Have you ever read the story, or seen the movie of “The Little Engine That Could”? In the story, there is a long train that needs to be pulled over a mountain. Several large engines are asked to do this but all refuse. A small engine is asked to pull the train and he agrees to try. The small engine pulls the train over the mountain while repeating “I Think I Can, I Think I Can”.
Many of us with chronic diseases have this thought running through our minds a lot – “I think I can, I wish I could”! There are so many things we want to do, knowing that it will be a challenge to us. What seems like “small potatoes” to most people are giant hurdles to cross for us.
A large portion of us with MS face the battle of fatigue every day. Not being tired – being exhausted. This feeling usually goes from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. It makes us more prone to falling and dropping things. When your legs feel like a thousand pounds each, they hang and make you fall. When your arms and hands feel heavy, you often drop things. It is an uphill battle every moment of every day.
Most of us have problems trying to think. I know that sounds minor to some people, but it is frustrating and makes every day life hard to deal with. Things that are repetitive, such as doing things at work, get short-circuited and just “aren’t there” anymore. Things that should be a part of one’s normal routine have to be thought out. Making a list of every aspect of life becomes the only way to keep up with trying to get through the day.
When I worked as a paralegal, I spent a large part of the day typing. I had to compose legal proceedings, briefs, orders and such. Not only could I not get my thoughts together to do this anymore, my fingers often go in the complete opposite direction that I am trying to get them to go. My typing often ends up in a long forgotten language!
I read about people with MS who have friends and family that do MS walks and runs with them. It makes me really jealous! It has been quite a few years since I was able to run. I am barely able to walk outside on my own. I hold onto something (usually my husbandJ) and would never make it on a long walk because of the fatigue issue. I would love to be able to do paralegal work again. It was very interesting and rewarding. As I have already said, my brain nor my fingers would allow that to happen.
All the above seems so negative, but I don’t mean it to be. Most of us with MS problems have come to grips with the things we can no longer do. Thankfully, that leaves a whole lot of things that we can still do. Only people with limited imaginations are the ones in bad shape. The rest of us find new things to do get interested in. The old “I think I can” mentality kicks in and life is still good!! J