Category Archives: disability

3 Dating Tips When You Have Multiple Sclerosis

Three Tips for Dating with Multiple Sclerosis

Receiving a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can feel overwhelming, and you may assume that dating will no longer possible. However, new treatments have enabled people living with MS to forestall disabling symptoms for a far longer time period than in the past. The typical onset of MS symptoms is between 20-50 years of age (per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society [NMSS]). Tingling and numbness in legs and feet are often the first symptoms experienced by a person afflicted with MS, but these symptoms may be caused by many other disorders.

Regardless of the initial symptoms that resulted in a doctor’s visit leading to an MS diagnosis, you do not have to resign yourself to remaining alone if you really want intimacy and/or marriage in your future.  The following describes the most common forms of MS and their symptoms, as well as three tips for dating with specific MS symptoms.

What is Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis?

Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common of the three forms of MS, and also the most treatable form. Unlike Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) or Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), symptoms can spontaneously appear and disappear in people afflicted with RRMS. Weakness in the feet and hands (and blindness) can occur, but can also spontaneously resolve. Emerging treatments are enabling people with RRMS to avoid developing most of the symptoms leading to an inability to perform in a workplace role.

Notably, an article in 2018 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry reported that early treatment can halt neurological damage from MS from worsening, so beginning a medication regimen as soon as possible after an MS diagnosis is crucial.

Two Types of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

In contrast to RRMS, the neurological damage associated with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) or Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) is typically not reversible. However, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) notes that only 15 percent of all people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS. Meanwhile, SPMS usually occurs in people diagnosed with RRMS who do not receive early treatment.

Since the neurological damage that occurs with these two above-described MS forms is irreversible, people diagnosed with either PPMS or SPMS are more likely to have more obvious symptoms (e.g., an inability to pick up a fork). The NMSS notes that 50 percent of people with RRMS who do not take medication develop SPMS within 10 years.

Once damage to the myelin sheath occurs (due to the immune system attack on the central nervous system), it is more likely to become even more damaged. This is why medication plays such an important role in preventing the neurological damage leading to paralysis.

Dating Tip Number One – Recognise and Respect Your Own Limitations

You may not be able to walk without a cane to meet your date, so it makes sense to use it when needed. While your mobility may not be affected to the point of needing a wheelchair, your date will not appreciate it if you try to hide (or minimize) a real disability.

There is nothing shameful about needing a cane (or a wheelchair), or being unable to pour yourself a glass of water from a pitcher in a pub. Most people like to help strangers who need assistance, and you probably do not want to begin an intimate relationship with someone who displays no compassion for disabled people. Therefore, hiding your disability from your date will not enable you to know whether you have really met a man or woman you might want to eventually marry.

Dating Tip Number Two – Coping with Fatigue

People living with MS often experience periods of fatigue (and hot weather is more likely to produce a feeling of tremendous fatigue). If you are dining in a pub or restaurant in summer that does not have air conditioning, you may feel fatigued more quickly than usual. For this reason, choosing a comfortable place for a date (that is not over-heated due to lack of air conditioning) is advisable.

Dating Tip Three – Coping with Cognitive Impairments

Many adults who have lived with MS for a long time experience some short-term memory loss. This is one of the most embarrassing symptoms of MS, and one that you may need to explain to someone you are dating. Otherwise, your memory impairment (or pseudobulbar affect – resulting in inappropriate laughing or crying) may be misunderstood by that person.

One way to cope with short-term memory loss is to keep a journal to jot down important things you learned about the other person on each date that you want to remember. Meanwhile – if you know that you have pseudobulbar affect – it is best to tell the man or woman you are dating as soon as possible about this affliction.

Utilizing an online disabled dating platform  to meet compatible people to date is as much an option for adults with disabilities as anyone else. You may even meet someone with a hidden disability that shares the same hopes and fears as you. There is someone who understands the issues faced by people with MS that will be interested in dating you, so go ahead and take a chance!

At Last! Emojis for the Disability World. I Give That a Smile and a Wink!

It is while since I have blogged on this site.  Most of my activity has been on Facebook/Twitter and youtube recently.  But now and then i like to add some posts here.  One of the things that has bought me great pleasure recently is the introduction of emojis for the disabled community.

The introduction of image-based characters such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and guide dogs will help redress the underrepresentation of disabled people on the emoji keyboard, while there will also be a wider range of mixed-gender and ethnicity couples for users to choose from.

Disability rights campaigners welcomed the new accessibility-themed icons. “Love them or hate them – emojis have become part of our everyday digital lives,” said Phil Talbot, the head of communications at disability equality charity Scope. “Social media is hugely influential and it’s great to see these new disability-inclusive emojis. Up to now disability has been greatly underrepresented.”

 

I have chatted about these emojis with several friends in the disabled world and reactions have generally been positive. For me, personally, the hearing aid emoji is very handy as I have a hearing problem and sometimes wish to express it graphically from my phone.   Also I can easily reference wheelchairs and guide dogs from the emoji list which is very cool.

Remember you can always reach me on twitter @disabilitymatch or  facebook/disabilitymatch

 

Have a great day

 

David

 

 

 

We Make Following Us Really Easy

 

We are a very social site and just wanted to remind you all that we can be followed on Twitter and liked on Facebook.  You can even message us on Skype and set up a Skype conversation with me personally.

Indeed, our very sociability was mentioned in a recent article in datingnews website.  This is a wonderful article about disabilitymatch from the most important trade site for the dating industry.

Valentines Greetings and Disabilitymatch at NAIDEX 2018

I am very excited that NAIDEX have asked me to return again in April to give a seminar about disability dating.  This is really exciting for me and it gives me a great excuse to go up to Birmingham and meet up with all my friends and contacts in the uK disability sector.  I will be making a huge effort to present some great seminar material at the show so I do hope that some of you will attend.   We had a good turnout in 2017 and most of the participants had a great laugh.  The organisers of the NAIDEX show seem very keen to bring the social aspects of disability into the show which is a great improvement over the old system where everything seemed geared towards the latest equipment and nothing very human.

I will probably be based at the disability horizons stand with my great chum the amazing Martyn Sibley so if you are visiting the show you can leave a message for me with his team.

Just to bring you up to speed with disabilitymatch, we tend to chat to our community on Facebook and Twitter these days but now and then I like to keep this little blog going.  If you are not following us on facebook then you should, we post regularly and try to bring you lots of interesting disability news.   We tweet most days and I am just working on our Spring Podcast.  I hope to have the podcast out in the next few weeks.

So, this was just to alert you on NAIDEX and I do hope that you will attend my seminar and have a chat with me.

Love to all and a very happy Valentines

Your First Holiday Together

I am very happy to say that I have been writing for Posability magazine on the topic of having your first romantic holiday together.

Here is the link, i hope you find it interesting.  I write regularly about disability issues for various magazines and online sites.

Tips to enjoy your first holiday together

autism with disabilitymatch.co.uk

Autism and Romantic Relationships.

We seem to have more and more members joining the site who are on the autistic spectrum.  This is great since, by definition, these are the very members of the disabled community who need help in navigating the tricky dating footpath.  So I was very excited when the leading autism resource ambitiousaboutautism  to contribute an article about dating and autism.   I would encourage you to read it and share it with your friends and anyone who you feel might benefit from my comments.

autism with disabilitymatch.co.uk

I write for a quite a few of the main disability sites and if you check out the latest print version of Posability magazine you will find a piece from me on disabled holidays.  The article will appear in online format very soon.  I will then tweet it out and mention it her on the blog.  I am just editing our next podcast which has same great stuff on it and I will be writing to you when it is ready to download.

 

 

Disability Match Profiled in Datingadvice Review

Datingadvice.com is one of the most respected dating review sites on the internet and to get an endorsement from them is wonderful news for the team at disabilitymatch.   The review tells the history of our site since it was started 6 years ago and explores my motivation as webmaster in building the site and our positioning in the marketplace.

The review does emphasise how our site has distinguished itself as a real part of the UK’s disabled community.  They noted how special our podcast is and how we keep our community informed through our Twitter feed and Facebook fanpage.  It is always reassuring when an independent industry site features us in this way.  There are many sites that look similar to disabilitymatch, but we have the authenticity and command the respect of our 30.000+ membership.

We are planning some exciting innovations in the coming months which will keep us as the leading disability dating site in the UK.

David Miller

Webmaster

 

Being a Disabled Gay Man in a Grindr-Led World – an Insight.

 

 

This is a fascinating insight into how a disabled man in Toronto interacts with the gay community which is so centred on looks.  How he deals with his experiences is revelatory and worth bringing to our blog.  In a Grindr led gay world of dating the disabled can easily fall through the cracks.

It goes without saying that the gym has become a temple of sorts for many of us in the queer community. I think that if someone wants to take care of their health, and finds the gym to be the place to do it, I think that is really good—for them. But, I don’t think that this is necessarily a fair assessment for everyone, and I’d like to use my experience as a queer cripple to highlight why that is.

As somebody with a significant disability, and a wheelchair user, I have always looked at the gym in a weird way. I understand it’s value and importance to overall bodily health, but I have always had this feeling that they have, in one way or another, been forced on me, as a man with disabilities. It was almost as if I had to go to the gym with some hope of bettering myself, and fixing my disability — eradicating it from me. I remember one exchange I had on Grindr where a guy told me that if I went to the gym with him we could “work off my disability fat.” Another guy suggested that I needed to get out of my chair, and be more fit to be sexy.” These insensitive comments aside, does anybody know what to do with the 300 lbs. of wheelchair that I have attached to me 16 hours of the day?

Let me share with you what my experiences trying to access physical fitness regimes have been like. I enter these spaces in my big, clunky motorized wheelchair, and some conventionally attractive trainer-man, who I am secretly hoping will meet me in the steam room later, works with me. What quickly becomes apparent is that none of the equipment is accessible to my body. I remember one time spending a good twenty minutes with a trainer, falling over an arm bike trying to get one revolution done, but my wheelchair wouldn’t fit. All around me were these “gym-bodied boys” and I couldn’t even use the hand bike? I’m sure I looked real cute that day. All the other equipment wasn’t really usable for me, and as much as I wanted to entice someone to lift me out of my chair, and truly bring my gay gym-gimp fantasy to life, people were concerned about liability. Nobody wants to hurt, break or maim the crippled guy more than he already is, right?

So, if the gym isn’t an option, my next avenue is physical therapy. PT is something that I hated as a child, but something that I have come to accept as an adult. Here is the problem with it that I have had. As a disabled person, where I live in Toronto, you can access physical therapy only four times. This means you are allowed only four meetings with this person, after which you are meant to continue the therapy on your own. Hold up – they know I am disabled, and I can’t even dress myself, right? How am I gonna do this on my own? Add to this, the fact that they want me to lift nothing more than one-pound weights – because anything else might be a “liability issue.”

Ugh. So, what can I do to get fit? Where does one queer crippled guy go to obtain the body that the app-holes are thirsting for? Spaces like the gym, filled to the brim with beautiful bodies and bulging boys, are so often not designed with my disability in mind. The messaging I hear in the gym is loud and clear: I need to be fixed, but there’s nothing we can really do for you here. This is further proof that my queer crippled body has no real value, as it is.

The next time you tell a disabled guy that they just need to work out, think about the privilege that comes with that statement. The next time you tell a guy that you can’t fuck him because he doesn’t look fit enough for you; think about just how unfair that is, about how he may have tried really hard to get in shape in spite of all his needs, and was denied at every turn, because the service providers were unsure of how to assist him. Also, the next time I see a message about my supposed fitness from you, I might just have to reply: “Do you even crip, bro?”

I am sure from that this story will resonate with the LGBT disabled UK community and the highlighted attitudes devalue even more the lack of self-esteem that many disabled people feel.

Via huffingtonpost.com

Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise – Important New Facts.

Disabilitymatch has many users with MS so we were very interested with this article which talks about the relationship between multiple sclerosis and physical exercise.  If you have any thoughts please leave a comment below or tweet us @disabilitymatch.

It can cause a wide range of symptoms including difficulties with the movement of limbs, changes in vision, and problems with balance and sensation.

Although there is no cure, scientists have demonstrated that, for individuals with mild to moderate disability, exercise can improve the severity of certain symptoms.

Exercise has been shown to increase muscular strength and aerobic capacity and improve the individual’s sense of wellness. Additionally, there is some evidence that exercise might help slow the progression of MS, although the data is conflicting.

How exercise reduces the symptoms of MS is not known, but researchers believe that it could be due to the modulation of immune factors or stress hormones, or perhaps by altering the expression of neuronal growth factors.

A number of MS risk factors are known; for instance, the condition is more prevalent in women than men, and it seems to have links with certain infections, including Epstein-Barr. White people and those who live in temperate climates are also more likely to develop MS. However, the full list of risks is yet to be uncovered.

One potential risk factor that has received some attention from scientists is the level of exercise an individual is involved in prior to the onset of MS. It is commonly believed that a higher level of physical activity reduces the risk of MS; however, this is still very much up for debate.

Findings are contradictory or unclear; for instance, some studies have shown that individuals who develop MS tend to be more physically active before onset; others showed no difference in pre-onset activity.

However, earlier studies did not use detailed, validated questionnaires to assess physical activity levels. There is also a confounding variable that makes some of the results difficult to interpret. Two of the early symptoms of MS are weakness and fatigue. So, did the lack of physical exercise promote the onset of MS, or was the lack of exercise a sign of the onset of MS?

A team of scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, recently set out to investigate whether physical activity has an effect on MS risk once and for all. Their results are published this week in the journal Neurology.

The team took data from more than 193,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II; these individuals were followed up for 20 years, starting in 1976. Each woman completed detailed questionnaires about their current levels of physical activity and also their activity levels as teens and young girls. Over the course of 20 years, 341 women developed MS.

Once the data were collated, the researchers calculated the hours of exercise each individual carried out per week and what types of exercise they did. The group adjusted the results for ethnicity, age, smoking, place of residence at the age of 15, BMI at 18, and vitamin D supplement intake.

After the analysis had been completed, the data showed that, contrary to expectation, exercise was not correlated in any way to the appearance of MS.

“Overall, there was no consistent association of exercise at any age and MS. Exercise has been shown to be beneficial to people with the disease, but it seems unlikely that exercise protects against the risk of developing MS.”

Via medicalnewstoday.com

7 Day NHS a Fantasy For Disabled Community.

 

The UK’s disabled community is in greater need of a 7 day NHS than other groups and so the fading fantasy of that happening soon is something tat is troubling to all of us regardless of medical complication or disability.  Even if the promised £350Million per week from Brexit actually happened the NHS would struggle to meet its commitments.  This is a tragedy for the country and something we in the disabled community should campaign about in the strongest possible terms.
Chris Hopson, boss of NHS Providers has a vey bleak assessment of the public sector health service in the UK. He said the NHS was “increasingly failing to do the job it wans to do, and the public needs it to do, through no fault of its own.”

Jeremy Hunt’s pursuit of a fully functioning seven-day service would need a massive increase in staff numbers, and an additional cash boost. At a time when the health service is struggling to carry out its work, extending the service seems an unwise move.

Hopson noted that hospital administrators have a tough choice between investing money that is crucial to the service or simply overseeing a decline in service standards, endangering patients.

He said there needs to be “an open, honest, realistic, national debate on what gives” if no additional funding is handed to the NHS. He does not believe the health service can survive much longer in its current state and only the dedication of staff have kept the NHS running.

He told the Observer: “Thanks to the dedication of staff, NHS performance rarely goes off the edge of a cliff.

“As the 1990s showed, instead we get a long, slow decline that is only fully visible in retrospect.

“It’s therefore difficult to isolate a single point in that downward trajectory to sound a warning bell.

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “We have now got hospital trusts having to close services, we have also got trusts who are saying that the only way to make the money add up is to cut the workforce.

“These are all things that have been done by other public service, but it’s very different for the NHS.”

Jeremy Hunt has continually clashed with junior doctors’ over the imposition of new contracts and there have been numerous strikes in protest, with a major strike aborted at the last minute due to concerns over patients’ safety. The strikes might have been called off this time, but the junior doctors’ anger at the Government shows no signs of going away.

thelondoneconomic.com