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Living with MS: Hold on to What’s Important to You

Unfortunately, some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a tendency to give up activities when they can no longer do them the way they used to. You may, for example, give up skiing because your balance and energy aren’t what they used to be. Then, you may find that long walks with your partner are a lot more difficult and tiring than they used to be.

And then you may decide that you can’t really take your kids to the zoo anymore. Finally, one day, you realize you’ve given up a whole lot of things that made your life fun, full, and interesting, and you may not have found satisfying substitutes to fill in the gaps.

Even though you may think you have to give up all the good stuff, consider a different strategy: Figure out ways to do your favorite activities differently by using assistive technology (AT), or try out some alternative activities that may be just as satisfying.

If you already have a “tool chest” of gadgets to help you do the things you want to do — congratulations — just keep adding to it. But, if you don’t have that tool chest yet, your rehab team can help you figure out exactly what kinds of tools would work best for you.

The fact is that people with MS do enjoy adaptive sports of various kinds. Moms and dads can enjoy watching a soccer game or going to the zoo in a motorized scooter. A cruise can be just as much fun as trekking in Tibet. The key is recognizing that, even though the activities may be different or you may have to do them differently, they can be part of a full and rewarding life.

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