Awareness

Years ago, I received a video/VHS tape from the MS Society titled “Awareness”.  I must admit that I rolled my eyes and tucked it away in a corner while telling myself I was definitely already aware that I have MS.

msa

Through the years, I have successfully programmed myself to focus my thoughts on others or tasks.  My thinking was that to concentrate one’s attention on self is selfish and only magnifies pain and problems.  Dwelling on myself seemed, well…selfish.  I should think of myself only when completely necessary….or so I thought.

I don’t even remember when, but at some point I resolved to put the tape in and watch it.  I did just that.  It showed a group of people sitting on chairs in a half circle.  The leader  calmly gave the group directions such as “close your eyes”, “imagine…”  It seemed more like meditation than anything else, and a little too 1960’s for my liking.   I watched the entire thing, but I dismissed it as silliness.

Some time later, I began to have trouble with pain while sitting.  I couldn’t make sense of why the left side of my bum hurt but not the right.  I was seeing an orthopedist at the time so I asked him if he had any idea why this was happening.  He suggested it may be because my legs worked unevenly.  I found myself thinking about how I walked and how I was aligned while in a seated position.  I realized I was sitting crooked.  I curiously wondered why.  Searching for a reason, I became aware that since my left leg doesn’t work well enough to bend at the knee (only swing forward while pulled by the other leg), the muscle on that side had shrunk and sits lower than the other side when I am seated.  Yes, because I spent time evaluating how my body was working and the impact some parts had on others, I became aware of how I sit and stand in space.

Being aware of how my body parts work together matters for my well-being and can lead to increased comfort.  How they do or do not align helps me determine what changes need to be made to posture, physical therapy exercises or other adjustments.  Changes made, whether of my will or of making an adaptation to clothing or equipment can prolong my productivity.

Awareness isn’t so silly after all.

 

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About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 50's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way. https://climbingdownhill.wordpress.com
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6 Responses to Awareness

  1. Interesting post. i have the very same problem. I have been having physio from my MS physiotherapist for this and I also go and see an osteopath every two weeks which is very beneficial. Im also looking into getting a properly shaped recliner chair.

    I noticed how bad I had become recently when I bought a new pair of jeans. I took them go be shortened (i can no longer sew) and I thought they had got the meaurements wrong and done one side shorter than the other but it wasnt the case; Its me who is shorter on one side now as a result of the effects of MS and my walking.

  2. Catherine says:

    Great post! When we’re in tune to our bodies, definitely easy to pick up when something isn’t quite right! Happy Mothers Day! 🙂

  3. Very interesting. I have had the same lingering pain for months now. Right side. Maybe I’m compensating like you (Right side is my weak side).
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Sock – When we go on long car rides or I’m sitting anywhere for longer than 2 hours, I put a small folded blanket under my lower side bum to raise it and it makes a huge difference in comfort.

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