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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
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Letting Go With MS

Written by Francie MacDougall
Posted on November 12, 2021

There are those who are chronically late, and those who can’t help themselves — they’re always about five minutes early. I’m rarely early, but I’ve always really liked to be on time. All that has gone out the window these days with multiple sclerosis.

I try to be on time, always. I believe I gauge my get-ready time for physical therapy, work meetings, and even coffee with friends so I can be early or on time. But my body can be unpredictable.

I rarely know ahead of time that I’ll have difficulty moving on one day or another. And how hard is hard on any given day? Just slow, or impossibly so? Will I be unable to put my hands on the outfit I had in mind, because it’s hard to reach, dirty, or unironed?

I usually build in a little extra time, but when I stress about possibly being late, I get slower and clumsier. And when I depend on another person — to unearth clothing from my autumn or summer storage boxes from the bottom of my closet, to help me get to my car, to get themselves ready so they can help me if I need it — it can all go to hell quickly.

So I try to remember to let it go. It’s beyond my control. I do the best I can. Sometimes I’m late. Sometimes I’m early-ish (because my plans all worked). But no one wants to see me stressed out and mad, or even blissfully happy because things went the way I planned. They want to see me.

In all honesty, it’s a daily struggle for me. But when I remember to let it go, things are just easier. It’s almost as if I’m regaining control by just acknowledging to myself that I really have very little to worry about.

MyMSTeam columnists discuss multiple sclerosis from a specific point of view. Columnists' articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyMSTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyMSTeam content isn't intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Posted on November 12, 2021
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Francie MacDougall is a freelance writer who lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She was diagnosed with MS in 1990. Learn more about her here.

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