Life with MS & EDS

January 10, 2009

First Quality of Life Issue

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mseds @ 7:22 pm
Tags: , ,

It occurred to me this morning that there is something I’ve stopped doing because of MS. For years I straightened my loose curls every time I washed my hair. About 3 years ago I stopped straightening it all of the time and over the next year did it less and less. Now I rarely straighten it at all. I love my hair when it’s straight! It looks so much nicer. I miss the straight hair I had as a child (hormones are evil – my hair went curly when I was a teenager.)

Every now and again I’ll still try to straighten it. This morning was one of those times. I was part way through when I regretted my decision. Because of the heat from the dryer, my optic neuritis was aggravated which made my eyesight worse. My hands also aren’t as strong as they used to be and I tire more quickly. Straightening hair, especially like mine, doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult, but it was.

It was definitely strange to realize this and to admit it. Now that I know I have MS I realize why straightening my hair the past couple of years has been more of a challenge than it should be. Thankfully this isn’t something major, but there are times when we have someplace to go and it would just be nicer to have my hair straight. It’s a bit of a sacrifice that the choice between curly and straight isn’t as simple as it used to be. I probably sound petty. There are certainly much worse things in the world than not being able to style your hair, but other than the optic neuritis and being tired, I really don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with me. This was a bit of a slap in the face.

My girls, especially Little Sister, love when my hair is straight because then I look like them. I usually just tell them that I don’t have the time to straighten it, but wouldn’t admit to them that it’s just too much effort. Hopefully this will be the only quality of life (although minor) change for a long time.



  1. Hi Ivy: I totally understand what you are talking about. I don’t straighten but I do dye and perm myself. Holding my arms up for longer than it takes to wind three perm rods is exhausting. I perm every 4 to 5 months and I dye every 6 to 8 weeks. Dyeing is not too awfully bad, physically doing the job that is, but that too is tiring. When I want to curl or add poofy stuff, I use the curling iron and the heat from the curling iron just about kills me.

    It is amazing that the things we used to do for ourselves that we took for granted and took pride in doing and for the results it gives, with MS it changes our lives big time.

    The only advice I have is to do in moderation – take longer to do the task. You will still get tired, and it will probably be an all afternoon event, but you will still be able to “do it.”

    Good Luck

    Comment by Anne — January 11, 2009 @ 6:35 am

  2. Hi Anne,

    Moderation is good advice. I also realized that I need to make some modifications. I have a stool in my bathroom and foolishly didn’t use it yesterday. I think standing while trying to straighten my hair made it more exhausting.

    I do splurge and get someone else to color my hair every 6 weeks. It’s a nice treat. They also straighten my hair when I get it done, so I definitely look forward to those appointments. Too bad I can’t afford to go more often!

    You’re right – at least I can still do it. Even if it’s more challenging, it’s still possible.


    Comment by mseds — January 11, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

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