Today we publish another of our ‘Guest Blog’ articles from Liz about how she plans to attend a course all about multiple sclerosis.
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It is largely with thanks to my youngest sister, Anna, that I type yet another hopeful blog for possible publication in the MS-UK blog.
So what’s going forward for me right now..?
Firstly, me, me, me. The exercises Rachel Love ‘designed’ for me during my recent spell in Berrywood Hospital…no doubt MS related, but surprisingly, not that I was ever directly informed…made some lifelong friends during my brief-ish stay…friendships always good in my book!
Secondly, continue Professor Georgev Jelinek’s 7 Steps to Overcoming MS…nb., not curing, but Overcoming…Multiple sclerosis, can wait until after (I’ve made a good start, reaching page 29 of its 451 pages). The book is almost certainly available, cost-free to me and others within the UK, from http://overcomingms.org.
I trust you’ll find it as engaging as I am!
By happy co-incidence…If you’re as happy, and able as I am to use all tools available to address our ‘condition’, my copy of Open Door, the quarterly newsletter of Multiple Sclerosis Trust has literally just been delivered.., you cannot only enjoy reading it, and also communicate with the body via firstname.lastname@example.org or freephone 08003323839.
Hey, just done it again Allanah, following our brief joint meeting with Mary Lowthian, just a couple of weeks back, I’m thrilled to report, for all MSers within striking distance: you know you’re out there, please join us: you know we’re stronger together…
Anyway, attentive and alert Allanah, and her team, together with agents from yet another burgeoning branch of the national MS Society, relatively locally based, are thrilled to give us plenty of notice of the forthcoming discursive/sharing forum: ‘Getting to Grips with MS’.
This unmissable exchange will take place on 08 October in Kettering.
You can check out the suitability / excellence of the venue itself, before making your decision to spend a couple of precious weekend hours meeting others that:
• understand each others ‘uniqueness’;
• are looking forward to enjoying learning a lot of genuinely useful stuff;
• possibly making a whole lot of new friends;
….refer to the blog’s title for my own response….er: YES!.
The thing is, our condition, yes MS, is not anybody’s fault…just as we are: all unique in our own ways: left-handed, right-handed, grammar-school educated, or school-leaver at 15/ as soon as possible…we might try to explain, worse, actually assign ( less favourable aspects of our current circumstances ) on MS…
My truth is that yesterday, one very old, OK, grown up, now 48 year old, primary school friend, her husband, and the oldest of her three daughters, collected me to take me to celebrate the life of the Wing Attack in our school netball team! Liz had lead a very active and 95% happy life, which we were all thrilled to celebrate with her…
I spent a rewarding and entertaining weekend celebrating SalAd [Sally and Adam]’s…geddit? joint 50th birthday celebration/occasion somewhere in the dune/woodland area in Wales, not too far from Swansea…see, if you put your mind to it, if you really want to, there’s maybe a chance you might be able to…give it a go…using sticks now, doubt I’ll congratulate Mum, Judith Tee, as was, for tennis playing endeavours, but can and WILL do what I am able for others with MS…doesn’t define me, does it define you?…
I hope I saw you in Kettering, Getting to grips with MS on 08 October.
On the evening of 17 July our very own Ryan from the MS-UK Helpline attended and supported an evening run by Julie Webster and Helen Willis, the MS nurses from Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and three of the local MS Society branches. In this blog, Ryan tells us all about it…
It was really good to be working together with the Local MS community, MS clinical services and the MS Society. We always enjoy these partnership events and hope that there will be many more to come.
The event was aimed at people who had attended a ‘Getting to Grips’ course in the last few years. The Getting to Grips course is a valuable introduction to all things multiple sclerosis for people who are newly diagnosed. The content of the original course usually includes connecting people to the local MS community and MS clinical services, and gives talks and information on symptom management, diet, lifestyle, welfare rights and employment issues. Many of the local MS Society branches run courses either the same (or very similar in nature) which are tailored to a specific area. If you are newly diagnosed with MS and want to know if there is a ‘Getting to Grips’ course running near you, contact your local MS Society branch.
The session I attended was an informal follow up bringing prior participants together to gain further information and support. There were approximately 50 people in attendance who were a mix of people with MS, family members, friends and allies. The evening had a strong emphasis on self-management, wellness, lifestyle and diet.
There was a presentation from a local man living with MS that gave a personal perspective about living well with secondary progressive MS, he talked openly and honestly about his journey so far, sharing the things that he has tried over time and the strategies he uses now to self-mange his symptoms.
I then spoke about ‘Exercise and Wellness’, giving information on the proven benefits of exercise for people with MS, the types of exercise and activity that people can do, tips on getting exercise right and how to access support locally. I also talked about ‘wellness’ and the importance of having a holistic approach, ensuring that consideration has been given to physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing.
To highlight the importance of this holistic approach, which thankfully many clinicians and MS professionals are now taking on board, I spoke about the ‘MS Brain Health’ Initiative. The MS Brain Health initiative is an international partnership of clinicians and organisations calling for change in the management of MS. The initiative has emerged from a new evidence-based international report that recommends strategies to increase lifelong ‘brain health’. The strategy gives tips for ‘six ways to a brain-healthy lifestyle’ which very much reflects the holistic approach to gain a better quality of life in the longer term. I also talked about MS-UK’s wellness studio Josephs Court and the range of support on offer to support people with a neurological condition in Essex.
The group then had talks that gave further personal perspectives of living with the effects of MS. We heard from a family member, who spoke from the heart and gave an open and frank insight into the shared journey that families undertake after a diagnosis of MS, as well as an incredibly inspirational story about one man’s mission towards fitness post diagnosis, which included cycling from Essex to the south of France! It was great to hear from people living life to the full.
Overall the evening was incredibly interesting with the great outcome of connecting members of the MS community, giving insights into living with MS and ensuring people had up to date and trusted information.