Go to your MS room!

Have you ever considered making an illness-proof room in your home to support your physical health?

The internet is full of tips on how to do so, from improving air quality to wiping door handles, light switches, and electronic devices.

Since my main symptoms include unrelenting fatigue, trigeminal neuralgia and other left side nerve pain, this means I don’t need large-scale interior modifications (yet). But not one to let my emotional and mental health deteriorate either, I’ve made it a rule to have at least one area not just MS-free, but also clear of any outside influences that remind me that I have MS. And yes, that includes people.

My bedroom became that holy of holies, the temple where I feel like a queen, not just for a day but for well… any day until my king arrives, if he ever arrives. If you’re in a relationship or married, you might have some explaining to do to if you want to carry this out in your bedroom, but please bear with me anyway while I explain.

Because my life consists of hospital appointments, medical tests and lots of nagging or stabbing chronic pain, I wanted a room where I could walk in and leave everyone and everything MS-related behind, including my MS-suitcase, on the landing instead of them inviting them in and staring at me in the bedroom. I felt a need to create a space inside four walls where I wouldn’t have to think of anything but myself, I could get a good night’s sleep and build myself up to be the strongest version of myself that I can be.

Even I took some convincing to maximise my room to its fullest emotional and MS-free potential, as it’s not always easy to decide what you would actually physically need in that room. Bit since I took ownership of my sleep environment, walking in now makes me feel as if I came home within myself.

My books about history, Rome, Ireland, and psychology help with this too. Those big books about MS stay in the bookcase in the living room and never make it upstairs. Scented candles help to relax and add to the feel-good factor. The quest to make it as cosy as possible also meant buying and testing approximately 15 different types and sizes of pillows for my bed, before ending up finding the best ones abroad. Additionally, by adding soft fairy lights wrapped around the bedframe for reading or meditating, I feel like the room is built for relaxation. (I’m about to go on the hunt for a good, medium to hard cooling mattress as well!)

My exercise equipment has been moved to the living room, and any kind of paperwork has found a new home out of sight of the bed. Even my alarm clock moved to a position that is only visible when I lift my head out of my sleeping position.

Two things MS-related that you might need to bring into the room with you include a walking aid and your MS treatment. Mine is kept in the drawers in my bedside table, and, as you might’ve guessed already, out of sight.

One guilty pleasure, however… while we all know TVs don’t belong in bedrooms, I have one in mine. I try to keep a proper sleep habit by not watching anything until the early hours, through using the sleep timer in the TV settings. I’ve become so accustomed to it I can guarantee I will be asleep soon after turning it on. Sometimes I don’t even make it past the first five to ten minutes of an episode or show!

A few other ways where you can improve your own MS-free area or sleep environment:

  • Blackout curtains or sun blinds are an excellent invention; they block out all light even during the day when you need a nap
  • During the evening or night, soft fairy lights wrapped around the bed frame are a great replacement for larger, bright lights that might keep you awake
  • Use mechanical timer switches that you can connect to your lights if you want to switch them off automatically
  • Paint your bedroom in a color that enhances calmness and relaxation

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