Taking time out from MS

Declan Groeger
Written by
Declan Groeger

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is not a death sentence. It‘s a life sentence and, on my darkest days, it can feel like there is no parole or time off for good behaviour. Yet even in these toughest days I recognize the need for time out, for time when I can push my condition to the back of my mind and absorb myself in something totally different. While MS may never actually go away, concentrating on something else means that MS recedes to background noise (if only for a short time). My hobbies and other interests are my armoury.

I love reading; being a member of my local library gives me an unlimited supply of books and also the opportunity to try different authors and genres. The books I read are mainly easy-reads, but they still require a degree of concentration to follow the good guys, the bad guys and the plot.

Some time ago I rekindled my woodworking hobby and that requires concentration. I use a selection of hand tools, but MS has reduced my dexterity and strength and I now rely more on a small selection of power tools; this requires a diligence and concentration to reduce the chances of serious injury. A less dangerous aspect of woodworking is measuring but this also requires concentration; measure twice and cut once.

I love online word games like Ruzzle and Text Twist but there many more to choose from and all require concentration. The benefit of playing online solo games is that I can play at a time that suits me.

Remember to work within your MS imposed constraints. It is important mentally to have different hobbies as these hobbies will exercise different parts of the brain and the brain needs exercise as much as the body. Whilst concentrating on any hobby MS fades into the background.

How do you take time out from MS?

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