Plan B necessary for those with chronic illness.

Living with multiple sclerosis is as random as a snowflake.  No two the same. No two days the same.

Every morning when I wake up, I thank God. Thank him for my wonderful life and all the blessings bestowed upon me. Even despite having MS, it's best to focus on the positive. 

In addition to my gratitude, each morning is met with a body and mind analysis:  how's the pain?  The cognitive fog?  The fatigue?   What's the weather like?  On a scale of 1-10, with ten being the best, how is my ms?  

Once that's determined, then I can make plans.  But wait!  This isn't fair.  How can one live if they have to wait every morning to see how they feel?  Where's the spontaneity? How does one avoid being called flake of the year if plans have to change?  

Plan B!

Yes, as simple as always having a plan B can make all the difference in the world.  

Plan B can be simple or complex. Most importantly it's an option that is doable with ones multiple sclerosis, or ones limitations. 

Just a couple of weeks ago I had a big event. The Los Angeles County Trailduster ride with Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Almost six months in the planning we were expecting over 120 horses and guests to our little community.  So, I better get ready!  

My concerns for the ride:  Heat, balance, urinary problems, pain. 

I hadn't ridden in about a year so I borrowed a friends horse and stretched the old legs out. And boy did it feel good!

The day of the ride came. The weather was predicted for light showers and highs of 82f.  I can do that! Plan B for warmer weather included chillin vests, cooling scarves and bags of ice. But I don't need any of it.  The weather cooperated. 

  As far as the bladder goes, I rely on a pee pad and told myself to take advantage of the halfway pit stop on the ride.  Last time I didn't and when I got back to the barn, peed all down my pants.  Didn't want to do that again!  

Balance issues. Well, I don't have control over this issue but when I got on the horse I felt fine.  My plan B for this issue was to either not ride or take a slightly shorter ride. 

With several Plan Bs to help my day, I approached the ride with confidence knowing that whatever I ended up doing, it would be a great day. 

Me on my trusty steed, Roper. 
Caroline Craven and County Supervisor Mike Antonovich

Local charros waiting for the ride to begin. 

Parks and rec, city officials, trail boss from La Canada Flintridge 

The fact is, our lives are ravaged by the randomness and disabling qualities of multiple sclerosis. But we can learn to thrive. We can learn to wake up, embrace the positive, create alternative plans, and live life to the fullest.  

There have been plenty of days where my plan B ends up with me in bed. But not every time. I had several plan Bs scheduled and arranged nutrient need any of them this time.  So #takethatMS! 

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