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Thursday, 30 July 2009

Results are in ... I win!

Once again, its been a while since my last blog but the reasons are good. Some posts ago, I spat feathers - no, I spat the whole chickens, to be sure - about the fact that Health and Safety was used as a means of circumventing the Disability Discrimination Act, in an attempt to re-evaluate my compatibility with current employment. Without waxing too much lyrical on this, I was livid. I was furious, mad and not going down without a fight. In fact, failure was not an option ... how dare this person even contemplate doing this.

I can now report back and claim victory. After some correspondence between this person and the specialists that look after me, I was given the all clear by a more senior member of staff and the verdict returned was "No further action to taken on Michael's disability". This is the result I hoped for because it would permit me to continue doing the job I enjoy doing.

So with all this being resolved a great deal of pressure was suddenly removed. Unfortunately, this is where a problem surfaced, a problem I experience all too often before but never in connection with my MS. I am a workaholic. "Yeah ... hello ... my name is Michael and I am a workaholic! At first I used to work harder once or twice a week, and I found I enjoyed it so much that soon I was working harder and smarter upto 5 times a week"!

I usually stay pretty healthy and "undiseased" while I work, but fall ill too all manner of illness during the first week of all my holidays. Thus, while the pressure and stress is piled on, I am fine and fit, but once it disappears ... I get ill and fall to pieces. Guess what? Once this issue was resolved, the stress was gone and I got ill. I really do love the curve-balls life throws at one.

After the latest illness/flu, I am once again back in circulation and ready, willing and more than able enough to give everyone a hard time. It's what I live for, and when the intended target fights back then I consider this the cherry on top.In this sense I abuse virtually eveeryone I know, but it performs a few vital functions. Firstly, good intelligent heckling pushes your mind and forces you to think faster and more creatively. Suddenly, you are firing neurons and using parts of the brain that may be fairly idle during normal daily activities. Heckling, with intelligence, awakens or reawakens these areas. Secondly, I use heckling as a means of measuring my mental abilities and agility. This allows me to identify any mental performance issues early on, and thus permits me to focus on them.

While I heckle, I can evaluate my speech and determine my response time. I know this is not nice towards my friends, but without knowing it, they are helping me to survive. The brain is certainly the most remarkable organ in our body. Use it, re-use it, and abuse it

Kindest regards

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Things are looking up and up and away

Nonquantifiable (a quantum mechanics term) is the best way to describe my last two weeks. The highs have been awesome, helped in part by the smallest pill in my arsenal of medication. The lows have been few but I managed to hide them well, in my humble opinion. The last thing I want is sympathy etched on the face of every person I meet. Frankly, I find this somewhat irksome and off-putting. I believe my sense of humour and living for the moment allows me to tackle all things thrown at me with a certain je ne sais quoi. I would love to bottle this quality and give it to all my fellow sufferers, but ... alas ...this is simple not possible.

However, I can impart my techniques for dealing with people and this alone may guide you to finding your own way. My method is simple, almost child's play ... and yet ... it's effect is neither diminished nor fleeting. The plain and simple truth is that people do not know how to deal with you as a sufferer of MS. Why? Ignorance! Perhaps, but this may be unfair to them. "Why?" you may ask! Simply because MS is so different from one person to the next. This is where you come in! Your task is to educate the people you meet about your specific difficulties, and always do this with a wink in the eye and a smile on your face. If they see you coping with it in a particular way, then they will accept it and cope with it a likewise fashion.

Never hide the fact that you have MS. It is nothing to be embarrassed about and ashamed of. You have done nothing wrong, like perhaps peeing in your neighbour's garden, to get MS. Throw off all inhibitions sooner rather than later, because eventually you will have to as time progresses.

This is all easily done and, with a little practice, it becomes easier and easier but do not become overbearing and force it down each and every throat you come across. There is nothing worse than being bombarded by a relentless attack of MS information. Be dignified about it, in fact, a little dignity and decorum goes a long way to empowering yourself and enhancing your interaction with those you meet.

Finally, a sense of humour is a necessity. The more you laugh and have an edgy sense of humour, about yourself and everything around you, the more people will respect you and want to be around you. We have MS, so what! We can still be the life of the party. Find a groove that suits you and your temperament. In my case it was a quick wit, lateral thinking and the ability to heckle people and deliver all this with a cheeky grin on my face. I therefore, get away with much more than I possibly should, to be sure, I should probably be locked up if only to save society from me. I don't know of any other person aged 35 who could get away with calling a retiring ex-marine a "punk", and still building a professional and good relationship based on this. My point is that this is only possible if you are engaging enough and do with the right amount of respect and cheekiness.

The way you deal with the world around you DEFINES you, and whatever else you may have is incidental.

This is how I have handled myself even before I was diagnosed with MS, and it is still the way I deal with things now. MS has not slowed me down, in fact each and every flare-up or relapse increases my stubbornness to not let this demon take me. The last two weeks were fraught with numerous instances of speech incapacities, walking difficulties, aches and pains. Pills help, but the greatest pill is in your mind. Leverage the power of your mind and you will find hidden treasures and an awesome arsenal at your disposal. My recent adversity was almost overshadowed by the elation I am feeling at getting two kittens on Friday. I so longed to have a pet and now it's happening and the excitement is rushing through my body like a super-charged virus. Fewer pills but more endorphins, which were produced by ... you guessed it ... my mind and body, made all MS related issues seem inconsequential.

My fondest regards to all of you who read this blog. Thank you.