Dec 1, 2002
Shelley Peterman Schwarz
Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis
You Do Know Beans
I use all kinds of tricks to help me remember and cope with occasional memory problems. A friend told me that, when she worked as a waitress, she had a way to identify which cups of coffee were to be refilled with "real" coffee and which were to be refilled with decaffeinated. She put a napkin on the saucer under the cup of the decaffeinated. I thought this was clever, especially for those of us who brew both kinds of coffee and want to keep straight who has what.
Another way to keep beverages like diet and regular soda from being served to the wrong person is to put straws in the glasses of diet drinks.
Vacationing at Home
What do you do when you've got MS and receive a letter that says your children and grandchildren (ages 1, 3, and 5) are coming for a visit? We received such a letter and decided we wanted to try something that might make the visit easier. We found a nearby motel with an indoor pool, hot tub, workout studio, and free breakfast where all of us could stay. Then we made reservations.
The family visit was thoroughly relaxing for everyone. While the little ones napped, I rested. When the adults sat around the pool supervising the children, we had a chance to visit. And the breakfast buffet of fruit, juice, French toast, cereal, eggs, bacon, and sausage would have taken me all morning to prepare, not to mention the trips to the grocery store and the cleanup.
I enjoyed myself thoroughly and my husband and I earned reputations as relaxed, superb hosts.
-a Wisconsin reader
Lights Out, Mozart
When our son was a teenager and played his guitar down in the basement, it was difficult to get his attention when we wanted him to come up for dinner or tell him he had a phone call. We found that, if we turned the light switch at the top of the stairs on and off a few times, the flashing lights got his attention and he stopped playing and listened to us. Now I flash the lights when I want to get my husband's attention when he's in the basement practicing his new hobby, the saxophone.
Recharging Your Batteries-Literally
Rejuvenate batteries until you're able to get new ones by rubbing the contact points with an eraser. It seems to make the contact better for a short time.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (800-FIGHT-MS) is a wonderful resource for people who have MS. However, if you're looking for an additional resource to help you with medical equipment, complementary medicine questions, and more, visit the library and look through the Encyclopedia of Associations. This excellent reference book lists the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Web sites of literally hundreds of organizations and associations.
Getting There from Here
Recently, a friend and I planned a car trip in my wheelchairaccessible van. In preparation, we consulted a road map and chose our route. When we were done, my friend folded the map into a 5x5-inch square, making our entire route visible. Then she asked me for a paper clip, which she put on the "north" edge of the map. This made it easy for me, the navigator, to handle the map as we drove.
Get a Grasp
When trying to hook a bracelet, use cellophane tape to fasten one end to the inside of your wrist. Then bring the other end around to hook the clasp.
© 2002 Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis