Hi! Everyone! How are you all?
Whilst some of us are looking forward to sunshine and warmth, others are getting ready to seek out their woollies! Strange, eh? I've been a busy girl! Oh! Yes I have! MS can take away all your self-esteem if you let it and that's exactly what happened to me. I felt useless and as my legs began a life of their own, never communicating with me, often going their own way, I had to think of something to keep me sane!
So! I have had this idea in my mind for a while and now the time seemed right to put it into action! I applied to be an MS Helpline Volunteer! You know, on the end of a telephone. I passed the initial stage on the phone and thus began three months of sheer hard work, even though I only had to join in the network on my phone once a week! Three hours at a time, though - with a break of half an hour! The public wasn't going to be subjected to my help just yet! I was assessed at intervals as the group (there were five or six of us ) worked our way down the line. I learnt that this was a serious business! I had folders coming out of my ears and although I knew some of the subject - having MS myself! - I soon realised that just knowing something and giving out information to people wasn't enough.
There is a code of practice whereby you follow a path to enable the caller to make options for themselves - you must never be directional. And! Oh! My Gawd! You have to be minimal! Yes - I'm talking about me and you all know I can write for England! My friends know I can prattle on for most of the day and night and as for Arf! Well - he didn't quite manage to stifle a snigger! I'm proud of what I've achieved so far as my brain doesn't always function as it should. I've made my own folders of subject matter to make it easier for me.
Whether I actually ever complete and pass the course is another matter - but I'm glad I'm continuing with it because it's given me self-worth and a discipline I badly needed.
The helpline staff have been brilliant. There are so may people out there affected by MS - families and friends as well as those actually having the condition. When someone says 'thanks ever so much for your help', the MS Society has made that person's day just a little better. Why don't you think about becoming a Volunteer?
See ya! Sandie.