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Guest blog: Keep calm and carry on

Posted on: November 19 2018

In her latest guest blog, Joanne Chapman tells us about her recent experiences living with multiple sclerosis (MS)...Photo of Joanne

It’s been a good while since I wrote. I’ve wanted on many occasions but life has been against me. When you live with a chronic illness, it's a constant uphill battle but when life chucks in more challenges, you just want to scream!

It’s that time of year when bugs bounce around. You do things to help to escape illness. I’ve chucked orange juice down me for the hope of that extra vitamin C prevents any illness but I’ve still sounded like Darth Vader. Little man’s nursery has been a hive of germs. You want him to go but battling against bugs is a neverending game. Me, then little man, me again. I think it was tennis germs. My immune system is even more shot to pieces since MS.

keep calm poster imageMy symptoms flare up when I’m sick, especially my fatigue. The MonSter comes back with a vengeance. Big effort! You just want a break. Last weekend, I woke up to not being able to walk. I bought a rollator/wheelchair combo as my scooter broke recently (another story). I needed a back up plan. Good job I did have one. Little man’s daddy wheeled me into church as I didn’t want to miss Remembrance Sunday service. I’ve got a poster used in the war “Keep calm and carry on”. You just remember what others have done to make you, your family and friends safe, and it all blends into perspective.

MS is a pig of a disease. When people ask, 'How are you?' and you reply 'OK', it’s because in the past replying with the truth doesn’t help many and it is easier, less effort to say 'OK'. Everyone has their challenges. You don’t know what they are. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from having MS. Simply be kind to others. You don’t know what sh*t they are dealing with.

I was recently given some drugs for my MS bladder as an interim solution as I’m waiting for Botox. I had a bad reaction to them, so no longer taking. I should have known as every drug I’ve taken has caused me medical grief. To add insult to injury, we’ve had home leaks to contend with. As the phrase goes, 'It never rains, only pours'. Little man’s daddy asked, 'Is that a joke?'

As you can read it’s been pretty interesting. Maybe I should rename my blog to “ poorly pi**ed off parent”. When I’m feeling rubbish, I think of that war poster “ keep calm and carry on”. That is my option, she says coughing again.

You can read more from Joanne on her blog, Poorly parents.

5 fearsome fundraising tips to kick off Halloween!

Posted on: October 29 2018

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. (But at MS-UK the day's quite grand!)

Halloween is creeping ever closer. Soon the streets will be full of face-paint zombies, bedsheet ghosts and passable attempts at characters from horror films. It's a fearsomely fun time of the year that gives us mere mortals a fang-tastic opportunity to get creative with our fundraising!

Whether you host a haunted house party, create and sell a batch of creepy cupcakes, or you channel your inner Thriller and hold a sponsored dance-a-thon, there's plenty of ways to get involved! And don't worry - even the smallest of donations can make a huge difference to MS-UK!

Want to get started? Why not sink your teeth into our top five freaky fundraising tips!

 

1. Your Halloween costume can make or break a party! Get it right and you're already halfway done...

 

2. Hosting a pumpkin carving morning is a super-simple way to get people together. You'll also have enough pumpkin left over to whip up about a year's worth of soup.

 

3. Brushing up on your dance moves is always a good idea. Don't be afraid to bring your spooky shuffle to the dancefloor!

 

4. Just another day at the office... Getting work involved with your Halloween fundraising is never not fun!

 

5. Release your inner showperson. If Halloween isn't a time to get silly, when is?

 

If you want to kick off your own Halloween fundraiser, get in touch with Lucy who can help you every step of the way!

The science of fundraising

Posted on: July 20 2018

Raising money for MS-UK shares a lot of the same fundamentals as classical chemistry. Mixing up elements can lead to surprising results, slightly twealking a formula can make a huge difference, and sometimes things happen that nobody can quite explain…

With that in mind, our science boffins (a few of us in the MS-UK office) decided to study the ecosystem of a typical fundraiser to see what they could learn. Here are their results…

 

Panic levels on event day

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Fundraiser personality study

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The anatomy of an event

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MS Confessional

Posted on: June 19 2018

Confessional.jpg

Forgive me.

Sometimes I fail to do the right things for multiple sclerosis.

Now is the time to enter the booth and admit my wrongs.

Forgive me doctor for I have stumbled (Sorry, no pun intended).

I have been in conversation with a familiar person while being unable to recall their name.

There are times when I don't stretch as I should.

Sometimes I wear the same clothes two days in a row. (Figuring I haven't done anything to get them dirty.)

I get angry at MS. I yell, scream, cuss at it. I use language that would make an inmate blush.

Sometimes I don't eat as I should. Too much junk. Candy, cookies, chocolate. It makes me feel "blah" yet it continues to be crammed into my mouth.

I wall-walk when I should use my canes.

At times I feel disconnected to family, friends and those around me. And I don't know why.

 

Shower.jpgSome days I am too tired to shower.  Thinking..."(sniff-sniff) It can wait another day."

I try to do too much--wanting to carry my share. Which usually ends up in a fall or spilling/dropping something to make even more work.

Sometimes I get tired of the seemingly constant uphill struggle with MS.

There are times I just sit quietly with not much to say. Not as lively as I use to be... and once again, I don't know why. (But I have a two-letter guess!)

 

 

Sock Dark Clouds.JPGHaving MS is about remaining positive but there are days I am not. Negative thoughts swirl around my melon. (I am about to swear at MS again!)

Sometimes I go into a store and forget why I am there.

Forgive me doctor as I try not to allow multiple sclerosis to consume my every moment. But it is darn difficult at times to rise above.

What do YOU have to confess?

Take a seat next to me in the booth and spill your guts.

It will make us both feel better!

 

By Doug Ankerman

Doug pokes fun at MS and other topics at myoddsock.com

Keep in touch on Twitter at @myoddsock and Facebook.com/myoddsock

Guest blog: MS goes to the movies

Posted on: April 03 2018

Image saying 'MS goes to the movies'In his latest humorous guest blog Doug Ankerman discusses how movie names would be different if Hollywood was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)...

Ever wondered what would happen if Hollywood was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?

Our favourite movies would be quite different.

Roll'em and let's see how...

"Officer And A Gentleman With Leg Spasms"

"Memory Is Gone With The Wind"

"Wizard Of Odd Sensations"

"Blade Walker"

"Band Of Bladders"

"A Shot In The Thigh"

"The Blind Side Of Optic Neuropathy"

"Absence of Myelin"

"Les Miserable"

"The Interferon Hangover"

"Schindler's Limp"

"This Is Spinal Tap"  (No Name Change Needed!)

"Snow White And The Seven Neurologists"

"Full Metal Cooling Jacket"

"A Hard Day's Night Not Sleeping"

"A Fistful of Medicare Dollars"

"Singin In The Pain"

"Close Encounters Of The MRI Kind"

"My Left Foot Drags"

"Silence Of The Limbs"

"Baclofen To The Future"

"The Social Security Network"

"Poltergait"

"When Harry Met Soli (Solumedrol)"

"Avonex-Men"

Do you have any MS films to add to the marquee?

Premiere them to MS-UK in a red-carpet comment.

Till then, we'll see you at the movies!

Doug
Doug Ankerman pokes fun at MS and other stuff at his My Odd Sock humour blog.

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