Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MS and Wheelchair Exercising

Movement is a medicine for creating change in
a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.
~ Carol Welch

My online friend Merely Me asked me how I exercise from a wheelchair. I thought about it for awhile, then wrote a response. She added it to responses from two upright MSers here. I can talk only about exercise from a chair.

Being in a chair full time means there is limited movement. What does movement have to do with MS? The National MS Society (NMSS) reminds us that MS steals movement from us all. I have secondary progressive MS, and as a result I have been progressively losing my ability to move. How can I slow that loss?

Here is what NMSS has to say about exercise. A wheelchair adds another factor, but for some it seems hardly a handicap.

Be sure to check
Merely Me's article -- MS Community and Exercising -- where she talks about more than wheelchair exercising.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Miss My Mother

About 15 years ago, my mother suggested she and I take a cruise ship to the Bahamas. It sounded like fun and I agreed. My MS put me in a wheelchair, but she could push me, so off we went. The weather was rough, and once on the ship, the choppy waters exaggerated the ship's rocking back and forth. Many of the passengers were feeling sick, my mother among the worse. She spent much of her time curled up on the floor under a spiral staircase. We were having the cruise of a lifetime!

Mother felt so badly because she intended to help me on our vacation. Instead, she was the one who needed help. I was just fine -- the waves did not affect me, perhaps because I was in the wheelchair.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Poetry Is in the Pity - Wilfred Owen (Mar 18, 1893-Nov 4, 1918)

His topic was war, specifically the Great War, and the poem that touched me was about that war. World War I was waged long before many of the technological advances that help level the field for people with disabilities today. Facing disability was a different story then.

Wilfred Owen was born on this date in 1893. In his poem, "Disabled," he tells the story of a young man who lied about his age so he could fight in the war. Wearing the uniform sounded glamorous He was just a kid, trying to impress a girl and his mates, not understanding what it really meant to go to war. Ah, the innocence of proud youth, torn from him in one short moment:
"There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now, he is old;"

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is Nutrition the Answer?

Take a bite. What are you thinking? How much thought goes into your daily diet? How do you feel? Does the food you eat make you feel better? Is it just comfort food, or actually healthy food? It's time to think about these things because March is National Nutrition Awareness Month.

So, does the food we eat make us healthier? What is the role of diet in health care? At the very least, a good diet adds to good health and a healthy outlook. For some conditions and certain diseases, healthy eating is actually an alternate treatment option.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

2009 Charcot Award Winner

Professor John Prineas of the University of Sydney received the 2009 Charcot Award. It was awarded by MSIF in recognition for his "life-time contribution to the world of MS." Read more about Prof. Prineas and the Charcot Award. Scroll down to see the list of previous winners.

This is MS Awareness Week (Mar. 2 - 9). Prof. Prineas provided evidence that myelin could be repaired and challenged traditional MS concepts. His work spanned decades as he collaborated "with colleagues on a truly global scale."

Thank you Prof. Prineas, and Congratulations.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March Is My Month

March - Disaboom drafts
March is my month. Well, actually, it is National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month. MS has totally changed the direction of my life, and friends and family and the public at large do not understand. There are so many things I do not know either, so March is my month. In addition, March 2 - 9 is MS Awareness Week. The National MS Society (NMSS) recognizes companies for boosting the movement’s visibility during this week.

Why do we need awareness? Although many people have heard of MS, most people do not know much about it. I read in the current issue of Ability magazine* about one man's experience with an ophthalmologist who had misconceptions. The doctor, checking Charlie's optic neuritis, told him he had MS so he was dying. Charlie was stunned.