Being proactive?

ok, the more positive me wants to take action. I can’t spend the next 10 weeks (MRI wait) doing nothing, so what can I do to help myself? Since this all kicked off, I’ve put on a stone, mainly in the form of not doing any regular exercise anymore & drowning my sorrows in red wine. So, lots of questions for you:

Can drinking alcohol makes things worse?

Are there food/supplements that I should have/avoid?

Is there exercise that I should avoid? (I normally do spin class and cycling, but weak, tired leg is making this difficult)

Is there any exercise that are good?

Should I see a physio?

Will I be able to get a walking stick to stop me toppling over?

Should I keep going back to my gp to discuss symptoms/ask for help once I’m in the hospital system?

Should I pay for an MRI if it gets me one faster? (My Dad offered to pay for me to go private when I was waiting on my neuro appointment. I refused at the time, but now wondering about it.

Sorry for so many questions!


When feeling under the weather and assailed by worry, it is so hard to remember to look after oneself properly and so easy to reach instead for the wine bottle or the biscuit tin. Many years ago (long pre-MS) when I was a keen and pretty fit jogger, an injury landed me on the sofa for a few months and I was so grumpy and ‘think I’ll go and eat worms, then’ about it that I took up smoking. What a great move that was! I am sure that you are too smart to fall into that kind of stupidity, but you probably can recognise the mood I was in. You know what to do already on what to eat and drink (all the usual boring healthy living stuff applies - no magic), it is just a matter of doing it and resisting the old maladaptive coping strategies of the sort that led me astray.

Other things: if you think a walking stick would help, what’s stopping you? You might want to consider a hiking pole (or two): less old lady and you might have one in the house already. They are easy enough to get hold of. Physio is worth a try - apart from helping with specific difficulties, they can be good for training you up on the sort of core-strengthening exercises that you could probably do with for stability and strength, particularly when you aren’t able to exercise the way you normally do. They can also advise on walking aide (although, as I say, you can make a start on that yourself). MRI privately? I had my first neuro consultations and MRI privately (covered by work health insurance), but the main benefit was in getting the initial consultation done fast, and you are past that point already. I’m not sure what the process would be for getting a private MRI now. WOuld you need another (private) consult with the neuro first? Would it even be the same neuro and, if not, then what? See what I mean…it could all get a bit complicated and it isn’t obvious that a few weeks’ difference would be worth the hassle, but then I’m not you.


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Oh how I wish there was magic! Healthy it is then. Will join the queue for physio (think it’s about 10 weeks in our region) & leave things at that for now. My father is far enough away for me not to hear his nagging about going private, so will leave things as they are.

Thanks for the advice Alison.

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In my experience, physios will tend to have you doing Pilates-type exercises if you have balance/stability problems - whatever is the matter with you. You do those exercises already more than likely, or at least have easy access to information about them, so you might want to think about getting a head start.

Sorry about the dispiriting ‘no magic’ news. smiley


hi mali

pilates is the basis for most physio exercises.

when my physio described the position she wanted me to get into i said “like a plank?”

she said yes, do the plank and named a few other pilates positions.

i used to go to a pilates class before ms and carried on for a couple of years after dx until i started with postural hypotension and downward dog made me faint.

on a brighter note - healthy eating can and should be made easier to bear with the good news that trials are due to begin on the idea that chocolate helps people with ms fatigue!

good quality chocolate of course with high cocoa content.

always look for that silver lining!

carole x

Hi Mali,

Keep up with your exercise routine, just do it near standing near a wall, so if you wobble, there is support. When I first used a walking stick, I used it as a balance poll, hold it paralel in front of you, (like a tight rope walker) but don’t apologise to anyone.

Wish you the very best with your results, but if they are abmisal, there is loads of help out here. Love & hugs xxx

Thank you! Rang leisure centre about Pilates. They don’t do it, but they do have body balance which sounds similar. Love the chocolate silver lining. At the moment I’m not worried about the diagnosis. A few calming words on here & my perspective has changed. I have what I have, and no amount of second guessing and worrying is going to change it. Neuro consultant was fairly certain it was neurological, but didn’t seem certain if it is peripheral damage or central. He did ask if I had a family history of ms (which I don’t), but felt the need to check at a couple of points later on during his tests that I definitely didn’t have a family history of ms. I hadn’t considered ms up until then, & after him telling me not to go away and Google anything, I went in to a complete spin.

If I do have ms, or something equally unpleasant then life goes on, just down a different path. We probably won’t be cycling around the North Sea when we retire, but I’m sure a wee camper van will be just as good! I even have a business plan laid out, if I can’t get to and from work anymore - home tuition here I come! Actually, might press ahead with that one anyway :slight_smile: