The Day After,When You Don’t Foresee The Next Day

Yesterday, my mother and I took my boys to the local zoo. I got a rented scooter because I knew I couldn’t walk it and if I used my AFOs (braces used for my leg issues related to MS) my body would be a mess today using muscles my brain doesn’t engage on it’s own.

As the day went on though my words started getting jumbled and my thoughts became hazy. Apparently, for me, driving a scooter without running over people and answering questions still does not save enough of my brain power to function for a full day.

The end of the evening last night, my hips and back hurt to the point of making it difficult to sleep. This morning my entire body feels like I worked out for 3 hours yesterday. Every muscle is achy and my bones hurt. I move slower and think slower. It’s as though I am walking in neck deep mud and my brain is running out of RAM.

How does one adjust to these things when you think you are doing everything correctly to reserve your body and brain from over use. MS is a pain in my butt and it seems to keep changing the rules of the game little by little. All that being said, I knew there was a possibility of this and that is why I ensured I wouldn’t have to do anything today but rest.

How does your MS mystify you? Does yours keep changing the rules or does it always present the same way?

Setting Boundaries without Being a Bitch

Personally I have no issue with enforcing personal space boundaries. Having nerve issues and a compromised immune system requires I set those boundaries regardless of politeness.

Setting boundaries for children, friends and family are a little harder for me. I’m a people pleaser by nature and if I’m able to help someone I try, usually without regard of how it impacts my body and/or brain.

There are blogs, books and articles about setting boundaries for kids that are healthy, so the idea is easy enough with kids but sometimes I’m tired and my body hurts and I give in so I can just be done. My kids know this and usually try to wear me down, obviously that is a problem, I am actively working on that. I’m the grownup so we all know our places in those situations.

All of my friends and family know about my MS and the correlating issues with it. However, sometimes, I agree to something that may be a reoccurring task and unless you tell me I’m done, I’m going to assume you need me to do it. I have to make calendar invites and set alarms so I don’t drop the ball. If something changes, I expect the receiver of my assistance to tell me. Though this doesn’t always happen and causes extra work of verification on my end which causes me anxiety.

That’s where the people pleaser and boundaries needs a swift kick in the butt. I want people to let me know what’s happening, however, because I’ve got it covered it seems to be a low priority on their brains.

My aunt is amazing and keeping me updated on things when I’m helping her with things. If dates change she lets me know as soon as she does. She is organized and knows how taxing the tasks can be on me so she does what she’s able to keep me informed.

So, how does one go about setting boundaries with people after the fact? I’m struggling with this, if I had foreseen all the potential issues I would have set clear boundaries in the beginning. Now that it’s been a thing that I have been proactively checking each time how can I set boundaries without coming off as a bitch?

Turns out, an honest communication works. Thinking worst case isn’t always how it works. Your friends and family will understand, especially if you have a logical reason for your needs.

When Does Friendly Teasing Turn into Something Else?

Teasing is a playful way for people to connect, as long as all parties involved know the intent. Teasing becomes bullying when one person becomes the aggressor either in hurtful words or physical acts.

Here, I will give a very embarrassing antidote about teasing that went wrong when I was little. One year my dad took me for a haircut, which was usually my mom’s domain. I am not 100% how the events occurred but my father told the man to cut my hair short and I ended up walking out looking like a little boy, super short hair with bangs. Later down the timeline I lost a front tooth which leads me to believe I was probably about 6 or 7. Now, I am quite certain my father was teasing originally when he nicknamed me “Butch the toothless boy” during this time however, he encourage my older brother to also use this term. Even when I cried and wanted them to stop it did not. That was the line, it was teasing until my feelings were hurt, I asked for it to stop and it continued anyhow, that is when it became bullying. Thinking about it 30 years later still makes me sad and anger, so we need to be careful with our words.

Our kids today are easy to escalate to bullying from teasing and as a mother this worries me. My son has a very good friend and they tease each other equally, they playfully smack each other and say weird things I do not understand but they both know it is in good fun. Somewhere along the road however, it escalated. It’s fine now, but there were a couple of days where my son asked him to stop punching him and his friend did not. A conversation with the mom, thankfully we are friends, and it was resolved. Or at least, there’s no more punching, though they are a bit offish to each other at the moment I imagine they will figure it out.

In our current world where people who should be respected but our leaders call each other names we are setting up our kids for the same behavior. I will not sit back and watch the people in my life be bullied, and I now am confident enough so I will not be bullied.