As I’ve learned over the past several years, MS can create a kind of cabin fever. For some of us, it’s hard to get out and about and mix it up with our fellow humans. Others may just lose the desire. For me, a variety of factors could combine to isolate me.
I work out of an office in my home. I visit my clients virtually. I find that e-mail is a very productive way to communicate. I’m an adjunct professor at the University of Denver but many of my courses are online. Some of my students are thousands of miles away so I never actually meet them.
That means I don’t necessarily have to go out of the house every day. Fortunately, I have a wonderful wife who kicks me out every now and then just for my own good. I also make excuses to go out and visit my clients face-to-face (if nothing else, it’s a good way to pick up additional work). In addition, I’ve hired a trainer at the local gym who knows that I have MS and has tailored an exercise routine accordingly. And I just hang out at Starbucks from time to time.
Though I’m not a social butterfly, I generally like people and enjoy their company. Yes, there are a few that I just can’t stand – but even they can stimulate my argumentative side in positive and productive ways.
I’m determined not to let “MS cabin fever” make my situation worse. Mixing it up with other humans is critically important to your mental health. Not doing it regularly can drive you bonkers. If you feel the fever rising, call a friend. Or even an enemy. Virtually anyone can stimulate your humanity and help keep you sane.
Here’s a tip – if you don’t know who to call, then call MS Friends 1-866-673-7436 or visit MSconnection.org. There’s always someone available who can help you make the human connection.