on sorting out your finances and know that selling a few things will give your savings or debt-elimination efforts a boost (medical bills are painful).
Feel overwhelmed yet?
It’s alright, just take it one step at a time.
Have you ever opened a closet only to be shocked by how many things had found their way in there? We accumulate things over time. Lots of things. Too many things. Don’t let stuff own you or define you – simplify your life and dump all the junk. When we moved into our house about 7 years ago we probably had twice as much (or more) overall stuff than we do now, and we still have too much. Before my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, our lives were very disordered. Parts of our house were unusable or difficult to navigate, and there was certainly no open space for yoga or other exercise.
Multiple Sclerosis has certainly complicated my life in many ways. The varieties of stress that come along with modern life are compounded exponentially with this disease. I have new doctors now, excess weight, less energy, disability, handicap parking tags, canes, fans to cool me down, bottles upon bottles of medications, a CPAP machine, bills and statements from hospitals, and, last but not least, worries. A lot of worries. At times I have felt supremely overwhelmed with stuff, with concerns, with financial problems, with health problems, with responsibilities (dinner, dishes, laundry, shopping, cleaning, preparing for work). How do you simplify your life?