It really is essential for your well-being
” Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”Sir Winston Churchill
I am laying in bed one Saturday morning. The weather is cold but in my bed I am warm and comfortable. I think ‘I don’t want to move from here’ knowing that within a short time my carers will arrive. They will cheerily throw back my covers, strip me naked, wash and dress me and hoist me into my wheelchair.
I want to stay in my warm comfortable bed. I cannot face all that just to sit in the chair for 7 hours with pain gradually worsening, until I am put back in my bed again. By that time I will have spent the whole day being cold, and tired. I will take a long time to warm up in bed.
The day proved to be one of the more uncomfortable ones, as I somehow knew it would be, and I was desperate to get into bed again.
The lesson I’ve learned – again
The irony was that by Monday I was confined to bed for two days because I had developed a pressure sore and a painful bruise from my leg resting against the edge of the chair seat.
Those two days were not particularly comfortable because of the sores, and I was cross with myself for not staying in bed when I knew it was what I needed. The reason I didn’t? The feeling of giving in, of it being too easy and I need to stay positive don’t I?
From the very beginning of my MS journey, I have always stayed the same as I was before. Obviously there have been difficult times, some even horrific, but I always stayed true to my normal self, a positive, slightly introverted smiley person.
It doesn’t take much effort because it’s my nature. But MS has challenged me to maintain that positive nature at every single painful step along the way. It has tried to take my very identity from me, everything that defines me as the person I am.
In the beginning I was adamant that it would never define me, but I am reluctantly coming to realise that now, 15 years older than I was then, that of course it defines me. Because I’m a full time wheelchair user it’s obvious that I am a disabled person and that defines me.
The main lesson I’ve learned here is one I’ve been constantly learning for 15 years – to listen to what my body is telling me. It seems it must be a very hard lesson because I’m still not doing it.
People always say to me ‘how come you’re always smiling’. I tell them I have two choices – I do or I don’t! But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Maintaining positivity can be really hard. We don’t always make it easy on ourselves.
My body was telling me to stay in bed that Saturday and I ignored it. I paid for it. MS will always pay you back for not listening. You’d think I would have learnt that by now but obviously not.
If I’m comfortable and warm in bed on a day when the alternative is sometimes bad for my well-being, then I can keep on smiling!
It’s time for me to realise that positivity is hard to maintain if you go against your own will or that of your body. But I also know that I retain my positivity better if I do what I know is right for me.
Stay safe and well.