I Seek to Overcome MS Challenges by Being Resourceful
Something crazy happened: I felt the strength slowly run out of my leg. It was like it needed a serious charge, but the charging port was nonexistent.
I’d received some bad news a few days before that, and I think the stress of the news caused a flare-up. My nurse agreed.
A day after my leg went weak, I was due to look after a relative’s home, along with their dog, while they were away. Oh boy, this will be interesting, I thought.
The dog in question is much larger and stronger than my tiny dachshund, Lucy, and she likes to jump up to people’s faces for kisses. All. The. Time.
So, how would I walk her with a leg that has no strength?
First, I took her as I normally would, just more slowly. That sounds like it would work, right?
Nope. Not a smart idea. I underestimated her strength and the hills.
I stumbled and tripped a bunch of times as she pulled me in this direction and that. I was so embarrassed and weak trying to cling to this powerful force of a dog, and I could just imagine the neighbors staring out their windows and judging me, thinking I was drunk or something.
Back at the house, I cried. I cried out of frustration that my leg wasn’t working as it should. I cried because my invisible MS was obvious to others for the first time and I couldn’t do anything to hide it. And I cried because life can be so frustratingly unfair at times.
I asked myself a different question: “How can I take her for a walk that doesn’t count on me walking her?”
After thinking for a moment, I had an idea.
“I know, I’ll drive up the road, park next to the park, and throw her ball for her. That way, she’ll get a good run, and I don’t have to walk anywhere and risk falling over.” Genius, Jess, good thinking.
The next day, I did exactly that. Did it work? Nope.
The dog was incredibly excited to go in a car she’d never been in. She didn’t understand why I put a dog harness on her like I do for Lucy. This dog is used to going in the back, but I had stuff in my car, so that wasn’t an option.
Then we got tangled in her retractable leash after she bolted out of the car, which caught the release button on the way. She dropped her ball and then wouldn’t fetch. Argh.
Did I give up? Nope.
The next day, I thought, “OK, how can I calm her down and improve on what we did yesterday?”
I realized that I can do something with her that I can’t do with my dog. It felt alien to even think about it. This dog can have treats!
My dog is allergic to absolutely everything, and we can only give her medicated kibbles.
The treats worked! Sort of. She was still very excited about getting a treat for being in a new car.
We had a few more days at it to refine the process until on the last day, it poured down rain, which washed out any hope of wandering outside.
Despite everything, I’m proud of myself for overcoming the challenge and not giving in by taking the easy route of getting someone else to do it for me.
It was hard work, sure, and it probably didn’t do my body any favors, but I stuck to my guns. This is me. I’m a fighter. I’m a stubborn, problem-solving fighter.
How do you cope when challenges arise? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.