So, haven’t been here for awhile! A few months. Was feeling a little jaded about blogging, did not really feel like writing about cycling or anything for that matter. The last post I wrote summed up ten years with MS. Was there to say? No-one much read the blog anyway. I was even thinking about closing it as all l seemed to be doing was deleting spam comments. Why keep it going?

Then I read a book. It changed my mind. Effectively blew it.

‘Metamorphosis’

I don’t know many books documenting personal experience of MS although there are quite a few blogs. A lot of the latter are ‘inspirational’, or labour to be. Some read as though they have been written by someone who has a chip on their shoulder, which in the circumstances can be quite understandable! So it was quite something to stumble across ‘Metamorphosis’ , written by a fellow traveler on the Primary Progressive MS highway, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst.

Important to remember is that, MS being MS, his journey is very different to mine even though we have been diagnosed with a same form. I think my physical progression is slower than his but am not sure I can say the same about the cognitive side of things. Alongside the serious stuff there are some amusingly common experiences such as the need to explain yourself, at length, when the smallest stumble happens.

What struck me most in this book about someone else’s experience? The author’s reflections on the importance keeping his mind active, by reading in his case. That hit me. Of course, mental stimulation is important for all, not just those with neurological issues. Still, I needed the reminder. This book and the author’s experiences gave that to me.

Exercising the Mind

My frazzled, multiply scarred (for that is what Multiple Sclerosis means – multiple scars) brain needs exercise to keep it as sharp as possible. I have cycling for my increasingly erratic legs. My mind needs the same attention. Luckily that are so many tools in my personal arsenal that will help with this.

Books! I need to start reading again! Something I clearly derived from reading ‘Metamorphosis’. Been reading academic texts a lot recently. Let’s get that imagination working! Music! In the last year music been so important to me. Keep exploring new sounds, different artists, keep pushing the envelope. Keep up travel, going to new places. More museums! Just need to get over the fear of tripping over and destroying a major work of art. There is a collapsable walking stick to mitigate that. Small steps to keep my mind moving, keep it as agile as possible. There is also the need to be creative myself, not just passively admire the work of others. That is where this blog will come in.

So what if no-one reads it? That does not matter. I will have written it and it will be somewhere. Maybe someone will find it, sometime.

Personal

Back to the aimless wandering of the blog. Perhaps even more aimless. Cycling adventures and mountains will still be here. Perhaps less about the build-up towards such adventures, especially as the chances of non-completion are greater these days. A little more on wider experiences, not sure what. Of course there will be MS, my traveling companion who seems to have a hand in many things. Sorry if those parts can read a little whiny but, well, sometimes it’s hard work. A blog is meant to be a reflection of the person, right? It would be unrealistic if there were only triumphs on these pages.

And let’s not forget one thing; I enjoy writing this stuff! The ‘mental exercise’ angle is an extra incentive. It’s good to make sense of the noise around me through words. Unscramble what is happening around me, to me, in way that can hopefully be understood by others. Maybe even strike a chord with them as well? Maybe…. The scars that Multiple Sclerosis takes its name from are there and they will not be going away, pending miracle cures. This blog now forms part of the damage limitation. For me, quite a fun part of it as well.

Lycra Poser

2 Comments

Val Murray · January 8, 2024 at 22:56

Keep on pushing your boundaries Steve and don’t give up the blog. It’s inspirational.

Peter · January 9, 2024 at 08:21

You have sketched out a very positive way forward for you and your MS. Do please keep the blog going, to hear how you both get on.

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