Me before
Me before


I am an MS survivalist.  You are too.

So are the family & friends who give us the continued support to carry on.

That’s what a survivalist does.

We fight against all odds.


Me as an MSurvivalist
Me as an MSurvivalist



The following account is true.

I share with you my adventure–NOT for your pity–but for your entertainment.

This is my story……




Dateline:  Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Time:  1430 (2:30pm)


It is bone cold.  Temps are in the high teens.  The wind is gusting at 20 miles per hour.  (Frigid enough to freeze a booger)

Using Odd Sock math, I figure the wind chill to be 60 degrees below zero (at least it feels that cold).



I find myself near the street at the bottom of my snow-shoveled driveway.  The effort has left me tired and weary…stiff & hunched over.

I figured I might as well get the mail so I cautiously walk using my cane in one hand and my snow shovel (as a cane) in the other.

There is a lot of mail today.  The usual assortment of bills  & junk mail, the new issue of the MS Society’s Momentum magazine as well as the weekly packet of ads you never look through.  Each time it is the same thing….Papa John’s pizza ad…the “Perfect Posture” bra ad…satellite TV…and an ad for personalized checks.  (Who really needs checks with an image of Betty Boop?  And what person under the age of 85 knows who Betty Boop is?)

I begin my slow trek up the driveway  to the house, stopping every few feet to better grasp the slippery mail in my hand. 

The wind is blowing, pushing me sideways as I struggle with each step.  I realize I have overdone it…and now I am paying my dues!


Now, a mere ten feet from my garage,  I rejoice–I am going to make it!  At that moment, the mail slips from my hand and falls to the pavement.  I must gather it quickly before the wind carries it away (Sharp as a tack I am!).

Stooping, I lose my balance and fall to the ground.  A huge, icy gust of wind scatters my mail across the driveway.

Must pick up the mail!
Must pick up the mail!

The useless coupons set sail into my neighbor’s yard–so much for ordering a “Perfect Posture” bra.

I gather my remaining postage and try to get up.  But my right leg (tense with a spasm) will not bend to allow me to come to my knees.

It is stiff as a board.  I flip & flop in the middle of my driveway like a fish out of water.  Nothing.  I can’t get up.

For whatever reason, I retrieve the garage door opener from my pocket and push the button to open the door.  It too doesn’t work–the garage door remains shut tight.

Nice outline!  You got no fingers.  And what's up with those feet?
Nice outline! You got no fingers. And what's up with those feet?



Laying on my back in the middle of my driveway, I realize no one will be home for an hour—so I had better come up with a plan.






What would a survivalist do in this situation?

Bear Grylls

I picture myself as Bear Grylls.  What would Bear do now?

I could build a shelter using the mail.  What else?  I’ve watched his show a million times and all I could recount is how Bear Grylls is always urinating.  Peeing here or there–peeing on something–he is nonstop peeing!

I quickly dismiss that idea as I only imagine a frozen pee puddle!

I determine I must relax the leg.  So in the frozen tundra, I begin stretching and striking yoga poses.  I’m an Eskimo Denise Austin.  A zen-master…with frostbite!


Luckily, after a few moments, my leg relaxed and I was able to bend and regain my footing.

Trying the garage door opener again, it too opened and invited me inside the warming confines.


Looking back, I realize this survivalist prevailed with cool thoughts and calculated actions.

My lesson to you…is always be an survivalist in everything you do.  Cunning.  Agile.  Clear-headed.

An MSurvivalist……with an empty bladder, I hope.



8 Replies to “MSurvivalist”

  1. Glad to hear you made it without injury. Great story, love your humor!
    This fine winter has been fun here in New England this year also. I have fallen into the snow banks several times while using my handy snow shovel-cane. I have now come up with a more useful assistant for my MS survivalist instincts, a full-power (forward & reverse) electric-start walker, otherwise known as a “snowblower”. I lean on that baby, in the slowest speed and can go almost anywhere (as long as I remember to fill it with gas).
    The Walmart Greeter stll won’t allow me to use this motorized walker to do my shopping yet ,but I will keep working on that.

  2. John,
    Thanks for your compliments.

    I too have a new snowblower but am afraid to use it. So I rely on my idiot-proof method of snow removal—the shovel.

    Good luck.

  3. Ah but, Bear Grylls has several things that you were not equipped with:
    a knife, a flint, a canteen, a knack for eating disgusting things and one or more camera persons to accompany him.

    Sad to say that many of us have been in a similar position that you experienced on that freezing day. It is not funny but well it also is and you made us all smile.

    Glad that you didn’t lose that latest Momentum magazine pictured because that one was actually more interesting than most.

  4. funny, I’m not sure about this fella. I mean, it was relatively well crafted….but c’mon

  5. Love it. Been in that situation many times. Like, just the other day in the heavy slush that was left from the freezing rain mix… Nothing like having crutches slide on the asphalt that just seems to be nothing but the slickest of oils. Keep on moving, and keep us in laughs. Take care.