Giving In

Wed, Apr 4, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis



Did I give up too soon?


My brain.  A peanut in a in can

My brain. A peanut in a in can



Noo, that isn’t a long, forgotten quote from General George Custer.

It is what’s been bouncing around in my big, empty head these days.





Did I give up too soon on balancing multiple sclerosis with gainful employment?


violinsThough being told by doctors I could have been approved for disability years before, I stuck it out as a working stiff (literally!) till my lay-off in February of 2009.

(Do you hear the violins playing?)

Applying for disability in March, I was approved the first time, and officially became a “government gimp” in August.


It’s been nearly three years now.  I feel better as a whole, but walk worse.

Granted, I don’t miss the nine hour workday, combined with my 2 1/2 hour total commute each day.


I surrender!

I surrender!



But sometimes I think I raised the white flag too soon.



It’s inspiring to me to hear from MSer’s who still fight the fight in the workplace.



They struggle with the same mobility, balance, fatigue and cognitive issues as the rest of us. 

Yet, there they are…”punching-in” each morning with work to do.


Reach for the sky.

Reach for the sky.


I question myself if I gave up too quickly.

Do you think that about your own situation?

Do you still have fire in your belly, just no mojo in your legs?




Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to be excused from my job back in ’09.  It was unsatisfactory at that point and the hours were grinding my spirit to powder.

But yet, today, there is a lingering rumble inside.

Is it the calling of self-worth?  Or just the after-effects of a taco salad?



I say "Uncle!"

I say "Uncle!"


I would love to hear your side of the story.

Did MS force you to hang up your lunch pail?

And do you regret that issue?

If you continue to work, how do you handle the extra pressures MS places on you?

And what drives you onward, despite knowing the disability option is there for the taking?



I am one with multiple sclerosis—but I won’t let it define who I am.

Maybe that’s why I write these words ( and you read’em)…while kicking around the thoughts of giving in too soon.


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10 Responses to “Giving In”

  1. My Odd Sock Says:

    Thanks for the welcome advice!

    You are a fighter! You start your day with “My Odd Sock?” Oh my, pass the antacids.
    Appreciate your enthusiasm.

  2. SpeckledBrain Says:

    I regret not being able to do my career anymore. However, I don’t think trying to figure out how to pay the million a year from the company is a good idea, if I spend days trying to balance my new budget and still screw it up. I have put my energy into my family in a partial role reversal in order to feel I do my part. But there are those days where the questions come back…and usually the answers get smacked back into my head when I overdo something that seems trivial to others and yet tiring to me. So, do what you can and find a peace inside. Push your limits and do as much as you can, but know when to stop and take the break.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I just read all the comments and share the same situations and concerns. To make a long story short, I too had to retire at 56 years old in 2009 and was also approved for SSDI. I had worked for 31 years, 15 with MS, the last 2 in a wheelchair. The first thing I do when I log on to the computer is read this blog. I always know it will bring a smile to my face and help me start the day knowing I am not alone with my MS.

    Sock, now I know why your motto is “What, me worry?” :)

  4. My Odd Sock Says:

    Thanks for your comment. You make some great points..”never got to find out what my full potential was” really strikes home!

    You have wise insight “Grasshopper!”

    Please continue sharing in the future!

  5. My Odd Sock Says:

    I understand your questions. They are relatable in some way, shape or form to each of us in the situation.

    Personally, I’m not one to sleep the day away. I keep busy all day long (Does reading the latest Mad magazine count?)

    Maybe it’s the “contribute” you mentioned. Is that what we seek?

  6. Kim Says:

    I did the same thing, went on disability in ’09 and have been trying to be productive in some other way ever since. I’ve been a patient consultant to a drug company a couple of times–but found it so hard to follow the slide presentations and contribute to discussions during one grueling day of meetings that I was reminded why I retired in the first place! Not sure I can do that gig anymore.

    Is it that you want to feel more productive–or is it that you want more structure in your day? Both? Do you merely want a reason to get up early and not sleep the day away? Would simply adding more structure take care of that nagging urge to work? These are the questions I kick around everyday.

  7. Judy Says:

    I worked 14 years with MS, through successive relapses, and when I retired it was because there was no doubt I had to. So the only regrets I have are that MS showed up at all, that I had to stop a well-paying career and now my finances are stretched, and that I never got to find out just what my full potential was. I think about that person who now seems so foreign to me. I used to travel around the world and now can barely make it to the mailbox. I used to walk so fast others were left panting. Now I walk haltingly. I used to lead teams of people and now spend days interacting with only my husband. I am glad I delayed as long as possible my retirement, but I am also glad I honored my body’s obvious limitations and did not impose an unbearable burden. Yeah, I still grieve that my life was turned upside down. But I have to focus on making my current life as rewarding as I can, given the hand that I was dealt.

  8. Muff Says:

    I knew I was getting weaker at work. As a school principal, my days were long — arriving before 7:00 A.M. and never leaving before 4:30 P.M. Usually I was there many nights and a lot of weekends. I, too, had a long commute, which sapped more of my energy. My walking was bad — so bad that I had to drive to many places within walking distance. I hated leaving my position, but I had to. That was in ’08. I applied for SSDI and was approved in 10 days. I fret over the loss of income this leave taking has caused, and I get depressed about all I’ll be missing, but I know I could never have continued. I just wish I could find something that I could do from home that would utilize my skills and education.

  9. Cindy Says:

    I had no choice but it really was a relief. My job required accurate cognitive ability. When I thought I still had it I was proven wrong by tests given by employer. I had to face it. I really had been struggling. I’m probably older than you. I had 3 more years to be retirement eligible and planned on persevering. But it is what it is! They gave me disability retirement so it kinda worked out…but at a smaller benefit. Oh well.

  10. Bob Overturf Says:

    I don’t believe you will ever answer this question to your satisfactioin. I was in sales when I was diagnosed in 1974. I really liked my job selling machine tools, gaging and measurement tools to manufacturing companies. As my legs got worse I could not stand for long periods of time to teach people how to run the equipment that I sold. With my falling and stumbling as well as bladder control my Dr. said I would qualify for disabiity. What! Quit! Give up! Never said I. My degree was in accounting so I took the civil service test and got a job with the MN Dept of Revenue. I worked there for the next 20 years (the last 5 in a wheelchair). I retired just a bit after my 67th birthday. I know people older than I who are still working. Maybe I should have kept on. Is living on Soc Sec and a pension like living on the dole? I can’t answer the question.

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