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A positive attitude despite MS disability

@Patrick_Burke_1
A positive attitude despite MS disability

It’s always a fantastic feeling when something positive happens. My self-confidence levels rocket and I feel on top of the world. The wretched pandemic imposed so many restrictions on everyone’s life, mine was no exception.

It’s not always easy to see when there is an opportunity that is exciting and fun. I always try to have a positive attitude despite the MS elephant that is always in the room. 

MS now prevents me from digging holes in the garden, planting new shrubs, and pruning roses. A victim of the Covid19 pandemic was Gardeners World hosted by Monty Don. I particularly enjoy his final scene ‘Jobs to Be Done’ in the garden even though they were almost all impossible for me. Instead, I find other things to do that I enjoy. 

Sitting down gardening is a new one for me, looking after the garden pots and raised beds but that really is another story.

Back in the day I could never describe myself as a DIY Handyman, but I could paint a wall with emulsion, and I loved pottering in the garden. Sometimes I would do other simple handy jobs around the house such as clearing drains or putting the bins outside each week. MS has taken away the ability to do anything like this.

Nowadays I’m thoroughly disabled but thank goodness for ‘The Trike’ (a nifty three wheeled mobility scooter, the Travelscoot). I can go into town as often as I like. I can do the shopping and check out the charity shops. I talk to the shopkeepers in the butchers, bakers and stalls in the market. I’m also known in the supermarket. Complete strangers will say hello and have a chat with me. People recognise me as ‘That Man on The Trike, thank goodness there is only one in town.

I bought The Trike because walking was no longer an option. Riding around on it enhances my life. As I whizz around the town young children look at me jealously and even adults say it looks fun to ride. It is instantly recognisable so I’m only too happy to do the shopping because I know there will always be people who want to talk to me. What a wonderful way to improve my feeling of well-being.

Back in the day I was the cook in our house. My MS deteriorated and suddenly standing up and preparing food was a task too far. Then I remembered seeing in an MS magazine details of a ‘Saddleback’ stool. It’s on wheels and you could change the height very easily. It looked absolutely ideal for me to use in the kitchen, so I bought one. Now I’m king of the kitchen again.

I managed to walk for one hour at the Chilterns MS Therapy centre last September and raise over £6000. The local community radio station, Tring radio, turned up to watch me and I had a brief interview with them the next day. To cut a long story short I am a now a volunteer and present my own show every Thursday lunchtime. I had never done anything like this before in my life, but I love it. No one tells me what tunes to play or topics to talk about. To me this is a dream come true. 

In January 2012 medical retirement was a depressing future for me and no one was interested in my IT skills. I have now created a completely new life for myself and I’m thoroughly comfortable in my own skin. Even better, I present the radio shows from home, so the pandemic has not affected that part of my life.

About the author

@Patrick_Burke_1

Retired but alive and kicking. I’m Patrick and I’ve had MS for far too many years but what the heck. I am a proud owner of a Travelscoot, known affectionally as The Trike. You can listen to me on Tring Radio every Thursday lunch time. I try to be optimistic, it makes life easier. I like my coffee to be strong, black and with no sugar.

Website: www.aid4disabled.com

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @aid4disabled