The hardest thing to do when you are suffering is to “Listen”. Your body is sore, uncomfortable. You are tired, fatigued. Stress and anxiety are your constant bedfellows, and depression looms in the near distance. With your mind and body shouting at you constantly, this noise can stop you from listening.
Why is “listening” important? Firstly?
There are a number of reasons for this. Some are internal, and some are external. Thinking internally first, which I think is most important, you have to learn the language of your body. It doesn’t always speak in a way that is easily understandable. For example, I was out doing surveys a few days ago, and my walking had become worse. The concrete block that is attached to my right leg had become much heavier. Usually, this happens towards the end of the day surveying, but on this particular day, it happened in the first 30 minutes of starting work. Instead of getting angry at my situation, or at my illness (multiple sclerosis), I listened. By being open to what my body was telling me, by listening, I understood that it was the cold that had caused my slow walk. For that day I had to continue, but on the way home I bought some long johns, to keep my legs warm.
By listening to what my body was telling me, I could better prepare for the next day. The next day that I was out, it was equally cold, but this time the impact was not as quick. It took more than an hour for the cold to slow me, and by that time I was in a house doing a survey, and warming up. Success. I listened, understood what my body was telling me, and did something that would help.
Over the years I have learned to listen to what other people. I do not have all the answers, and my knowledge is limited. So I make a point of listening to what other people say. Sometimes what people are telling me is something that I have experienced. For example, I was taking beta-interferon for my MS. An injection every week, and the purpose was to slow the progress of my illness. My sister-in-law said that she had heard of another treatment for MS that was not usual. The treatment was Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Honestly, I had never heard of it, and I was sceptical about it. However, I had no basis for this scepticism, and I did some research. This led to talking with more people, learning more, and eventually, I decided to stop with the traditional treatment, and try LDN. Within 6 weeks my fatigue was gone, my walking was good, my sensory problems disappeared. It was like being cured.
As a result of this experience of listening to someone else, that did not have MS, I had a complete change in the presentation of my disease. 10-years of no symptoms. Amazing. Things have changed in the last 3.5 years, but that is as a result of a car accident.
The lesson learned
This experience taught me that you do not know how you will learn something new. What did I learn? To listen. Listen to my body, and listen to the people around you. Actively hear what is being told to you, and then understand, analyse, reach a conclusion and then act.