”I Connect, We Connect”
Sunday, the 30th of May is World MS Day. It is a day that helps to bring the global MS community together in order to share their stories and raise awareness.
The theme since 2020 has been all about ‘’connections’’. Thanks to COVID-19, we have all lost that connection to our community and the theme of World MS Day tackles that. The MS Connections campaign is all about building those community connections again, self-connection, and connections to good care.
This MS connections campaign will help challenge social barriers that have people affected by MS feeling lonely and isolated. It is also a great opportunity to advocate for better services, celebrate carers and support networks, and champion self-care.
What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord (your central nervous system). Today, more than 9,000 people are living with MS in Ireland.
Many are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40 and it is 2-3 times more common in women than in men. Sadly, there is no drug that can cure Ms, but there are a number of treatment option available that can help modify the course of the disease.
Your central nervous system is what controls your body’s actions. Actions like movement and your senses. It is able to do this by sending messages through a network of nerves. These nerves are covered by a fatty substance known as Myelin.
MS develops when your own body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your Myelin thinking that it is a foreign substance trying to hurt you.
Connecting over a Cuppa:
Over the last few weeks, we have connected with a number of amazing people across the country to get their views on our Uccello Kettle. We called it our Pop the kettle on campaign. Among them were the bubbly and amazing Ann Hanley and Louise Power. These lovely ladies shared their story with us and how the Uccello Kettle has helped them at home.
Connecting with Louise:
Louise is a proud Mum of 2 living in Mayo. Challenges she would face in her day-to-day would be getting things done such as cleaning the home before the kids are back from school. There are times each day where living with MS can make the little things frustrating ”like I have weakness in my arms and the heaviness in the legs. The fact that you want to do something but you can’t”.
With the Uccello Kettle, ”I’m not using up energy that could be used somewhere else or I’m not tiring my arms out. That could mean the difference between folding a load of washing or not or only getting a bit done because I would have been lifting the old kettle.”
Throughout the day, we may not realize it but we use the kettle for more than a hot sup, ”in a day I could be cooking pasta or potatoes and you need water for them” so not having to lift a heavy kettle of hot water to cook them can save energy.
”I don’t have to lift it, it’s a huge pro, its 1 finger tilt.”
Connecting with Ann:
Ann (61), young at heart shines a light on the amazing support network that is the MS Society of Ireland.
Ann lives in Galway and has shared her story on living with MS, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.
When it comes to the use of hands and wrists, it’s Ann’s ”fingers mainly, they can lock but the MS is an overall thing. I get fatigued and am going blond and not being able to remember things. Memory fog didn’t happen and then all of a sudden it happened as I went along. I suppose you lose a bit of yourself every day.”
”Right now it’s the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that is killing me more than the MS.”
Thankfully Ann has someone living with her to help her at home but ”I am not a totally disabled person even though I’m labeled as one”
Outside of the home then, the MS Society offers fantastic support. ‘‘We have a zoom call every Tuesday, there are about 20 of us, we have become so friendly since it started. If one person doesn’t show up everyone worries. The society will call and check-in to make sure you are ok.”
When it came to making a cup of tea Ann found moving the hot water to be the most difficult part. ”I used a towel under the kettle to tilt into my cup and then the cup would slip into the wood, through the dished and electrical items.” Now with the Uccello Kettle, there is a big difference, ”I think it is fantastic, there is no danger of spilling”
The MS Society Ireland:
The MS Society of Ireland offers fantastic support and friendship. They provide information, vital services, and support to the MS community. Their services would include:
- Regional community worker programs for one to one support
- symptom management courses
- newly diagnosed sessions
- MS information line
This World MS Day, they are hosting a virtual balloon race for all interested to help raise funding and support 9,000 people living with MS here in Ireland. So this world MS day, why not sponsor a balloon, be part of the race and connect over a cuppa?
For us here at Uccello Designs, we believe there is no better way to connect than over a cuppa. So let’s pop the kettle on and get talking.