The morning MS inventory

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Back in my days as a chef, there was a monthly ritual that no one looked forward to, but everyone knew had to be done: the monthly inventory. Most businesses have an inventory schedule and process. The idea is to see what materials you have on hand and compare it to what you purchased and what you sold. End-of-month inventories are a way of checking up on the past.

Since MS, I have begun my days with an inventory, which looks forward, rather than back.

Every morning, I have learned to take a survey (or inventory) of what I can move or not, what I can feel and not, what works and what does not. At this point in my disease progression, it's a pretty short and cursory scan to see if things are what they were the day prior. When my inventory is finished, I get on with my day. Other times (and I have a little trepidation right now about how things are sliding), this isthemost important part of my day.

Once I figure out what I have in "inventory," I can look to my day ahead and ask myself these questions:
“Whatmustget done today?”
“Whatshouldget done today?”
“Whatwould be niceto get done today?”

I am then able to match my abilities with my tasks. The difficulty, of course, lies when I do not have enough in inventory to complete even the tasks thatmustget done. I think we have all had that day more oft than we care to admit, even to ourselves. For those of us living alone, these days can afford an unwelcome slip into the bad places of fear and anger we wrote of last week.

It is not always the most pleasant process but neither was taking inventory at hotels and restaurants. However, just like in the old days, I do find a reward in it. It's not the monthly food cost bonus I could expect if my numbers worked. But is more a sense of acceptance of where I am on that single day. It is a way for me to stay in the moment with my life and with my disease.

Often thosewould be niceto get done things have to do with planning my future. Those are the really good days, the days I can step out of my disease and maybe not think about it again for most of that day. The reality is that I would much rather not have to engage in my morning ritual. It is a coping tool that helps me live with my multiple sclerosis.

Do any of you use a similar technique? How do you determine what can and cannot get done in a day? What do you do when you can't even perform whatmustget done?

Wishing you and your family the best of health.


Last Updated:9/13/2006
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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