People who don’t work have to find different ways to fill their time. But those who are unable to work because they have disabilities, like me, need to find things within their capabilities. Not so easy.
For many, previously enjoyed pastimes are out. Of course, I cannot speak for everyone but some of the ways I used to spend my ‘spare’ time are no longer feasible.
Before this disease developed, my activities included:
• Adult leader of a scout troop
• Leader of mountain walking groups
• Rock climber and abseiler
• Advanced first aider, with St John Ambulance
Since multiple sclerosis took its toll, such active roles no longer feature in my life. These days, excursions into the outdoor world are either in our car, fortunately I can still drive, or my electric-powered wheelchair.
But what to do with those long hours at home? Well, the first thing to say here is that I am determined to carry on as best I can. There is very little “woe is me” about my life. MS and the physical disabilities that accompany it are just irritants, no more than obstacles to overcome.
As I have said before (see CAN do attitude to life), the activities I listed above are firmly in the past, now no more than fond memories. But, I’m so glad I did them when I could.
Filling that new life
So, what do I get up to these days?
Regular readers will know that, nearly 2½ years ago, Lisa and I set up home in southern Spain. We left behind rainy north Wales, in the UK, to embrace the sunny climes of Andalucía. Writing this, in mid-April, the sun is shining, our back door is open, and I am wearing a sleeveless top and shorts.
Writing has been my life (see In the written wor(l)d) and continues to play a big part. Now that I have retired from full-time journalism, this blog provides a place to publish my writings for the world to see. What’s more, I enjoy researching and putting together the articles that I write from my living room armchair or out on the terrace which is enclosed by insect screens.
Something else I enjoy is playing games on my computer. Here I am not talking about solitaire or sudoku, though I like those too. Here, I am referring to my favourite massively multiplayer online role-playing game (known as a MMORPG) called Anarchy Online. This is very involving and makes short work of any surfeit of time that may be on your hands.
Oh, and in case the idea of computers puts you off. I can only use one hand as MS has robbed me of use of my left.
* * * * *
* * * * *
50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
* * * * *
Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.