"I Want to Hold Your Hand"
SB: If you are with a companion, it is safer if you hold onto him/her rather than your companion holding onto you.
BH: If you notice that you always need the assistance of someone for walking then you need an ambulatory aid.
SB: Explain to family and friends your need for flexibility in participating in planned activities.
BH: Many people do not understand the variable symptoms of MS, particularly fatigue, so take the opportunity to educate them.
Plan a time to relax each day
SB: Read, watch TV, listen to a meditation tape, or lie down; it will help replenish your battery.
BH: Keep a diary of your daily activities and determine where you are spending your energy and when it is best to rest.
For relaxation tips and more, click here.
Evaluate and adapt your home/office
SB: Move your frequently-used items to a place where you don't have to reach over your head to access them.
BH: Adapting your environment will allow you to move more efficiently. Consult an occupational therapist for some ideas if you are ‘stuck’.
For information on modifiying your environment, click here.
Be the master of your destiny
SB: Don’t assume others know what you need. Be the master of your own destiny! Ask for help when you need it. Don’t forget to say “Thank You.”
BH: Keep in mind that there are often special provisions (reserved seating, accessible entrances, etc.) that may help you access activities you enjoy.
If you are sensitive to heat:
BH: Heat sensitivity can affect mobility. To learn more, go to You CAN Beat the Heat.
For more information on staying cool, click here.
Give yourself permission to stop and smell the roses. And BREATHE!
SB: Sometimes we are so focused on where we need to go that we forget to see the beauty around us. Enjoy where you are on the journey. We also need to be aware of our breathing. We can be so concentrated on our efforts that we don’t realize we are taking shallow breaths or even holding our breath.
And last, but definitely not least, EXERCISE on a regular basis!
BH: Exercise can increase endurance, flexibility, and strength thereby improving mobility.
SB: Call the nearest Society office (1-800-344-4867) about exercise or wellness programs they may sponsor or know of in your area.
The Heuga Center offers the JUMPSTART, CAN DO, and CAN DO 2 Programs at locations across the United States. I personally think that every MS person, along with a partner, should attend a CAN DO wellness program! Call 800-367-3101 or visit the website: http://www.heuga.org/.
Remember: CAN DO! Do things because you CAN!