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MS and parenthood

In this guest blog, for World MS Day, Joanne shares her tips for dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS) and being a parent…

joanne-pic-small.jpgEveryone has challenges, mine is juggling MS and parenthood. With no control over either of them, I read to be prepared (girl guide in me!) but I couldn’t find anything that addresses being a good Mum (whatever that is!) whilst juggling a chronic condition. So I started to write.

With today being World MS Day, it’s all about awareness. My MS journey (I sound sooo talent show!) is like many who experience MS. Various symptoms to contend with (optic neuritis, chronic fatigue, balance, walking, slurred speech, brain fog, sense of smell, poor writing, bladder problems, very low immunity) and a fair share of MRIs, spinal fluid taps, side effects and health appointments. But my main challenge is being little man’s mummy whilst trying to juggle me.

My latest blog “Kiss Goodbye” has my tips to get a grip of any MonSter…

1. It’s personal. I haven’t been able to write well for over a year. I don’t like asking my husband to write for me. I recently got a stair rail fitted and my speech isn’t great. Like parenting, MS is a moving feast. You have to deal with every personal challenge. I know it’s not the end of the world.
2. Don’t be strong, just be yourself. I stole this from my MS friend. Whatever works for you, just do it. You read about being a warrior. Fighting. Throw it all out of the window if you want to. Be yourself whenever you got your diagnosis. Be kind to yourself. Apply your lippy if it makes you feel great.
3. The drugs don’t work. My last blog was about drugs. Like the previous point, do what works for you. Drugs. Attitudes. Whatever. Read, get opinions, but go with your gut.
4. Adapt. I got a stair rail fitted and it really helps. I don’t know why I struggled for so long. You may not wish to admit but adapt.
5. Shout! Shout for help and support. I didn’t for ages. Probably due to pride and stupidity. You realise who really counts.

You can follow me, if interested:
Facebook: poorly parents, mummy with ms
Twitter: mummywithmsjmhc
I also write for the MS Society UK “MS Matters” magazine.

Thank you.