My Latest Obsession Helps Me Combat the Uncertainty of MS

Jessie Ace avatar

by Jessie Ace |

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My obsession with numbers has continued since my latest MS relapses, but now I’ve taken it to a whole new level.

A few months ago, I explained in a column that my husband had filled our house with clocks after reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which spawned a new relationship with numbers for me.

I found so much comfort in the clocks at a time when I was dealing with a great deal of uncertainty in my life. Numbers were an unexpected outlet for coping with my relapses.

But it’s gone beyond getting excited about walking into a room at exactly 12:34 or 8:08. Now the obsession clings to me wherever I go, even outside the house.

In addition to following the Overcoming MS (OMS) diet, a plant-based diet focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seafood, I started using a tool to help me understand my body and track critical metrics affecting my health.

I invested in a fitness tracker watch.

I love being on top of everything – it’s why I wrote the “ENabled Warrior Tracker” book, which covers symptoms, sleep, diet, and much more.

I’m realizing, however, that a fitness tracker is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I love that it tracks how many steps I’ve taken in a day, which is the main reason I bought it. I used to track steps on my phone, but the lack of pockets in women’s clothing meant my phone didn’t catch all my steps.

On the other hand, I am very disciplined, and my brain takes one look at the figure on the tiny screen and wonders, “How can I reach the next thousand?” It’s so annoying.

I feel like I’m pushing myself further because of it.

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Seeing the number of steps at the end of the day has become vital to me. If the final number is less than it was the previous day, I feel uneasy. This is difficult with MS fatigue.

Wearing this watch is very empowering. It means I can track my heart rate, sleep, workouts, and even the oxygen in my blood. If I’m feeling extra fatigued, I check my watch to suss out why I feel this way.

The metric I’m hugely obsessed with right now is sleep. The watch tracks your whole night’s sleep and tells you how many times you woke up and how much deep sleep you got. I love it.

There’s also an accompanying phone app where you can see all your data in one place.

Do you wear or would you consider wearing a fitness tracker for your health? Please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below.

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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.

Comments

Paul Muddiman avatar

Paul Muddiman

Hi,
Love your posts and when they come in they are the ones I have to read.
I like you was told by by Neurologist I had MS and I should look it up.... but in 1994 he suggested library as there was no interthreat.
The thought of a app let alone a fitness tracker scares me, I like pushing myself but the possibilty of tracking myself would drive me insane.
I have a cctv camera for my front door and drive and the ability to check on events is possibly a curse in disguise because now I can see people taking liberties and I still can't do owt about it !!
I feel your pain on the numbers thing as I am a bit nuerotic about them and watching the football is another problem because when the clock hits 12:34 or say 55:55 I find myself not watching football !!

Reply
Clare P avatar

Clare P

Too many EMF rays wearing a tracker watch for me affecting my MS badly and turned into obsessive behaviour with trying to get more steps in so it’s gone for the moment for me !

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Paul M avatar

Paul M

Absolutely! I have one and wear it all the time, I look at phone app regularly to check what I've been able to achieve and feet how I'm going, it starts to be a challenge to myself to try the next step.

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Susan H. avatar

Susan H.

I wear a fitness tracker as part of a research study being done by UCSF on looking at MRIs and the number of steps and the relation to disability increases or stability. It certainly motivates me to move more, but I’m not a slave to it. I don’t obsess over those days I don’t come close to my target steps.

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Miss Mary avatar

Miss Mary

As I'm reading this post, I'm noticing many are like me. I'm not the only to one who seems to display a neurotic type of behavior, which demonstrates compulsiveness, being overly worried, anxious, & so forth.

These behaviors seem to be activated on account of the MS. Even before MS, due to learned behavior, from when I was younger, I've always had these traits. Actually, seems as though the MS escalated them. I'm not sure if others feel this way?

I agree with those who mentioned that having certain gadgets to help us know how to do something or to see if we r doing it correctly, can be a curse that is disguised.

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