We all get excited when one of us makes progress in some way.  I loved it last week when Wendy said “this smile isn’t coming off my face for days”.  We all know Wendy’s always smiling and making the best of her challenges with MS.  So why was she so excited last week?  The same reason we all were.  She got on the elliptical for the first time and…was able to do it.  That’s huge step for her.  Way to go Wendy, let’s do it some more!  Check out that smile…determined!  Thanks for helping her Mike and Jen.

Do you ever wonder what’s MS and what’s something else?  After living with MS for 29 years now, you’d think I’d have that figured out, wouldn’t you?  For me, it’s hard, especially after a surgery or health setback of some other type.  

Personally, I think MS gets blamed for more than it is.  I can be under a lot of stress and the MS symptoms flair up.  Is that MS or is that stress?  Or if I don’t sleep well and I’m really fatigued.  Is that MS or is that a result of not getting enough sleep?  My MS symptoms get worse if I get dehydrated.  Again, is that MS or result of being dehydrated?  Pain is another one.  Is the pain caused from something orthopedic or is it neurological pain from MS?  It can be really hard to sort it all out.  

What works for me is to look back a day or two and consciously reflect on triggers that could cause my MS symptoms to get worse.  If I identify a couple things; then I consciously try to get that under control.  Many times, my MS symptoms will behave better when I get the triggers under control.  Does that make sense?  For us living with MS, I think you can relate.  For those without MS, hopefully it’ll help you understand what some of us go through and help us minimize the triggers.  And sometimes, nothing makes sense, that’s MS.  Or is it?  You tell me😊.

Exercise helps many of the triggers.  It certainly helps with stress.  It helps us sleep better (as long as we’re not exercising right before bed).  Many times, it helps with pain as we get our bodies moving.  You have to be careful with dehydration as exercise can cause dehydration.  Keep an eye on the color of your urine and keep drinking water until it’s clear.  That will help you with dehydration.  Exercise certainly helps with our mental state as well.  When we exercise, the “feel good” chemicals get released in the brain.  I guess if we want our MS to behave, we need to exercise, don’t we?  The correct answer is “yes”.

We have many blessing in our lives.  We’ll be getting together again Wednesday @ 11:30 for our prayer group.  We’ll be giving thanks to God for our blessings and praying however God leads us.  Feel free to join us.

We all need to “Just Keep Moving”!  It doesn’t matter where we start.  We can start with laughing which is great exercise in itself.  Other than that, we start with the body parts that will move and keep moving them as much as we can.  Let them rest and then move them again.

I know there are still many of us going through other life challenges in addition to our challenges with MS.  Let’s stick together, keep our chins up and keep sharing our journey.  Better days are ahead.  For those of you who haven’t been able to make it by us on Wednesdays and Fridays lately, please know you are missed and in my thoughts and prayers.  I hope you’re able to make it back soon!

I hope you’ll join us both Wednesday and Friday again this week.   Remember…consistency is key.  With MS, it takes a lot of consistent effort every day to make small improvements.  Yes, it’s frustrating so be patient and consistent and you’ll be amazed how your quality of life will continue to improve.  It’s been about 17 years of exercising just about every day for me and I’m still making improvements (encouragement, love, support, nutritionand proper rest help immensely too).  It takes time so please be patient.  It sure is better than MS getting worse.  I really don’t know what my life would be like if I didn’t do this (nor do I want to find out).  I’m so thankful you are all joining me on this journey of making progress with our MS and quality of life…THANK YOU!  We’ll continue to learn together…there’s so much power in the love and support we all share with each other.

In the past, I’ve been telling you to bring a friend.  Unfortunately, we’re going to need to start a waiting list for new people.  Please feel free to continue to share your experience and what we’re doing together.  Let me know of anyone who would like to join us.  I’ll communicate with these people through e-mail or phone and help them any way I can.  When we have room for them to join us, I’ll encourage them to do that.  If you’ve joined us in the past, please continue to join us.

We are here to help you and anyone with MS…no strings attached (well maybe an occasional story about the progress you’re making, smile, high five or a hug).  I remember how challenging life used to be when my MS was bad.  I get great joy sharing what I’ve learned and feel blessed with the progress I’ve made.  I hope you make progress in some way too!

Place:  W228N791 Westmound Dr.
Waukesha, WI

When:  Wednesday morning from 9:30am – 12:30pm (open gym concept, come for all or part of it)
Friday morning from 9:30 – 12:30pm  (open gym concept, come for all or part of it)

Dan Erschen