Drawing The Line

Drawing The Line



line in the sand


Multiple Sclerosis is like a muscle-bound beach bully.

Not only does it kick sand in your face by teasing & taunting you with all sorts of health issues, but MS also draws a line in the sand, forcing you to give up activities that define who you are.


The reason I bring this up was something that happened in our MS group meeting a couple of weeks ago.



A member of the group said he wanted to buy a car so he could drive himself and not rely on his caregiver to haul his butt around.



The rest of us looked at him in silent, open-mouthed shock.


cozy coupe


Because we KNEW this wheelchair-bound man with limited hand/arm function and slow, cognitive function (Yeah, I sound pretty smart…for a moron!) couldn’t drive a Little Tyke’s Cozy Coupe, much less a motor vehicle!


Finally someone in the group broke the silence by saying…”But you can’t drive.  It wouldn’t be safe!”

He shouted back…”But I can to drive!  My feet still work!”



Making a long story even longer, my point is this guy didn’t want to give up his one & only freedom, driving.

He wanted to step over the line in the sand—and not give in to creepy-crawly MS.


But when you think about it, we have all given up some of our favorite activities.  Thanks to MS, maybe you have had to give up painting, reading or running.  Some have given up gardening, knitting or wood-working.



I surrender!
I surrender!


And often times, MS forces us to make changes in our lives that makes us feel less than dignified, like wearing a diaper or using a cane.

Heck, I remember when I realized I had to sit to pee!

I no longer had the balance to hit the bowl with dead-eye accuracy.  (My family was grateful for my decision to sit as well!)


When driving become unsafe (I was lifting my legs between the pedals), I had to switch to hand controls.


Asking for help to button a shirt can be a real ego-deflator.


Where'd I go?....Peek-A-Boo!
Where'd I go?....Peek-A-Boo!



As well as being asked if you would like help cutting your meat at dinner.

(Sure!  And can we play “Peek-A-Boo” too?)





It’s OK to ask for help in cutting your meat…or tying your shoes—but that doesn’t make it any easier accepting help.

Sometimes it kills me not to step over the line and do what I use to do.  Drive a regular car.  Climb a stepladder.  Carry the groceries in from the van.

Then you realize…for your best interest, and those around you…it’s wise just to stay behind the line drawn in the sand.


4 Replies to “Drawing The Line”

  1. I’ve had to give up and yell “Uncle” more times than I can count. I hated when I could no longer drive — for me it was the hand that could no longer shift gears safely, and hand controls would be just as difficult. I still see myself cruising around in my convertible on warm days, and I want to scream at the injustice. I’ve stopped doing anything that requires my right hand — drawing, painting, calligraphy, needle crafts, even writing more than my now-illegible signature. I need help cutting my food, but at home no one else is aware. My friends help unobtrusively if we’re out, but it’s still a let down. Yes, that bully has cowed me more than I like to admit, but he still hasn’t taken my spirit.

  2. I understand completely. I’ve jumped over that line lately…to fall on my face when my MS decides to kick in and say it’s king…damn MS…damn HEAT! And as for driving…yea…understand that completely at times. DOH!

  3. It’s so hard for me to stay behind the line. Many times I try to do things on my own before asking for help. At home I eat like a cave man. Stab the entire piece of meat with a fork and eat it like a chicken leg. When I’m out in public at a social event, I always order something that is easy to eat which does not require cutting with a knife. I can deal with no longer being able to play tennis, gardening, etc, but giving up driving was the pitts. Before I took a turn for the worse, I had started taking hand control lessons with hopes of converting my car. Took about 6 lessons. However, still didn’t feel safe and gave up driving all together. At the time I enjoyed the experience of the hand control lessons. Reminded me of Drivers Ed in High School.