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Permission to Escape

Seeking Permission to Escape

Seeking Permission to Escape

I have been living in the land of Netflix.

It went from a place I would visit from time to time to a home away from home. In between life’s moments, I find myself teleported to the land of escape. I become lost amid the complexity of characters and the plot twists. Who knew this Neverland existed?

I tend to welcome a new series with a bit too much enthusiasm. And I end them with a bit too much nostalgia. I have fallen down the rabbit hole.

And I like it here.

That is a strange admission from a self-described need-to-know. I usually start my day by reading newspaper op-eds and articles, and then watch the news. I take pride in being well-informed. Yet as the negative news cycle spins like a record, so, too, does my anxiety. As talking heads raise the roof with their hateful rhetoric, I feel my blood pressure follow closely behind. I note how my mannerisms change as the tension builds.

I want off.

Multiple sclerosis brings with it a host of life-altering symptoms. I work hard to manage every one of them. From numbness to levels of disability, MS delivers a punch. I am continually assimilating the demands of my disease in order to live. And as my MS has progressed, the changes have been rapid and merciless.

If I had nothing else to do but volley these interminable blows, my day would be exhausting. But, alas, I want more. Therefore, anything that detracts from my quality of life is untenable.

I only have the news on in the mornings and the evenings. Work keeps me busy in between, as do friends, puzzles, dogs, audiobooks, music, and volunteering with a golden retriever rescue. After dinner, I have found great fun in diving off the Netflix diving board into a good series. Not only am I entertained, but also I have learned much from various documentaries.

I permit myself to enjoy the moment, watching the stupid and the inane, and letting my brain enjoy a much-needed fun-cation.

I take great joy in experiencing moments sans phone, tablet, computer, and camera. I am learning to be present and to look people, and even my dog, in the eye. I am patient and interested in things I once hurried past. I have noticed new animals and clouds, and even new things about myself. And while none of this will cure my MS, it most certainly will not exacerbate it, either.

If it does, I have a great series I can watch while I recover.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jennifer is a health writer and weekly columnist on multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Jennifer is also an active advocate in the MS community. Jennifer imparts her hopeful optimism into real-life challenges facing the MS community. Now with secondary-progressive MS, Jennifer hopes to elevate the patient voice to better the lives of those living with the disease. Prior to writing her column, Jennifer freelanced for several online periodicals including WebMD. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys volunteering with animal rescue, traveling, and spending time at home in Orange County, California, with her husband and golden retriever.

We are stuck with this, so we need to forge ahead…   Rick

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