Shopping with Multiple Sclerosis

Shopping With Multiple Sclerosis

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Between weather and schedules and a bit of MS thrown in, it’s been a while since I’ve been out to the shops.  Today the skies are brighter and the rain is to hold, I feel more rested than I have in quite some time and though my legs are doing the pins &needlesprickle…thecupboardsarenearlybare.


WithAmericanThanksgivinglessthanafortnightaway,theholidayseasonabouttoburstopenandjusttheweeklyshoppingneeds,IthoughtitmightbeagoodtimetotalkaboutshoppingandMS. It’ssomethingmostofusneedtodo,thatmanyofushavedifficultieswithand–Isuspect–thatsomeofyouhaveworkedtricksyoumightbewillingtoshare.

ThisisoneofthosetimesthatIrealizethatmyoldmanagementadagesworkwellforme. Oneofwhichwas“Therearetwowaystomanagethings;bysystemsandbypersonality”. Well,sometimesMStakesovermypersonalityabilitiessoshoppingisdefinitelyoneplaceItrytoemploy“systems”.

HereareafewtipsthatworkformewhenI’mthinkingaboutheadingoutforafewthingsorforamajorhaul. I’mnotsayingthatit’sanall-inclusivelist,I’mnotsayingthatalloftheseideasIuseallofthetimeandI’msurelynotassumingthatIhavealltheanswers. ButIbetthatwecouldcomeupwithaprettygoodlistofideasasagroup.


  • PlanAhead:BenFranklinsaid“Ifyoufailtoplanyouareplanningtofail”. NevermoresothanashoppingtripwithMS. Maps,restroomlocations,reststops…planforit;OVERplan!
  •  Ioncecoulddothisinmyhead–aninventoryofthepantry–butnowthere’sjustnochanceofthatworking. Thisworksforclothesneedsaswell;putaholeinapairofsocks,writeitontherunninglist.
  • Shopatoff-peaktimes: Thismightevenmeantakingavacationdayfromworkifthat’sanoption. Notmyfavoritewayofspendingadayoffbut,forbigholidaymealsandback-to-schooltypeshoppingitcanbealifesaver.
  •  Ifyouhaveoneandneedit,UseIt! Off-peaktimeshelpevenifyoudon’thaveaplacard. Iftherearefewerpeopleintheshops,therewillbefewercars.
  • TheBuddySystem: Takesomeonealong. Itmaycostyoulunchbutit’sthecheapestwaytomakesurehelpisathandifneeded.
  •  That’snotjustfunds; budget your time and energy as well.
  • Rest Breaks:  Even if it’s a 10 minute break in the car before you head to the next shop or home.  (see “Budget”)
  • Escape Plan:  We all need an emergency escape plan.  If you’re half-way through and you’re done.  Be Done.  We’re not hunter/gatherers anymore.  There are other ways to get the stuff you need than killing yourself.
  • TAXI!:  For people who have never lived in a city this may sound a little silly, but it can work.  It’s like having your own, on-call chauffeur.  For a small tip, the driver may even unload your bags for you.
  • Two Words, “Dot Com”:  Nearly everything can be ordered online (or with a phone call) these days.  Even the grocery in my little town on the edge of the north Atlantic offers delivery of groceries.  Gift shopping, household goods, even books and chocolates for the fireside can be ordered, shipped and delivered to you.  Now, if I could only get a pint of good stout delivered…

If you have any tips for anything from a quart of milk to a spring wardrobe, feel free to comment and help the community out.  We all live with this thing individually, but we can thrive if we work together.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.



Don’t forget to follow me on the Life With MS Facebook page and on Twitter, and subscribe to Life With Multiple Sclerosis.

Last Updated:11/18/2013
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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